Track Descriptions

The Early Childhood Mental Health track provides cross-system training that supports the utilization of evidence-based practice to give parents the skills to help their children develop into mentally healthy individuals. Parents and teachers who effectively nurture, support and connect with young children, especially those experiencing social or emotional difficulty, can ameliorate future disabling problems. In addition to parent education activities, it is imperative to identify and support families experiencing the effect of maternal depression through screening and referral to effective services.

Adolescent and Transition-Age Youthdisorders among children, youth and young adults are major threats to the health and well being of younger populations, which often carryover into adulthood. This track will focus on the prevention, treatment and recovery support practices that have emerged in a variety of settings, including programs for selected at-risk populations, such as children and youth in the child welfare system; school-based interventions; interventions in primary care settings; and community services designed to address a broad array of mental health and substance use needs of adolescents and transition-aged youth.

The Prevention track promotes the health and safety of individuals and communities. It focuses on reducing the likelihood or delaying the onset of behavioral health problems (i.e. substance abuse, mental illness, suicide and problem gambling). The Prevention track focuses on a public health approach and improving the well being of entire populations by addressing underlying risk factors that increase the likelihood of mental, emotional and behavioral health disorders and of increasing protective factors.

The Collective Impact track, ideal for community coalition members, will provide participants with knowledge, skills and tools to implement the collective impact approach in their communities. The approach of collective impact is the opposite of “isolated impact,” where organizations primarily work alone to solve social problems. Collective impact moves away from this, arguing that organizations should form cross-sector coalitions in order to make meaningful and sustainable progress on social issues.

Youth Empowerment engages young people in creating meaningful community change in order to promote the health and well-being of all individuals. A youth empowerment approach embraces young people as resources who are capable of contributing to their communities. Through the process of contribution, young people gain skills and competencies that foster their own positive development and also promote the helathy development of others. This track will provide participants with an enhanced understanding of youth empowerment and valuable information on how to build and strengthen youth programming.

Cultural Competency is the process of communicating with audiences from diverse geographic, ethnic, racial, cultural, economic, social and linguistic backgrounds. Becoming culturally competent is a dynamic process that requires knowledge and skill development at all service levels, including policy-making, administration and practice. This track will provide participants with a variety of sessions that will help build knowledge and skills in the area of cultural competency.