Kansas Mental Health Professionals Connect and Learn Through CEI’s Virtual Conference

WSU’s Community Engagement Institute (CEI) recently hosted a 5-day all virtual conference for over 275 mental health providers and stakeholders. Conference support was provided by WSU Conferencing services. The conference included 28 workshops, 40 speakers, and several keynotes from nationally recognized speakers. The “Kansans Together: Blowin’ in the Wind” conference theme was representative of the conviction that Kansans have much expertise and can learn from one another; the answers to our challenges aren’t just blowin’ in the wind.

Conference sessions focused on mental health workforce development and service delivery in areas of cultural competency, trauma informed care, and implementing the practice of inclusion of youth and families to guide their mental health care. Collectively, these principles are known as a System of Care and recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as emerging best practices to improving mental health care.

As part of the conference, the Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Laura Howard, announced Kansas Governor Laura Kelley had approved and signed a Proclamation stating the System of Care Core Principles should be recognized and adopted by all Kansas mental health care providers. Especially during these challenging times, mental health providers are supporting Kansans and continue to implement new and innovative ways to support youth and families.