Andrew Norelli

Advocate and Comedian


Main Ballroom

Numerous late night appearances including twice on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live," where he was booked by Jimmy himself who said "because of how few slots we have available you have to be an A++ comedian to get booked on my show, and Andrew is." 


Other TV appearances include Comedy Central's “Live at Gotham,” and the nationally syndicated comedy round-table “Comics Unleashed,” where he also worked as a monologue joke writer. 


A Ted Talk was recently added to his resume where he hilariously lampooned the absurdity of computer error messages. 

His performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal was praised in Time Out New York. 

International appearances include Sydney Australia’s Comedy Store where The Daily Telegraph remarked “his show features hair trigger laughs with a deadly aim, all the more so because while some comedians overestimate their own intelligence, Norelli never underestimates ours."

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Anita Fisher

Certified NAMI Family Programs Educator and Facilitator


Social and Behavioral Science Building, Room 1102

In this breakout Anita will share the past 18 years of a family journey involving her adult son who lives with serious mental illness. She has presented to law enforcement, mental health conferences, live and print media, and to advocate for changes to the behavioral health system of care.


Anita Fisher was the Education Director at NAMI San Diego for 10 years (2007-2018), where she was responsible for managing the coordination of Mental Health Family and Peer Recovery Education, Support and Training Programs.

In 2005, she enrolled in NAMI’s Family-to-Family course. Profoundly impacted, Anita immediately dedicated herself to NAMI’s mission of education, support and advocacy for those affected by mental illness with special interest in criminal justice and mental illness. Previously, Anita enjoyed an esteemed career in banking including serving as Vice President and Business Systems Analyst at Union Bank of California.

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Blair C. Ehret, Ph.D. 

VA San Diego Healthcare System and Survivors of Suicide Loss San Diego


Main Ballroom

Trauma is part of the human experience; often, we focus on the ways in which our trauma has negatively impacted our lives (e.g., painful emotions, physical limitations, loss). Seldom, do we identify the ways in which our trauma has helped us expand our lives and become more resilient. This breakout is aimed at promoting wellness in the wake of trauma and will help you define what posttraumatic growth means to you, as well as identify the ways in which you’ve grown from your trauma.


Blaire Ehret, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in suicide prevention and providing clinical services to Veterans living with psychosis. She works at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and sits on the board of directors of Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) San Diego. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring San Diego with her husband and friends through various outdoor activities and new dining experiencing.

Christine Marie Frey

Mental Health Advocate


Arts Building, Room 240

Attendees will be taken on a journey about the challenges of mental health through the eyes of a young teenager having experienced it and overcoming the daily stigma faced on school campuses from administration, fellow students and parents.  The journey results in a new and unique method of surviving the daily trials of being a teenager in today's increasingly competitive and technology-based world. Brain XP's System of H.O.P.E. (Healthy Mind, Open Sharing, Positive Coping & Empowerment) educates youth and shows adults how to relate to teens and understand them.


Christine Marie Frey is the International Award-Winning Author of Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager's Perspective, the first Mental Health Book written by a teenager.  Christine started showing signs of anxiety, depression and psychosis at age 12.  Her isolation led her to create the Brain XP Project.  Brain XP provides HOPE to other youth battling mental challenges, letting them know that they are not alone, they are not crazy, but rather their minds are special with greater creativity, empathy and insight - their BRAINS are EXPANDED - BRAIN XP!  Christine is an engaging Public Speaker, Musical Recording Artist and Mental Health Activist. 

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Colleen Moss, Ph.D.

Educational Psychologist and Artist



 Main Ballroom

As an artist and educational psychologist, Dr. Moss has had a special interest in expressive/healing arts for many years.  However, it was not until her husband died suddenly from cancer, that she experienced it for herself. After her husband’s death, Dr. Moss began to paint as a way to cope with her grief and ultimately heal from her loss.  In this presentation, Dr. Moss and others will share how creative self-expression is a powerful means of emotional transformation in the journey of self-discovery and healing.


Dr. Colleen Moss is an Educational Psychologist and artist. and has an M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, with a special emphasis on art therapy with special populations.  She also has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Dr. Moss has had nearly a decade of experience working as a child and adolescent therapist, and has been a lecturer in the psychology department at California State University San Marcos since 1997.  She has recently retired from this position. Dr. Moss collaborates with the CSU Institute for Palliative Care at California State University San Marcos to train professionals to use healing arts in their practice with clients. She also conducts healing arts retreats aimed to help participants explore difficult topics such as grief, loss, transition, family trauma, etc.

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John and Jude Trang

Mental Health Advocates


Arts Building, Room 111

John and Jude will share more details of their story including what they could have done differently when raising their children that might have protected them from becoming addicted to alcohol and other drugs. They will also discuss how keeping a daily journal helped them process their individual and mutual grief and made sharing about their son’s life and death more bearable while it also eased the stress on their relationship. They will answer questions from attendees and read excerpts from their new book, Opiate Nation.


Jude DiMeglio Trang is a landscape designer, creating gardens for clients in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. She has been writing personal journals, lyrics and music for decades and most recently, maintaining a blog addressing topics related to addiction. After losing their son to a heroin overdose, she and her husband John kept a daily journal for a year as a way to hold on to their son and their sanity and as an enduring memorial to document their grief. The decision to write a memoir based on their journal and their son’s life grew from her desire to help reduce the overwhelming number of lives lost to drug addiction in the 21st century.

John M. Trang, Ph.D., is a pharmaceutical scientist. During his tenure in academe, he served as professor and department chairman, published numerous research articles, chapters, and abstracts. He also provided independent research and consulting services to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide.

Paul Armstrong

San Diego County Social Service Director, The Salvation Army



Main Ballroom

There is power in our individual story.  The purpose of this session is to provide a useful tool to enable each of us to reflect on our personal journey.  This is a creative way of using a road trip to map our journey to see how far we have come and where we hope to go.  


Paul Armstrong is a native of Albuquerque New Mexico.  He served for over twenty years in the United States Navy where he served as Supply Corps Officer and a Chaplain.  He currently works with The Salvation Army serving as San Diego County Social Service Director.  He oversees The Salvation Army’s work in homelessness, senior nutrition and social services at seven community centers.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New Mexico.  He has earned his Masters in Business Administration from Brenau University, Masters of Divinity from Bethel Seminary and his Masters in Social Work from University of Southern California.

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