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Fourth Annual Mental Health Conference at Prairie State College Sept. 28

Fourth Annual Mental Health Conference at Prairie State College Sept. 28 [09/11/2017]

mental health conference 2017

Prairie State College (PSC) is hosting the Fourth Annual Mental Health Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday Sept. 28, in the Conference Center of the PSC main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights.

For the fourth year in a row, Illinois Senator Michael E. Hastings of the 19th Legislative District will greet participants. As a strong supporter of mental health services, Hastings is passionate about this topic. In 2015, he was recognized as a “local champion of mental health” by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and Mental Health America of Illinois. Hastings will discuss how mental health issues are shaping up in the state of Illinois.

This year’s keynote presenters are Yaroslaba Garcia, president of the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition and clinical director at Abuse Counseling and Treatment; and Marian Hatcher, senior project manager for the Office of Public Policy and human trafficking coordinator with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Garcia’s topic is “Mental Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims.” Hatcher will address “Overcoming the Systemic Violence Imbedded in Sexual Exploitation.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to select from a number of breakout sessions. Topics include “Assessing Black Male Trauma,” presented by Dr. Angela Jackson, president of Culturally Competent Consulting; “Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorder in Elderly Populations,” presented by Dr. Hope Sanchez, a licensed clinical psychologist with Home Psych Services; “Risk Strategies to Deter Workplace Violence,” presented by Carter Larry and Pauline Jakubiec, risk management consultants with Horton Group; “Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) Questionnaire and its Practical Application,” presented by Brianne Hetman, director of community programs with the South Suburban Family Shelter; “Trauma Care and Informed Treatment,” presented by Rachel Hayslette, housing administrator for Sertoma Centre, Inc.; and “Death by Papercuts: Racism, Mental Health and Healing,” presented by Krista Woods, president of Integrity Clinical Consulting and Training; “More than Sad,” presented by Cara Levinson, a member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; and “Let’s Talk Dismantling Uncomfortable Conversations Surrounding Depression,” presented by Mary Garrison, professor of social work at Millikin University. 

The Mental Health Conference at PSC was established in 2014, and is intended to increase awareness of the complexities of mental illness and ways to reduce the stigmas associated with it. Attendees can hear from experts in the mental health field as well as those who have been personally impacted by mental disorders, as well as attend the exhibitor fair throughout the day.

A panel discussion, “Population Specific Counseling,” will feature mental health professionals sharing their best practices for counseling specific target populations. Panelists include Itedal Shalobi of Arab American Family Services; Rocina Torres, bilingual counselor with Bloom Township; Dr. Tom Allen of Blue Cross Blue Shield; and Dr. Angela Jackson, president of Culturally Competent Consulting.

“Mental health awareness is an important topic for the PSC community, and we are proud to continue offering this conference each year,” said PSC President Dr. Terri L. Winfree.  “Many thanks to all the conference organizers, sponsors and presenters who are helping keep these issues in the forefront.”

The fee to attend is $49, which includes a continental breakfast, exhibitor fair, and a networking lunch. For an additional $20, CEU credits are available for social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical professional counselors, nursing home administrators, nurses and speech pathologists, EMTs and Illinois certified domestic violence professionals. Teachers also can earn professional development credits.

Conference partners include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Catholic Charities, Grand Prairie Services, Hartgrove Behavioral Health System, NAMI South Suburbs of Chicago, and Sertoma Centre, Inc. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Julie DeLong at (708) 709-7919 or jdelong@prairiestate.edu.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit prairiestate.edu/mentalhealthconference.