Tuesday, June 18, 2024 - 11:30 am Categories:
Behavioral Health

Registration is now open for the fourth annual North Dakota Health and Human Services Behavioral Health & Children and Family Services Conference scheduled for Sept. 16-19 at the Bismarck Event Center for behavioral health and child welfare professionals. The conference may also be attended via an online livestream. Three preconference sessions will be held Sept. 16-17 with the regular conference schedule commencing at 1 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

The conference provides an opportunity for behavioral health and child welfare professionals across the state to connect, learn, network, engage, share best practices and ultimately equip themselves to continue providing excellent care to North Dakotans. Behavioral health advocates, service providers, professionals who work with children and families and the child welfare system; business and community leaders; faith-based organizations; first responders; law enforcement and tribal representatives are encouraged to attend.

The multi-day conference will center on the theme, “Purpose 2024,” featuring workshops on topics including resiliency, historical trauma, co-occurring disorders, serving New Americans, tobacco use disorder, becoming grief-informed, engaging incarcerated parents and more.

Some keynote speakers include:

  • Carlos Whittaker is bringing hope to humans all over the world as an author, podcaster and global speaker. When Carlos enters a room, he makes people feel seen. His superpower is creating spaces—online and in-person—where people are safe to engage in conversation about the topics that matter most but are often avoided. His motto: don’t stand on issues, walk with people.
  • Judge Everett D. Mitchell was elected to the Dane County Circuit Court, in Wisconsin, as a juvenile court judge and presides over cases involving family re-unification, juvenile delinquency and other civil and criminal proceedings. Judge Mitchell is committed to dismantling what he describes as the child welfare to juvenile delinquency to adult prison pipeline. As a trauma survivor himself, Judge Mitchell approaches each case with an eye bent toward making sure the court system doesn’t contribute to the ongoing traumatic narrative that many children and families experience.
  • Françoise Mathieu, MEd, RP, CCC worked as a front-line mental health provider before becoming a specialist in organizational stress and trauma-exposed work. Over the last 25 years, she has worked with law enforcement, military personnel, health care, child welfare, social services, addiction support, education and other professionals in need of psychological support.

Preconference topics include clinical supervision, professional ethics and the dynamics of mental health in children and adults. The preconference session on mental health is provided through the North Dakota Pediatric Mental Health Care Access grant.

Registration is $200 for the entire conference; $50 for university students, kinship providers, foster and adoptive parents. People can also register at the door. All conference activities are at the Bismarck Event Center, 315 Fifth St., Bismarck, N.D.

To register online or learn more about the conference, visit purpose2024@vfairs.com.

Conference organizers are pursuing continuing education units for various professionals. Details are pending.