I’m honored to be presenting one of the keynotes at the International Conference on the Use of the Internet in Mental Health in Montreal tomorrow. I’ll be reviewing the history of mental health online for the past 15 years (although online mental health easily goes back 25 or more years, and if you want to get technical, more than 35). I’ll also be talking a lot about some of the exciting innovations of now, such as the wonderful e-patients movement and how social networking is impacting health care with innovative sites like Patients Like Me.

I think this will be an interesting and informative conference, and I’m looking forward to learning about all the different ways people are using the Internet to help people with their mental health concerns. While I know a lot about this topic, I also know there’s a lot I still don’t know. I see conferences like this as great learning opportunities that help keep me humble about my own limited knowledge.

Sadly, mental health remains a topic completely overlooked when people trot out the big names for a big health conference (but hey, at least they’ll able to continue the magical thinking with the addition of a magician to their lineup!).

I guess it’s all fine and good to talk about health care in America and how to “fix” it. But leaving out mental health representation still shows us how little people — even health care leaders — understand about the complexity of how our health and mental health are directly interwoven and inseparable. Why this is important to talk about in a health conference is because the mental health system in the U.S. is completely different, separate, and often overlooked. So while everyone is so busy “fixing” health care, the mental health system continues to deteriorate and be neglected by leaders.

But hey, what do I know? 😉

See you in Montreal!