Mental Health Conference Series

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Join us as we travel 88 mph through time...

The way we receive services and talk about mental health has changed and evolved throughout the years. So how can we learn from the past, apply it in the present, and prepare for the future when it comes to mental health language and treatment?

NAMI Wood County's annual Mental Health Conference Series will explore the "Past, Present, and Future of Mental Health," with presenters from local mental health providers, university faculty, and more! This event is open to both mental health professionals and community members who wish to learn more about this topic. Pending continuing education credits will be available for licensed counselors, social workers, and marriage & family therapists in the state of Ohio.

Attendees have the option to join us in-person in Perrysburg at BGSU Levis Commons or virtually on Zoom. Cost for attendance is $35 for in-person and $20 for virtual. In-person attendees will also receive a light breakfast and lunch provided by our generous sponsors.

There will also be resource tables available to visit during breaks, and NAMI Wood County will be selling t-shirts throughout the day (prices vary).


Conference Sessions

Keynote Address: Bill Emahiser, the Director of Public Relations of Unison Health, will give a presentation covering an overview of mental health’s change throughout the last 30 years, and how influences in popular culture, legislation, and current events has shifted how mental health is perceived in the public eye. He will discuss how clinicians can learn from past policies and practices. Bill will look at how various aspects of the Behavioral Health Continuum of Care has changed, including how crisis situations are handled, the impact of telehealth in recent years, and others.

Generational Changes: Ana Brown, Deputy Chief of Diversity, Belonging, and Multicultural Affairs with Bowling Green State University, will discuss how culture can impact how we talk about mental health. She will discuss how the concept of recovery has shifted, and how culture can shape the way we view individuals who are receiving mental health treatment. She will also discuss how employers can foster better conversations on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Ana will also discuss how different generations view mental health as well as how future clinicians can impact conversations surrounding inclusion.

Language Matters: Jessica Hartman, Executive Director of NAMI Wood County, will discuss person-first language when it comes to discussing mental health and suicidality. She will explain why it is important to use person-first language in mental health as individuals do for physical health conditions, and how this shift in language has changed over the last two decades. Jessica will also describe how individuals discuss these conversations around children can have an impact on their perception on mental health as they grow up.

Impact on Popular Culture: Montana Miller, Associate Professor in the Department of Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University, will go into greater detail on how popular culture can have a role in bringing awareness to mental health issues. Montana will discuss how the media describes and reports mental health and mental illness to the public, and the impact celebrities’ stories have on individuals of all ages.

NeuroBioFeedback in Wood County: Laura Fullenkamp Director of Criminal Justice and Compliance with the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board, will discuss the county’s new initiative in neurobiofeedback, a method of gaining information by monitoring physical body conditions to help promote control over normally involuntary bodily processes through conditioning. Laura will discuss how clinicians can utilize this in the future for their practices, and what the mental health board’s role will be in implementing this in treatment services.

Changes in the Faith Community: Brad Seeger, Youth and Family Pastor with Celina First Church of God, will discuss the importance of incorporating spirituality in mental health recovery. He will discuss how the understanding of mental health and mental illness has continued to increase among faith communities, and through this education, religious leaders have more willingness to help members of their congregation. Brad will also explain how clergy have a role in helping individuals who are living with a mental health condition and how to address stigmatic language and actions within the religious community. Lastly, he will share helpful resources and information on how both individuals and clinicians can help their clients utilize spirituality in their treatment and recovery.

Workplace Wellness: NAMI Wood County staff, Amanda Like and Courtney Rice, will discuss the importance of implementing mental wellness into the workplace. They will talk about how burnout and compassion fatigue can impact productivity, and how turnover in the past has caused issues of consistency among clinicians’ practices. They will then discuss new initiatives, such as StigmaFree Company, and how employers can incorporate mental wellness into their workplace.