A vital source of relational therapy within the community.

9th Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference

The 9th Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference (sponsered in part by MAMFT) will be October 6, 2017. The mission of the Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference is to make quality continuing education available to behavioral health professionals about the particular practice issues involved in working with rural people and communities.The conference is coordinated by the Minnesota Psychological Association, which will award up to 7.5 continuing education hours as an APA-approved CE sponsor.

Registration is now open for the conference! Go here for more information: http://www.mnpsych.org/rural-conference You’ll see this year’s terrific program, as well as partners, sponsors, sites, and CE credit information, and you can register online.

THEME — Critical issues in Rural Practice:  Rural practitioners continually adapt their work to the needs of rural people and communities, as well as to new practice models and research.  This conference will help you work with rural care’s ethical and practice demands.  This program is designed for psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and other behavioral health professionals with an interest in rural practice and is at the intermediate to advanced level.

SITES –This conference will originate at the University of Minnesota-Morris, with presenters webcasting in and options to attend at group webcast sites or by individual webcast.  (See right column after Conference Partners.) The first two presenters will present again at the end of the conference to facilitate participation by people in Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii time zones.  However, individual webcast participants are welcome to follow any of the schedule options they wish.  On the registration page, click on the site you want, whether individual webcast to your computer, or one of the group webcast sites where you can network with local colleagues as you participate in the conference.

For more information, please contact Conference Coordinator Kay Slama at 320-905-6051 or slama@morris.umn.edu.

Conference Schedule:

Note the usual conference time for your zone: 9am-6:00pm EDT, 8:00 am-5:00pm CDT, 7am-4:00pm MDT, 8:30am-5:30pm PDT, 7:30am-4:30pm AKDT, 7:30am-4:30pm HST.  MST follows the same schedule as PDT, 8:30am-5:30pm MST.  Lunch can be obtained during any of the breaks.  Individual webcast participants may follow any presentation times desired.

Click here for the detailed conference schedule in each time zone.


The Duty to Protect: Special Considerations for the Rural Practitioner
James L. Werth, Jr., PhD, ABPP, Behavioral Health and Wellness Services Director, Stone Mountain Health Services, Pennington Gap, VA.

Duty to protect situations are among the most stressful clinical events. These already difficult scenarios are made even more difficult when the professional/trainee is laboring under misunderstandings about her or his ethical and legal obligations and when the clinician/trainee does not know how to respond when a potential duty arises. This presentation is designed to help determine when the duty to protect may arise and how to respond. Although the underlying issues and ethical/legal considerations are the same regardless of whether the practitioner is in an urban, suburban, rural, or frontier area, practicing in a rural/frontier location can have implications for meeting the ethical/legal requirements. Actual examples and practical responses will be provided throughout the presentation.

Click here for more information.

Managing High Risk Rural Populations with Suicidal Ideation and Controlling Related Malpractice Risk
Julie Rickard, PhD, Director for Provider/Staff Relations and Integrated Behavioral Services at Confluence Health in Wenatchee, WA.

Suicide is a preventable cause of death, and training for mental health clinicians in suicide assessment and treatment is proving invaluable.  Rural populations are at highest risk for completed suicides and often present to the wrong door for help.  This training works to improve clinicians’ ability to manage these very difficult patients and to instill hope.  The assessment and treatment of these rural patients is improved through skill building and the art of a skilled interview.  Clinicians will gain a sense of mastery over risk stratification to assist with setting up next steps.  When things go wrong with management of these patients, it can ruin a career.  Part of the focus will be on protecting clinicians from practice errors that lead to legal issues when managing the highest risk rural patient by reviewing malpractice issues.  Lastly, statistics will highlight areas of the country and populations at greater risk.

Click here for more information.

The Rise of Opioid Abuse in Rural Communities and Promising Practices
Jennifer D. Lenardson, MHS, Research Associate, MHS in Health Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD & John A. Gale, MS, Research Associate MS in Health Policy and Management, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

Opioid abuse is the fastest growing substance abuse problem in the nation and the primary cause of unintentional drug overdose deaths. Multiple studies document higher non-medical pain reliever use among rural populations, particularly youth, pregnant women, women experiencing partner violence, and persons with co-occurring disorders. Heroin use has also grown in recent years, particularly among those reporting prior use of pain relievers. This workshop will present findings from one project using both quantitative and qualitative methods. With data from the 2008-13 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, we examined the rural-urban prevalence of non-medical use of pain relievers and heroin and user characteristics. We also conducted interviews with state-level key informants in North Carolina, Indiana, Vermont, and Washington to understand the challenges and promising practices in monitoring opioid prescribing and diversion, developing prevention interventions, and developing an opioid prevention and treatment infrastructure in rural communities.

Click here for more information.

Substance Abuse Screening in Rural Adolescent Populations: Overcoming Barriers and Resource Limitations
Chloe Ackerman, PsyD, post-doctoral resident in clinical psychology with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Family Medicine, Scappoose, OR & Joe Skariah, DO, Medical Director of the OHSU Family Medicine Clinic.

We will present our process of unfolding substance abuse screening in a rural health center.  We will discuss clinician concerns, unique barriers faced by a rural clinic, and provider training on effective and timely office-based interventions.  At the conclusion of the presentation, learners will be able to identify workflow challenges and solutions with implementing CRAFFT screening, begin problem-solving issues unique to rural adolescent substance abuse screening, and become familiar with motivational interviewing as a brief office-based intervention for positive screens.

 Click here for more information.

Poster Session:

  1. Allen, T.  Where are Psychologists in Rural Minnesota? An Examination of Rural Health Clinics and Mental Health Providers.
  2. Cashel, M. L. & Vanderwoude, C.  The Prevalence of Bullying Among GLBTQ Adolescents in Southern Illinois and Recommendations for Intervention.
  3. Davis, S., Getchell, R. F., Dunbar, K., Grace, E., Peterson, M., & Hamilton, E.  Peer-Conflict Resolution: Improving Learning Culture in a Rural Elementary School Setting.
  4. Dunbar, K., Manns, A., Hamilton, E., Hamilton, S., & Knows His Gun, K.  Promoting Social-Emotional Learning of Referred Elementary School Children.
  5. Manns, A., Dunbar, K., Hamilton, E., & Tuning C.  Promoting Social-Emotional Development in Rural Elementary School Students.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the research results in the posters.
  2. Describe the practice implications from the poster research.

Online registration is closed. If you wish to register, please phone Kay Slama, Ph.D., Conference Coordinator, at 320-905-6051, with your credit card information. Note that, although the late registration fee is an additional $20, conference fees remain well below most Continuing Education for 7.5 CEs; fees are now $130 General Registration; $110 Partner Members, and $45 Students.

This activity has been approved for 7 continuing education credits by the NASW Hawai’i Chapter.

Date & Location

Fri October 6

University of Minnesota-Morris

View map!

Ticket Type

Dates Attending