Online Rural Conference Brings CEs to Rural Behavioral Health Professionals

“Critical Issues in Rural Practice” was the subject of the 8th Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference on Friday, October 21.  The conference was webcast to individuals and group webcast sites across the United States.  Minnesota sites were at Mankato, Marshall, UM-Morris, St. Cloud, and Willmar.

The conference was very well received by participants, with comments such as:  “This has been an absolutely wonderful day/experience.”  “The presentations were excellent and very relevant to our practice.”  A group webcast coordinator said, “Thanks again for a great conference, and we look forward to hosting again next year!”

The mission of the Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference is to “Make quality continuing education accessible locally and affordably to behavioral health providers and researchers about the practice issues involved in working with rural people and communities.”  The conference program is designed for psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and other behavioral health professionals, students, and professors with an interest in rural practice.  Conference partners include state and national behavioral health organizations; see

The 2016 conference’s presenters are nationally known in their fields.  They included keynoter James Werth, Ph.D., on rural considerations in the duty to protect clients; Julie Rickard, Ph.D., on managing rural suicide risk; Jennifer Lenardson, MHS, & John Gale, MS, on rural opioid abuse; and Chloe Ackerman, Psy.D., & Joe Skariah, DO, on rural adolescent substance abuse.  The conference also featured exhibits at its breaks and a poster session on cutting-edge rural behavioral health research.

The 9th Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference will be webcast in early October 2017.  If you are interested in hosting a group webcast site for the conference, or if you have a statewide or national organization interested in partnering, contact Conference Coordinator Kay Slama, Ph.D., at [email protected] or 320-905-6051.

Katherine M. Slama, Ph.D., LP, Coordinator of the Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference, has worked in clinical services, teaching, management, consulting, and research.  She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and a masters in administration and serves as Adjunct Assoc. Prof. at St. Mary’s University.  She has published articles in rural behavioral health, among other topics, and is involved in dissemination/evaluation work for the online rural stress workshops at  Slama has served on the Governing Council of the Minnesota Psychological Association and as its Secretary, as well as President of the Minnesota Rural Health Association, Minnesota’s APA Rural Health Coordinator, chair of MPA's Rural and Greater Minnesota Division, and chair of its Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference.  


Webcast site during the conference

How individual webcast viewers might see the conference between presentations.

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