UTRGV med school to host annual mental health conference

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine’s Counseling and Wellness Services, in partnership with community partners, will host a two-day Mental Health, Substance Abuse & HIV Prevention Conference, Sept. 22-23, at the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg.

The 2017 conference is an opportunity for medical and mental health providers, community health workers, school personnel, healthcare agencies and community residents to exchange ideas, explore approaches, and enhance their knowledge about how important it is to deliver prevention and treatment services within a cultural, holistic and interdisciplinary framework.

The conference will include efforts being made by the UTRGV School of Medicine to create awareness about substance use, especially heroin addiction, and the HIV/AIDS problems in our community, and will provide information on prevention efforts to educate young adults both on campus and in the community.

The conference also will address the stigma often associated with seeking treatment for mental health disorders and HIV/AIDS

Participants will:

· Identify the need to address the treatment and care of special populations, such as children, adolescents, young adults, women, veterans, and LGBT individuals with mental health disorders, addictions and HIV/AIDS.

· Learn about the epidemic proportions of heroin addiction in the community and nationwide, as well as the treatments and medications available.

· Learn about applying models of integrated care approaches that effectively address prevention as well as behavioral and medical needs of underserved populations, especially those afflicted with co-morbid mental health disorders, substance use and HIV/AIDS.

· Identify areas for the inclusion of community health workers (promotores) in interdisciplinary prevention and treatment teams.

· Learn about the significance of engaging indigenous health- and behavioral-care providers in the implementation of culturally congruent prevention and treatment for underserved populations.

· Learn about the importance of the assessment and inclusion of the cultural beliefs of the patient in their treatment.

· Identify opportunities for self-care that minimize burnout and prevent compassionate fatigue.

The South Coastal Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is accredited by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The South Coastal AHEC designates this educational activity for a maximum of 9 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. South Coastal AHEC designates this educational activity for up to one hour ethic/physician responsibility credit, as required for physicians by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.

For more information, contact UTRGV School of Medicine Counseling and Wellness Services at (956) 296-1909.

If You Go

WHAT: Mental Health, Substance Abuse & HIV Prevention Conference 2017

WHEN: Sept. 22-23, 2017

WHERE: Region One Education Service Center, Edinburg