Track 3 - Behavioral Health (Substance Abuse

Mental Health

Violence Prevention)

Sharing Session - 60 Minutes

G12 - Using Public Health Law to Improve Mental Health and Reduce Morbidity and Mortality

Wednesday, July 11
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Riverview 2

Participants will engage in conversation about legal and policy strategies to protect and promote mental health to reduce morbidity and mortality. Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) has selected two Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) to communicate high-priority mental health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. They include reducing the suicide rate and reducing the proportion of adolescents who experience a major depressive episode. These are both areas that are not currently meeting their Healthy People national targets and are, in fact, moving in the wrong direction. Research to date has been fragmented and lacked real-world applicability. Participants will discuss a variety of training programs used to increase community understanding of mental health, trauma, and toxic stress, including evidence regarding their effectiveness, as well as real-world examples of laws used to create the infrastructure to improve community mental health and well-being. This interdisciplinary panel will address prevention across fields which have remained traditionally siloed. Participants will have a chance to discuss barriers, facilitators, and solutions to support collaboration and implementation of evidence-based or informed practices. Community-based participatory research, legal epidemiology, and legal technical assistance provide three such approaches. The session will conclude with specific recommendations and examples of local success stories whose practices, laws, and policies could be replicated in other local communities seeking to improve mental health.


Mental Health, Public Health Laws & Policies, Violence and Injury Prevention

Angela K. McGowan, JD, MPH

Project Director
HHS, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC Assignee)

Angela K. McGowan, J.D., M.P.H., is a Project Director at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is an assignee from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Program Performance and Evaluation Office. She works to advance the use of policy and law as tools to improve health, and leads an effort of partners to develop evidence-based products to highlight the state of laws and policies related to Healthy People 2020 Initiative topic areas. Previously, she was a Senior Program Officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focusing on encouraging the use of policy, advocacy and law to help create a strong and comprehensive public health system, public health issues including tobacco and childhood obesity prevention, and leadership development. Prior work experience includes: working at CDC’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, serving in CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service, and working as a legal services officer with Georgia's Division of Public Health. She received a law degree from Vanderbilt, a master’s in public health from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, and a bachelor’s in International Relations from William and Mary.


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Catherine Cerulli, J.D., PhD

Professor of Psychiatry
University of Rochester Medical Center

Catherine Cerulli, PhD, is currently a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Dr. Cerulli is the Director of Susan B. Anthony Center and the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization. She received a PhD in criminal justice from SUNY at Albany, NY in 2004 and her Master's Degree in criminal justice from SUNY at Albany, NY in 1998. She holds a JD from the University at Buffalo law school. Dr. Cerulli received the Excellence in Public Service award from the SUNY Albany Alumni Association in 2014 and the National Institute of Mental Health New Investigator Award in 2005.
She was formerly an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County, New York, where she created a special misdemeanor domestic violence unit in 1995. She has been working on issues surrounding domestic violence and child abuse for over three decades, in a variety of capacities. Various federal agencies have funded Dr. Cerulli’s work, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Justice, the Office on Violence Against Women, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Veteran’s Administration. She works internationally to ameliorate violence and currently is assisting with projects addressing the health and welfare of individuals living in the Sub Mekong region. She is a founding Board Member for the Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester, Inc., a grass roots organization providing emergency respite care for greater Rochester area families with young children.


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Jill Krueger, J.D.

Region Director
Network for Public Health Law

Jill Krueger, J.D., is the Director of the Northern Region of The Network for Public Health Law. She uses legal skills to support community efforts to promote physical, mental, social, and emotional health and well-being. Much of her practice involves creating legal resources and providing legal technical assistance to local health departments and community leaders in urban, suburban, and rural settings. In recent years, she has begun to focus upon legal and policy strategies to address toxic stress and trauma, improve the conditions for student learning, and promote community mental health and well-being. Other interests include climate resilience, agricultural and food policy, oral health, and rural health equity. Jill graduated with high distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.


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G12 - Using Public Health Law to Improve Mental Health and Reduce Morbidity and Mortality


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