Prairie State College to Host 9th Annual Mental Health Conference (Post-COVID Realities in Mental Health)

May 15, 2023


CHICAGO HEIGHTS, IL - Prairie State College (PSC) will host its 9th Annual Mental Health Conference featuring keynote speaker David T. Jones, Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the State of Illinois, Office of Governor JB Pritzker. The conference will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium on the main PSC campus at 202 S. Halsted in Chicago Heights.

The topic this year, Post-COVID Realities in Mental Health, will explore various ways COVID-19 has had an impact on mental health. The guest speaker and presenters will share strategies and discuss ways to promote mental wellness in a post-pandemic world. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a keynote presenter and choose from various breakout sessions listed below. 

Breakout Sessions: 

Coasting on Fumes: Compassion Fatigue in the Post-COVID Landscape
Presented by: Ashley Kuhl Piwowaski, PsyD, Executive Director of Outpatient Services Hartgrove Behavioral Health System

Centering Racial Trauma in Mental Health and Ways to Support Healing
Presented by: Krista Woods, M.S.W., LCSW, Clinical Director Integrity Clinical Consulting and Training LLC

The Trauma of Domestic Violence
Presented by: Christine Alcorn Catena, MA, CDVP CPAIP, Director of Support Services, Crisis Center for South Suburbia

Social Media Impact on Children and Teen’s Mental Health
Presented by: Dr. Ruby E. Powell, Executive Director, Dr. Ruby E. Powell and Associates LLC. Founder and CEO, Oasis Empowerment Zone, Inc.

The Promise of Public Education: Why Mental Health Must Be a Priority for Adults and Youth in Schools
Presented by: Dr. Genevra Walters, Superintendent of Schools, Kankakee School District 111

Bridging The Gap to Care for Substance Use Patients Within the Hospital Setting
Presented by: Victoria Zappavigna, LCSW, Manager of Clinical Operations, Chemical Dependency Advocate Christ Medical Center

Registration Information: 
Cost: $79 ($89 including CEU/PD)
Deadline: May 17, 2023

Registration Link: 9th Annual Mental Health Conference

The conference is open to all, especially those working in healthcare, education, counseling, social services, and emergency services. For more information, please email or call (708) 709-2957.

Keynote Speaker David T. Jones Bio

David T. Jones is the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the State of Illinois, Office of Governor JB Pritzker. Jones serves as the Chief Behavioral Health Officer focusing on further transforming how Illinois supports mental, emotional, and overall behavioral health wellness for all Illinoisians. He has produced measurable results to improve the lives of children, adults, and families with behavioral health needs. Jones possesses a vast in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulations, inclusive of Medicaid managed care and Mental Health Rehabilitation Standards. David has managed an urban and suburban public behavioral health system that achieved outcomes inclusive of increasing access to care and expanding the range of services available to people with behavioral health care needs.