Athens Mental Health Conference
sponsored by Samaritan Counseling
September 28, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Athens First Baptist
Join Samaritan Center for Counseling and Wellness for our inaugural Mental Health Conference on Friday, September 28, 2018 at Athens First Baptist Church! We’re inviting community members and professionals concerned with access to mental health services in our region to Join the Conversation and discuss topics associated with mental health, hear from subject matter experts during round table and CE sessions, and network with one another.
Keynote Speaker Emily Nicholos, Associate Vice President for Community Impact and Innovation at United Way of Northeast Georgia, will present data on local mental health access and lay the groundwork for round table discussions with subject matter experts over lunch. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about disparities in mental health care access, then brainstorm solutions for addressing those barriers and building a stronger community together.
Access to quality mental health and substance abuse services was cited as one of the top priorities in Northeast Georgia in a 2015 community health needs assessment conducted by St. Mary’s Hospital, Community Connection and Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. The assessment also found that the region suffers from a “severe lack of mental health providers.” Further, recent data from the Athens Wellbeing Project show 36% of Athens families have one or more member struggling with mental illness, and 48% of Athens families report cost as a significant barrier to accessing mental health care.
For the inaugural conference, we’re offering two registration tracks: Community Registration ($35) and Professional Registration ($100). The Community track is for local community builders–government officials, nonprofit leaders, educators, clergy and faith leaders, healthcare practitioners, and citizens who want to learn more about mental health disparities and help brainstorm solutions to broadening access in our community. The Professional track is for mental health practitioners–professional counselors, master/clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists. We’re also offering table sponsorship opportunities for organizations interested in sending a group of eight professional attendees and general sponsorship opportunities for businesses, organizations, and individuals invested in mental health access in Athens.
During the conference, Community and Professional track attendees will hear from keynote speaker Emily Nicholos, then participate in roundtable discussions over lunch facilitated by a subject matter expert at each table. This concludes programming for Community track attendees. After lunch, Professional track attendees will also attend a 3 Hour Ethics CE Workshop led by Dr. Jennifer Gonyea, PhD, LMFT, and approved by GAMFT.
To close out the day, all attendees are invited to meet at Creature Comforts in Downtown Athens for a networking happy hour.
9:00-9:30am: Check-In, Coffee
10:00-10:45am: Keynote Address, Emily Nicholos
11:00am-12:30pm: Lunch & Round Table Conversations
12:30-1:00pm: Community Member Wrap-Up/Break
1:00-4:00pm: CE Workshop, Dr. Jennifer Gonyea
4:30-6:30pm: Networking Happy Hour, Creature Comforts