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Behavioral Health
Children and families

Two key priorities of North Dakota’s Health and Human Services agency are behavioral health and strong, stable families. These topics are the cornerstone of an upcoming conference hosted by the agency’s Behavioral Health and Children and Families Services divisions on Oct. 11-13. Individuals can attend either in-person at the Holiday Inn Fargo or virtually by an online livestream. 

This is the second annual conference hosted by the divisions that focuses on blending behavioral health with family well-being and resiliency topics. The conference will also provide an opportunity for behavioral health and child-serving professionals and stakeholders to network, learn and share best practices in behavioral health prevention and recovery, and safety, permanency and well-being of children and families.

Some keynote speakers and presentations include:

  • Best-selling author Steve Pembertin will share an inspirational message on how ordinary people can have an extraordinary impact on the world.
  • Jim Ott, a school psychologist with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency and national consultant with aha! Process, will give a presentation on the impact poverty has on individuals and families through the Bridges Out of Poverty, a strength-based model that emphasizes relationships and empowers individuals to better understand and navigate organizations that serve them.   
  • Heidi Rankin, a human services professional with over 20 years of experience in the sexual and domestic violence fields along with crisis counseling, program and policy development and advocacy, will draw upon her experience and provide insight into the connection between domestic violence, substance use and mental health issues.
  • Author and former BMX elite professional racer Tony Hoffman will share his powerful journey of breaking the stigma of addiction in his presentation, “Prison to the Olympics.”   

The conference will also feature various workshops on topics including understanding adolescent substance use from the perspective of brain and behavior, evidence-based therapy for trauma over telehealth, addressing post-pandemic trauma, the convergence of e-sports, gaming and gambling, and more.

Registration is $175 for the three-day conference and $25 for university students and foster and adoptive parents. People can also register at the door. All conference activities are at the Holiday Inn Fargo at 3803 13th Ave. S., in Fargo.

To register online or learn more about the conference, visit inspire2022.vfairs.com. Individuals who register for the event will receive an email with information including a link to the livestream.

The conference offers the opportunity for professionals to receive 14 continuing education units and three additional CEUs specific to ethics.

Individuals encouraged to attend include behavioral health advocates, service providers, professionals who work with children and families and the child welfare system; business and community leaders; leaders of faith-based organizations; first responders; law enforcement professionals; tribal representatives and other interested North Dakotans.

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