In recent years, the annual program, in recognition of growing needs, has refocused. National Dialogues on Behavioral Healthcare (NDBH), proceeds from this premise. NDBH also holds another distinction. Although not generally known, the concept of mental health program evaluation was fostered and developed in SRCMHS during its first 25 years. By 1983, SRCMHS’s 25th anniversary, program evaluation was well established nationally by NIMH, and most states had developed program evaluation functions. Harold McPheeters, then director of mental health at SREB and a former Kentucky mental health commissioner, chronicled this progress for the 1983 conference.
The secret to NDBH’s success is the people who have volunteered their time, talent, and resources, year after year, to produce an outstanding program. Many heroes are associated with SRCMHS. In addition to Wurster and McPheeters, others include:
In addition to program excellence, a part of NDBH’s attraction is that the annual conference has been held in New Orleans with easy access to the famous French Quarter. Many attendees have fond memories of New Orleans, its wonderful French, Cajun and eclectic restaurants, as well as the jazz, zydeco and other types of music played there; and, of course, the many lifelong friendships developed over the years.