Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 12, 2011

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or
Alan Green, Mental Health Association of Nebraska, (402) 441-4371 or

Behavioral Health Conference Later This Month

Success, Hopes and Dreams for the Future

Lincoln—Nebraska’s first statewide behavioral health conference will be May 25-26 at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. The theme is “Success, Hopes and Dreams for the Future.”

“This conference is important because it provides 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. “I hope it will empower consumers to seek the recovery support that they need.”

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. Topics include recovery support services, the science of addiction, outreach to suicide survivors, pathological gambling, health care reform, peer support, the Network of Care web resource, healing from trauma, Wellness Recovery Action Plans, traumatic brain injuries, eating disorders, the warning signs of a suicidal crisis, and stress management.

“If you receive services and want to know more, or are a provider interested in finding new solutions, or a policymaker or citizen wanting to learn about behavioral health and the system of care, this conference is for you,” said Alan Green, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Nebraska, which is sponsoring the conference.

The keynote speaker is Dr. H. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a noted author and educator in substance abuse treatment, psychopharmacology and medical issues.

Other speakers include:

  • Dr. Mary Pipher, a Lincoln therapist and best-selling author. Her special area of interest is how American culture influences the mental health of its people. She travels the world, sharing her ideas with many audiences. Her stories of hope and resilience inspire people to work together to build a better community.

  • Amy Anderson, program director of Lighted Path Recovery Services. A trained and licensed drug and alcohol counselor, she will share her experience as a person in recovery from drug addiction so that others can find hope from her traumatic history to her celebration of recovery.

  • Chris Hansen, an international leader in peer support and advocacy, has been actively involved in peer support and advocacy initiatives for the last ten years in New Zealand. She is a leader in mental health sector planning and politics from a service user perspective.

“The energy of recovery fuels the hope for a better tomorrow,” Adams said. “We want the conference to bring hope to the community through education on recovery.”

Over 300 people have registered, but there is room for more. For a complete agenda and to register, go to