Advances with mental health treatment have come a long way. Yet, a recent Pew Research Center study concluded that only 19 percent of Americans believe the nation is making progress in tackling mental health diseases. Brigham Young University’s Annual Social Work Conference strives to bridge the gap between those affected by mental health issues and treatments for them. It approaches its tenth year next month and centers on trauma and mental health treatment. The one-day conference on November 6, 2015 includes speakers who are therapists, psychologists and clinicians. Conference organizers say that the objectives for the annual Conference are to help people
1) Understand the challenges faced by trauma victims, both short term and long term
2) Improve understanding of how to treat and work with those who are struggling with negative side effects of traumatic experiences
3) Recognize the long term effects of trauma and how it impacts the individual’s development, including childhood trauma
4) Create an awareness of trauma related issues within the community and how to protect vulnerable children and families
5) Understand the effect of trauma on the family unit and interpersonal relationships.
Director of the School of Social Work, Gordon Limb, says the goal of the Conference is to “get people more information, knowledge, and skills in how to effectively treat trauma in their work.”
Trauma is our emotional response to a disturbing or distressing event.
–Gordon Limb, Director, School of Social Work
The impetus for the conference focus came through expert opinion and strong recommendations. “As we have talked with supervisors of student internships and members of the Social Work Advisory Council, among others, the issue of trauma came up as number one over and over again,” Limb says.
Limb says that most mental health agencies in which students work in are dealing with trauma-related issues. All students participating in the graduate program are required to participate in two internships.
This year, in addition to the usual format of plenary speakers and break-out sessions, the conference also offers a self-care element. “Given that the nature of trauma is a very sensitive topic, participants have the option of entertainment or self-care during lunch,” Limb explains.
Conference organizers say the purpose “is to not only shed light on this topic, but to provide an understanding of how to care for, and meet the needs of those who deal with trauma.” Sponsors for the Conference include the School of Social Work, The Marjorie Pay Hinckley Endowed Chair in Social Work and the Social Sciences and the BYU College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.
The event is free to the public. Visit swevents.byu.edu to get more information or to register. Guests may register at the Varsity Theater in the Wilkinson Center the morning of, if capacity has not yet been reached.
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
BYU Wilkinson Center