UVU presents a new integrated-topic Mental Health Conference that offers separate dedicated ‘tracks’ focused on:
Addiction, Depression, Interpersonal Violence, and Suicide Prevention.
Participants are welcome to attend any sessions from any track or focus on a single track for the full day.
Attend in-person or virtually.


Sessions by track:

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

Opening Keynote: Thurl Bailey - Live Streamed / Recorded

From the youth to the corporate world, Thurl Bailey inspires others to win whatever the odds or disappointments. Master storyteller and accomplished speaker, he inspires companies and individuals to focus on what matters most; to persevere, build winning teams, encourage peak performance, develop leadership, and discover opportunity in change. Twice Bailey has led teams from far behind to win national championships. His most recognized title was the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack team which beat the famed University of Houston (Phi-Slamma-Jamma) Cougars, featuring Hakeem Olajuwon & Clyde Drexler. That nation championship game was voted top 5 finishes of all time of any sporting event.

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

Healing Relational Trauma - Live Streamed / Recorded

Since the time of Erik Erikson, it has been clear that relationships within the first two years of life are of critical importance for how an individual engages with the world. This presentation focuses on how a lack of a healthy, nurturing relationship with a primary caregiver impacts brain development throughou the life span. These struggles with brain development can often be resolved through evidence-based treatments and loving, nurturing relationships.

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

Many adults experience social isolation and loneliness, which are important components of both mental and physical health. Presenters will discuss current challenges and solutions tailored to specific needs and strengths of a given community. This presentation will cover current data specific to older adults in rural Utah and evidence-based practices to mitigate social isolation. Additionally, attendees will gain tools for assessing and reducing social isolation through learning about philanthropy's role in supporting communities to improve the quality of life for older adults.

The Harms and Benefits of Pornography: An Intellectual Humility Perspective - Live Streamed / Recorded

This session will focus on how individual perceptions of the harms or benefits of pornography use vary widely. While varying groups and individuals continue to offer strong opinions on the impacts of pornography use, the scientific literature exploring pornography and its effects is filled with ambiguity, statistically trivial relationships, and severe methodological issues (i.e. how pornography is measured, defined, and conceptualized).

(ETHICAL CREDIT) Indigenous and Culturally Based Healing Practices - Live Streamed / Recorded

In this presentation, the focus will be on how Indigenous healers in many cultures have long been recognized for their traditional knowledge and practices in managing trauma, mood disorders, and pain. These healers, who often hold deep cultural and spiritual connections to their communities, offer alternative approaches to mental health management that consider the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an individual. While Indigenous healing practices vary across different cultures and regions, healthcare providers can resolve ethical dilemmas and make space for Indigenous healers and practices alongside evidence-based practices.

Addressing Teen Dating Violence - In Person ONLY

This presentation will provide an overview of teen dating violence (TDV), which is a pervasive form of interpersonal aggression. The presenter will focus on current prevention programs and discuss two potential approaches to TDV prevention programming to bridge the gap between research and community implementation. The first approach is utilizing community-based participatory research (CBPR) to create sustainable and effective community/school-based prevention programs. The second approach is providing professional education and training to providers on TDV and associated topics to increase their ability to provide accurate, responsive, and appropriate prevention and intervention care to patients.

Morning Concurrent Sessions 2
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Interpersonal Violence thru the lens of Internal Family Systems (IFS) - Live Streamed / Recorded

This presentation delves into the complexities of interpersonal violence through the innovative lens of Internal Family Systems (IFS). This session will explore how the IFS model, a cutting-edge approach to understanding the human psyche, sheds light on the origins, perpetuation, and potential solutions related to violence in our communities. In this engaging presentation, we will examine the different "parts" within individuals involved in violent behavior and how these parts may be driven by trauma and protective instincts. Through case studies and real-life examples, we will illustrate how IFS can be integrated into therapeutic interventions, fostering healing and self-awareness among individuals affected by interpersonal violence. The speaker will also discuss how cultivating self-awareness, empathy, and emotional regulation can contribute to building healthier relationships and communities.

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

Many women experience immense biological, emotional, and social changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Postpartum depression and anxiety disorders present some women with unexpected, complicated outcomes that can impact their most important relationships and can often result in feelings of isolation, confusion, detachment, and hopelessness. Fortunately, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) 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 to know how we can best treat our clients.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Tools to Build Positive Childhood Experiences - Live Streamed / Recorded

This session focuses on both adverse and positive childhood experiences. Through exploring various works and theories relating to these topics, we can learn how to help individuals seek stability and resiliency.

Grief Literacy - Live Streamed / Recorded

Grief literacy is a goal within the larger Compassionate Community movement. In addition to formal care offered by grief counselors, mental health clinicians, and palliative and hospice care professionals, the Grief Literacy Movement seeks to equip all citizens to support one another in times of loss, suffering, and bereavement. In this session, we will provide a framework for creating and sustaining compassionate communities that enhance supportive care and reduce suicide risk.

