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UW Higher Education Mental Health, Substance Abuse Summit in Casper


March 6, 2012 — Substance abuse issues facing college student military veterans will be the focus of the University of Wyoming's fifth annual Higher Education Mental Health and Substance Abuse Summit March 28-29 in Casper.

The event will be at the Casper Ramada Plaza Riverside. Early bird registration is $50 per person until March 16, and $75 per person after that date. The UW Counseling Center sponsors the summit.

The summit is "to convene student affairs, mental health and substance abuse professionals and administrators in higher education in Wyoming to inform and inspire research and best practices for college student mental health promotion and suicide and alcohol abuse prevention," says Lena Newlin, Counseling Center assistant director.

Participants will exchange knowledge, engage in dialogue, develop skills and strengthen the network of higher education professionals working in mental health and substance abuse prevention in Wyoming.

A pre-conference Gatekeepers "train-the-trainer" session will be held be the day before the summit. The training is the first step in educating participants about the importance of suicide prevention awareness. The goal is to promote help-seeking behaviors and reduce the stigma of seeking care for mental and behavioral health problems.

The summit will feature speakers and panelists who will focus on veteran related issues:

Steven Barrett, UW College of Engineering and Applied Science computer engineering professor and associate dean for academic programs, will discuss the UW faculty perspective on the issue.

Dolores Saucedo Cardona, associate dean of students at UW, led the university's task force that helped establish the Veterans Service Center on campus.

D.C. Faber, Faber Groupsynergy is the creator of the "Faber Post Trauma Model" that assesses how and why soldiers are "different" after war. He served as an assistant professor of military science at UW.

Matt Gray, UW associate professor and the director of clinical training in the UW Department of Psychology, is a recognized expert in post-traumatic stress disorder.

Steven Price, Veterans Administration (VA) in Cheyenne, brings an informed and broad perspective regarding mental health in the VA and insights as a therapist.

The summit is funded primarily by a Campus Suicide Prevention Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

For registration information and the summit schedule, visit http://www.uwyo.edu/ucc/summit or call the UW Counseling Center at (307) 766-2187.

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