Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 1, 2012
Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313 or
Behavioral Health Conference May 21-23
Success, Hopes and Dreams for the Future
Lincoln—Nebraska’s second statewide behavioral health conference will be May 21-23 at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.  The theme is “Success, Hopes and Dreams for the Future.”
“The conference focuses on the consumer movement in behavioral health and will provide information on the many ways people with behavioral health problems can support and maintain their recovery,” said Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.  “The goal of the conference is to celebrate recovery from behavioral health disorders.”
Behavioral health includes mental health, substance abuse and problem gambling issues.
The focus of the conference is wellness and recovery for individuals with behavioral health needs. 
A keynote speaker is Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., who is a consultant specializing in recovery and the empowerment of people diagnosed with mental illness.  Dr. Deegan is an activist in the disability rights movement and has lived her own journey of recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager.  She is an adjunct professor at Dartmouth College School of Medicine and at Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  Dr. Deegan is also a principle investigator with the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare.
Another keynote speaker will be Paolo del Vecchio, acting director of the Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  He has served as CMHS associate director for consumer affairs and in this capacity managed SAMHSA's precedent-setting activities addressing consumer participation and education, issues of discrimination and prejudice, consumer rights, wellness, recovery, trauma, access to treatment, and other issues affecting persons with mental health conditions.
“I think this conference can help bring empowerment to behavioral health consumers, so that they will feel a sense of ownership in their own recoveries,” Adams said.  
In addition to consumers, vendors and providers of behavioral health services will be attendees.  CEUs have been approved.  For a complete agenda and to register, go to