Mental Health IS Community Health

Howard Center Launches Spring Community Education Series with a Focus on Mental Health Law

Howard Center announces the return of its annual Spring Community Education Series, beginning with an important session led by Dr. Simha Ravven, Howard Center’s Chief Medical Officer. This first session, scheduled for March 27, will explore the nuances of mental health treatment and the legal framework surrounding it, emphasizing Vermont’s approach to psychiatric care.

Dr. Ravven will utilize a case study to navigate through the complexities of Vermont mental health law, addressing both voluntary and involuntary psychiatric treatment protocols in various settings, the complexities of mandated community treatment, and exploring the limits of voluntary treatment.

The presentation will include discussion about a collective community response that balances individual rights with the safety of a community. The path to recovery is enhanced when a community offers compassionate and respectful care, while recognizing that mental health impacts us all; there is no “us” or “them.”

“I’m always pleased to see the return of the annual Spring Community Education. These presentations offer diverse perspectives and foster a well-informed community, promote dialogue, and enhance understanding about mental health and related topics,” said Bob Bick, Howard Center’s CEO.

Dr. Ravven will also examine the broader impact of unaddressed mental health issues on community health, extending to educational institutions, workplaces, and local businesses.

For the first time in five years, Howard Center will offer an in-person attendance option at, 1 Howard Street, which is on the corner of Howard and Pine Street in Burlington. Attendees are asked to use the north Howard Street entrance.

A virtual livestream option will also be available.

This event is free and open to the public. For more details and to register for the event on March 27, please visit

Registration is free but required for attendance.

About the Speaker

Dr. Simha Ravven is the Chief Medical Officer of the Howard Center, Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, and past President of the Vermont Medical Society.

Dr. Ravven was a studio art major as an undergraduate at Hamilton College and decided to pursue medicine after serving in the United States Peace Corps in Morocco. She graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and completed her residency in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She went on to train in Forensic Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and continues to serve on the faculty there. Dr. Ravven is Board Certified in General Adult and Forensic Psychiatry. Her passion is caring for adults with serious mental illness and contributing to research and policy on the intersection of law and mental health.

Dr. Ravven has received numerous professional honors and recognition, has presented extensively at conferences and symposia, and has published research, chapters, and books.

Learn more and register at