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.

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 the utmost importance for how an individual engages with the world. This presentation focuses on how the first two years of life are vital for brain development, and how a lack of healthy, nurturing relationship with a primary caregiver impacts brain development throughout the life span. These struggles with brain development, for most people, can be resolved through evidence based treatments and loving, nurturing relationships, and new neurological pathways can be created. Relational trauma can only be healed through relationship.

Addressing Teen Dating Violence - In Person ONLY

Addressing Teen Dating Violence Through an Innovative Lens: Community-Based Participatory Research Interventions and Primary Care Provider Training Teen dating violence (TDV) is a pervasive form of interpersonal aggression with rates of self-reported TDV victimization ranging from 37-41% and perpetration rates from 29-35% (Ybarra, Epelage, Langinrichsen-Rohling, Korchmaros, Boyd, & Basile, 2013). Additionally, TDV is associated with negative socioemotional outcomes for both victims and perpetrators (Glew, Fan, Katon, & Rivera, 2008; Hickman, Jaycox, & Aronoff, 2004). While research and advocacy efforts have resulted in increase support and research for TDV prevention programing, there continues to be a need for effective and sustainable interventions. Research that has evaluated the effectiveness of dating violence prevention programs has shown mixed results (Hickman, Jaycox, & Aronoff, 2004). This presentation will provide an overview of TDV and current prevention programs and programmatic elements. The presenter will then 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 pediatric primary care providers on TDV and associated topics to increase their ability to provide accurate, responsive, and appropriate prevention and intervention care to patients.

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.

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

The 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 the role of self-leadership in prevention efforts and how cultivating self-awareness, empathy, and emotional regulation can contribute to building healthier relationships and communities. Whether you're a mental health professional, educator, or community leader, this presentation offers valuable insights that can transform the way we approach and address interpersonal violence.

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

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

This presentation will be an intersection of Interpersonal Violence with a focus on religious trauma syndrome. This form of trauma can lead to depression which may lead to suicide. Common types of interpersonal violence are: Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Bullying, and Elder Abuse Religious Trauma Syndrome can be another form of interpersonal violence. This form of violence is so subtle it is often missed, there isn't always a consciousness about it. Just like domestic violence or child abuse it is hard to leave the person or entity that has also been there for you. Let's start by understanding what RTS is. While not officially recognized in the DSM-5, RTS has been identified by many psychologists and psychotherapists as a group of symptoms experienced by individuals who have been a part of an authoritarian, dogmatic religious group or belief system. Recognizing that for many people religious teachings and community are a place to find comfort and peace, for some it does the opposite. Siting examples from my work with the FLDS and Centennial Park Understanding Religious Trauma Syndrome understanding how even though many people will hear the same message and not have any trauma response someone else will have it. Recognizing who those people are and why it might lead them to suicide. Understanding how cognitive Dissonance plays a role in the trauma. Understanding how trauma can occur whether you leave or stay. Understanding what to do if: You have RTS to any degree, a friend or family member has RTS, your client has RTS, understanding RTS and empathizing with those who have experienced it is crucial. By moving away from blaming those who interpret religious teachings negatively, and instead seeking to understand their unique experiences, we can help shed light on this overlooked form of trauma and pave the way towards healing and less suicides.

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

The Role of the Therapeutic Relationship in Treating Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Clinical Setting - Live Streamed / Recorded

The role of the therapeutic relationship in treating childhood sexual abuse in the clinical setting. In order to more deeply understand the experiences of victims, this presentation will overview the cultural, historical, and social understanding of, and attitudes toward, childhood sexual abuse within the last 50 years in the United States. This presentation will give clinical insight to common factors that arise when working with this population and will help to support the development of a trauma-informed framework to be used by those who work with this population. This presentation will shed light on how victims may construct their narrative, how they may perceive treatment, common pitfalls of treatment and how to over come them, as well as how the therapist can best support the healing of the survivor.