AFN’s 7th Annual Mental Health Expo on May 5, 2017, focused on the theme of Journeys through Mental Health - Awareness, Acceptance, Advocacy. 

“Awareness: My loved one has a disorder/illness and I will get educated and understand it to eliminate isolation and fear. Acceptance: This is the reality in my life and I will support the dreams of my loved one. Advocacy: I will work to change attitudes of mental illness, change policy to help my loved one be as productive as possible and to stomp out STIGMA.” Ruth Fox AFN CEO












As family members, everyone at AFN understands the awareness, acceptance, and advocacy journey needed by a parent to approach the challenges that can come with raising a child with mental health or behavior concerns. In our journey to support families, we work to advocate for and help parents to advocate for their children and for their own needs in order to move their families forward.


Kenote speaker Darrin L. Harris, CEO of Ekhaya 


Youth Project, Inc., spoke on “Mental Illnesses Impact on the Family”, And of his own journey with his mental health.



48 providers from Allegheny County supplied attending families with resources and one-on-one sharing of information in order to enable families to explore services their child may need.


In the afternoon, Laurie Mulvey, MSW, Director, Service Demonstrations University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development shared her interactive presentation on “Family Voice.”  Much to Ms. Mulvey’s surprise she was awarded the 2017 Patricia L. Valentine Champion Award for going above and beyond to ensure family voice and working tirelessly on behalf of families in Allegheny County raising children with mental health or behavior concerns. Congratulations to Ms. Mulvey!


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And for some toe-tapping, the Funky Fly Project, a Pittsburgh based Funk& Jazz collective of four under 18 years of age musicians that blend classic jazz with contemporary funk. 

The recognition of the AFN Support Groups and raffles brought a close to this year’s Expo. A special thanks to the Department of Human Services of Allegheny County, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and the Heinz Endowments for supporting AFN with the funds to serve the families.