Opening Keynote
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote: Sean Astin - Live Streamed / Recorded

The 2023 Conference on Mental Health will feature keynote speaker Sean Astin. Astin is a vocal advocate for mental health awareness, bi-polar disorder, civic engagement, and other issues. He is an energetic and passionate speaker who promotes a culture of volunteerism to all audiences. Sean Astin is an American film actor, director, voice artist and producer, best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, and Bob Newby in Netflix’s hit series, Stranger Things 2. He is also the author of the New York Times best-selling There and Back Again, a memoir – co-written with Joe Layden – of his film career with emphasis on his experiences with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Morning Concurrent Sessions 1
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults - Live Streamed / Recorded

Nearly one in four adults aged 65+ experience social isolation, and over two in five adults aged 60+ experience loneliness. Given social isolation and loneliness are important risk factors for both mental and physical health, presenters will discuss current challenges and paths to influence positive change for older adults. Rural and urban geographic contexts each contain a mix of adverse and beneficial factors that may influence social isolation and loneliness, highlighting the importance of tailoring solutions to the specific needs and strengths of respective communities. This presentation will cover current data specific to rural Utah older adults and evidence-based practices to mitigate social isolation and serve older adults. Additionally, attendees will gain tools for assessing and reducing social isolation through learning about philanthropy's role in supporting communities to improve quality of life for older adults.

Plenary Session
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris - Live Streamed / Recorded

During her keynote address, Dr. Burke Harris will share her groundbreaking research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the long-term effects of childhood adversities. She will discuss how ACEs can lead to toxic stress, which can disrupt brain development and increase the risk of chronic diseases later in life. Dr. Burke Harris will also highlight the importance of early intervention and trauma-informed care in mitigating the impact of ACEs. In addition to her research, Dr. Burke Harris is a passionate advocate for children's health and well-being. She has been a vocal proponent of policies and programs that prioritize the needs of children and families, including the creation of a California Health Task Force led by Dr. Burke Harris herself. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

Lunch, Exhibit Fair, & Student Poster Presentations
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 1
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Beyond the Baby Blues: Understanding & Treating Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Disorders - Live Streamed / Recorded

Pregnancy and the period after delivery can be a particularly vulnerable time for women. Many mothers experience immense biological, emotional, and social changes during this major life transition to becoming a mother. In fact, 1 in 7 women are at an increased risk for developing mental health problems, most commonly depression and anxiety, after birth. Postpartum depression and anxiety disorders present women with unexpected, complicated outcomes that can have a long-lasting impact on their most important relationships and can often result in feelings of isolation, confusion, detachment, and hopelessness. The good news is that perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD's) are detectable, treatable, and in some cases, even preventable. As mental health providers, we have a responsibility to learn about and understand the complexities of these unique issues and to know how we can best treat them with our clients.

How to Help Someone with Depression Using Simple Science - In Person ONLY

This presentation educates about how to interact with those suffering from depression using a simple approach that accounts for brain function. It teaches how to identify depressive symptoms in ourselves and others, depathologizes them by explaining their evolutionary function, and provides principles of effective interactions. It emphasizes the basic therapeutic principle of "meet them where they're at" in a scientific sense, using observable brain and body cues to guide friends, family members, and therapists to aid in long-term care of those with depression. It also discusses the difference between short-term coping and long-term treatment to help caregivers provide educated interventions depending on context.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 2
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

The Intersection of Depression and Trauma - Live Streamed / Recorded

The Intersection of Depression and Trauma: Using the Poly-vagal Theory to Understand and treat Clients who are Disowned, Discounted and Down.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 3
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Operationalize the Power of a "Caring Adult" to Solve the Youth Mental Health Crisis - Live Streamed / Recorded

According to the Utah SHARP survey, the number of kids and teens struggling with mental health has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Everyday Strong is dedicated to teaching parents and educators how safety, connection and confidence can be used to strengthen relationships with kids. Our program is unique because it is easy to learn in a short amount of time and apply to everyday life. Through these three deeply researched tools, adults can strengthen their relationship with kids/teens and create a safe space for them. Attendees will be able to understand how to take youth from surviving to thriving. They will learn how safety, connection, and confidence give youth a space to grow and learn. Kids need adults' help to become resilient, and with the proper tools, they can create a safe space for them. Through a simple, research-based framework, attendees will learn how to apply this tool to everyday situations.