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Fall Conference Speakers
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Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAAN(h)

Keynote Speaker

Pete Earley
Author and Mental Health Advocate

A former Washington Post reporter, Pete Earley is the author of 11 nonfiction books, including four New York Times bestsellers, and six novels. He is best known for his nonfiction book, CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, which was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize.

CRAZY describes Earley’s struggle to get his adult son help after he develops a severe mental illness and is arrested. As part of his research, Earley spent ten months inside the Miami Dade County jail, where he followed persons with mental disorders through the criminal justice system and out onto the streets to see what happened to them. His book has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, and prompted CNN to name him one of nation’s top “mental wellness warriors.”  He serves as the lone parent member of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee, which advises Congress about mental health reform.

Earley has testified five times before Congress about the need for mental health reform and has lectured in four foreign countries. He serves on the board of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which finances projects to eliminate homelessness. The Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court appointed him to a task force that recommended changes to the state's involuntary commitment laws after the Virginia Tech massacre. He currently serves on a panel advising state Senator Creigh Deeds’ legislative efforts to improve Virginia’s mental health services.

He writes regularly for USA TODAY and the Washington Post about mental health issues, and also writes a weekly blog at about mental health issues.  
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