Keynote Speakers

Sandra Spencer is the Executive Director of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, which is dedicated exclusively to helping children in the United States with mental health needs and their families achieve a better quality of life. Ms. Spencer has served in numerous advocacy roles including leading the first grassroots family-run organization in Eastern North Carolina that advocates for families and children with mental health challenges. This organization—With Every Child and Adult Reaching Excellence—eventually became the state’s statewide chapter of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Sandra is also the mentor and protégé for the newly emerging national youth organization, Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) National, a subsidiary of the National Federation. Other advocacy work includes being a peer mentor for SOC communities across the United States; developing a parent-involvement curriculum at East Carolina University; and helping to establish an SOC for children with serious emotional disturbances in Greenville, NC.

Judith Warner is the author of “We’ve Got Issues,” the winner of the 2101 NAMI Outstanding Media Award. She set out to examine the argument that Americans are overmedicating their children and instead found that the challenges faced by parents of children with mental health issues is very real. She is best known for her 2005 New York Times best-seller, Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, and New York Times column, “Domestic Disturbances.” She remains a frequent contributor to the New York Times op-ed page, and writes for The New York Times Magazine and other publications. A former special correspondent for Newsweek in Paris, she hosted “The Judith Warner Show” on XM satellite radio from 2005 to 2007, and wrote the 1993 bestseller Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story, as well as several other books. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and children.