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

This presentation discusses how to identify depressive symptoms, the evolutionary function of some of these symptoms, and principles of effective interactions. We will discuss the difference between short-term coping and long-term treatment. Finally, we will learn about observable brain and body cues to guide friends, family members, and therapists to aid in the long-term care of those with depression.

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

Plenary Session
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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

During her plenary address, Dr. Burke Harris will share her groundbreaking research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the long-term effects of childhood adversities. Dr. Burke Harris 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.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 1
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

The Intersection of Interpersonal Violence and Religious Trauma Syndrome - Live Streamed / Recorded

This presentation will be a discussion of religious trauma syndrome (RTS) and how it relates to interpersonal violence, depression, and suicide. By seeking to understand the unique experiences of those who experience RTS, we can help shed light on this overlooked form of trauma and pave the way towards healing and suicide prevention.

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.

The Eating Disorder High: A Comparison of Evidenced-based Modalities and Their Effectiveness - Live Streamed / Recorded

Eating disorders are a complex mental health concern that is often missed by medical practitioners, therapists, and other professionals. We aim to empower clinicians with tools and a greater understanding of the evidenced-based modalities to better help their clients with body image concerns, disordered eating, and full-blown diagnosable eating disorders. In addition, we will compare the effectiveness of the treatment modalities within the different disorders and discuss the complexity of the disease, review the basic medical complications that can arise in this population, and learn how to incorporate a multidisciplinary team (Primary Care Physician, Dietitian, Psychiatrist, etc.) to help improve outcomes.

Understanding Trauma and Suicide Among First Responders: Navigating Challenges and Promoting Resilience - Live Streamed / Recorded

The primary goal of this presentation is to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of trauma and suicide within the first responder community, which has one of the highest rates of suicide of any population. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by these heroic individuals and learn practical strategies to enhance resilience and foster a culture of support.

State of Utah and Federal Updates on Psychedelic Therapeutic Intervention Research and Legal Landscape - In Person ONLY

This presentation will focus on the legal landscape surrounding updates from the state of Utah and the federal government on psychedelic therapeutic intervention research. There will also be a summary of the history and current research, as well as the recommendations to the Utah legislature for MDMA and psychedelic treatment of mental conditions. This presentation will also offer discussion about concurrent therapy treatment and safety protocols in research and practice across the United States and the world.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 2
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Relationship Trust Boundary Model Training—How to Take Your Rights Back in a Safe Way - Live Streamed / Recorded

The Relationship Trust Boundary Model is a simple easy to use model that empowers us to set and hold boundaries in relationships. The model teaches us how to share in a safe way by allowing trust to be our guide. The model educates on the importance of understanding our right to privacy and how to exercise that right in a heathy way. We will learn about trust, boundaries, and the different types of relationships we all have as well as safe levels of sharing for the different types of relationships. Come learn about The Relationships Trust Boundary Model and learn how to take your rights back!

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. Attendees will learn how safety, connection, and confidence give youth a space to grow and learn. Through a simple, research-based framework, attendees will learn how to apply these tools to everyday situations to strengthen their relationship with kids/teens and create a safe space for them.

OPLR Review and Recommendations for Utah’s Behavioral Health Workforce - Live Streamed / Recorded

This presentation will discuss the results of a comprehensive, Utah-specific, behavioral health workforce review. The numbers of academic program graduates, licensees at all DOPL license levels, needs for future program graduates, and the role of higher education in meeting those needs will be presented. In addition, we will learn about the need for ethics training and improved clinical supervision. A discussion about creative ways to expand Utah’s workforce will be offered, along with the recommendation for the establishment of a new Master’s in Addiction Counseling license. Finally, we will discuss recommendations for future public policy initiatives.

Beyond the Alarm – Youth Mental Health Solutions - Live Streamed / Recorded

Youth suicide, anxiety, and depression are on the rise, and parents feel desperate to protect their children physically and emotionally but don’t always know how. Additionally, mental healthcare workers and school counselors are stretched thin and unable to meet the increasing demand alone. As parents learn to care for their child's mental health, they can strengthen their communities by increasing resilience among youth. In this session, participants will learn how parents and practitioners can work together to improve youth mental health and prevent suicide. Access to free online parenting courses that support parents in addressing common mental health issues will also be provided.

CALM – Counseling on Access to Lethal Means - In Person ONLY

CALM: Counseling on Access to Lethal Means is an evidence-based training designed to help providers implement counseling strategies to help clients at risk for suicide and their families reduce access to lethal means, particularly (but not exclusively) firearms. This training includes several components: background on suicide data and lethal means, an introduction to firearms, presentations that model the counseling strategy, and discussion on conducting a counseling session.