Zarrow Mental Health Symposium

Zarrow Mental Health Symposium’s Lasting Vision

In the early 1990s, the Zarrow Mental Health Symposium was just a vision in the minds and hearts of its conference founders, Maxine Zarrow, and her late husband, Jack. Together, they worked to establish a Symposium where everyone could share advanced research to improve mental health treatment for people impacted by mental illness, including their own daughter, Kathy.

Because of Maxine and Jack, and thousands of attendees from across the nation and beyond, the Symposium has grown from a small conference with just a few hundred attendees to become the premier mental health conference in the region. We have presented it as a national conference on three occasions, 2004, 2012 and 2016.

To learn about this year’s conference please visit

Symposium History

When we look back on Zarrow Symposium themes, our topics have ranged from providing housing and recovery support to those impacted by mental illness — as we did during national conferences in 2004, 2012 and 2016. We have explored the mind, body and spirit in mental health practice and challenging injustice and discrimination. One of the most memorable conferences was in 2002, which focused on finding strength in each other as we all dealt with the trauma of 9/11.

Although Symposium topics have changed each year, they each share the common mission of responding to the needs of our communities and sharing emerging knowledge and cutting-edge research to help people reclaim, rebuild and enhance their lives. And when it all comes down to it, the Symposium is about learning how to heal those we serve, someone we love and care about, and maybe even ourselves.

Zarrow Mental Health Symposium Themes

1995: The Many Faces of Mental Illness
1996: Building Bridges to the Community — Developing Wraparound Services
1997: Our Future is Today — Clinical Care of Children and Adolescents
1998: Opening Doors, Opening Minds — Taking Disability Issues into the Clinical Setting
1999: Planning to Prevent Youth Violence and Self-destructive Behavior
2000: Common Threads and Common Ground — Clinical Innovations, Community
Initiatives, Public Policy Imperatives
2001: Current Challenges & Innovative Responses
2002: Finding Strength in Stressful Times
2003: Emerging Technologies and Implications for Practice
2004: (National Conference) A Place to Call Home — Exploring Innovative Approaches to
Housing for People with Mental Illness
2005: Mind, Body & Spirit — Implications in Mental Health Practice
2006: Mood Disorders Across the Lifespan
2007: Learning Differences and Mental Health: Implications that Can Impact a Lifetime
2008: Relationships
2009: Collaboration For Mental Health — Meeting the Needs of One Through Many
2010: Developing Resilience — Children, Youth & Families as Community Assets
2011: Addressing Trauma Across the Lifespan: Emerging Knowledge, Evidence-based
Treatments & Supports
2012: (National Conference) From Housing to Recovery — Building Community, Building
2013: Implications of Brain & Biological Research on Clinical Practice
2014: All Things Prevention
2015: Integrating Healthcare — Mind, Body and Spirit
2016: (National Conference) Ready for Zero — Innovative and Sustainable Solutions for
Housing & Recovery
October 5th & 6th 2017: Challenging Injustice and Discrimination

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