top of page

Opening Panel Discussion

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Losing our Loved Ones: The Opioid Overdose Epidemic and Undiagnosed Bipolar
moderated by: David Palmiter, PHD, ABPP

Speakers: Amber Mansfield, RN, & Sara Schley

Learning Objectives

1. Raise awareness of link between undiagnosed mental illness and pain and addiction

2. Discuss risk and impact of self medicating for those in excruciating pain

3. List risk factors leading to unintentional overdose for those with mental illness

4. Recognize the stigma around addiction and mental health diagnoses.

5. Identify the systemic breakdown in our mental health delivery.


Ambr Pic.jpg

Amber Mansfield, RN

Amber Mansfield is an RN who spent 10 years as a Psychiatric Nurse at the VA. She is the widow of a decorated army veteran with a diagnosis of PTSD and poly substance abuse who lost his life to an unintentional opioid overdose in 2016 leaving two young sons. Amber has worked in the mental health and addiction delivery system with Veterans, and also lived the devastating impact of this at home with her husband and children. As a professional it is her assessment that her husband was undiagnosed bipolar. She is sharing her story now to save lives and end the stigma around addiction and mental health.

Sara Pic.jpg

Sara Schley

Sara Schley is a business consultant, social change entrepreneur, speaker, and author who has led systemic transformation at renowned companies around the world including Nike, Ford and many more. She is a mother, grandmother, community leader, and has been married for twenty-six years. She also has a bipolar II brain on the bipolar spectrum. Sara has kept this mostly secret for four decades. Until now. In her memoir, BrainStorm: From Broken to Blessed on the Bipolar Spectrum, the inspiration for BrainStorm the Film, she tells her riveting story to save lives, end the stigma, and maximize healing. Sara has a BA from Brown University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts.

Palmiter Headshot.jpg

David Palmiter, PHD, ABPP

Dr. David Palmiter is a psychology professor, practicing clinician, magician, speaker, and author. He is board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and is a Fellow of the AmericanPsychological Association, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA), and the American Academy of Clinical Psychology. David operates as an examiner for ABPP and is a past President of PPA. He has authored over three dozen publications, including two books on promoting resilience in youth, completed over 250 presentations, partnered to complete over 300 media projects for audiences around the globe and received numerous awards for his work. David weaves magic into his professional services to promote inspiration, meaning, and joy. He especially enjoys sharing evidence-based strategies for audiences of working professionals who are troubled by their work-life balance.

Presentation Slides

Click below for the presentation slides.

bottom of page