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October 26, 2016 | Spotlight

Over 400 providers attend behavioral health symposium offered by DBHDD, Institute

Over 400 providers attend behavioral health symposium offered by DBHDD, Institute

Writer: Roger Nielsen

More than 400 community service providers from across the state attended the 2016 Behavioral Health Symposium that the Institute coordinated in partnership with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

The symposium featured over 60 workshops and topic discussions with 100 presenters and panelists. Sponsored by DBHDD's Division of Behavioral Health, the symposium was held Oct. 6-7 at Lake Lanier. The symposium provides continuing education and networking opportunities for behavioral health providers throughout Georgia, according to Monica S. Johnson, director of the DBHDD Division of Behavioral Health.

"Our division relies on our providers to partner with us for the successful recovery of the individuals we serve," said Johnson, who welcomed participants at the symposium's opening plenary session. The initial gathering included a "State of DBHDD" address by Commissioner Frank Berry.

Dozens of workshops were available for the service providers, advocates and other stakeholders who attended the symposium, titled "Change and Opportunity: Sharpening the Vision." Faculty and staff with the Institute's State Services Unit worked with DBHDD behavioral health leaders to identify the workshop topics, secure speakers, and oversee the design, planning and management of the conference.

According to Johnson, the Institute's assistance is critical to the success of the conference. "Our partnership with the Institute to plan and successfully execute the Behavioral Health Symposium speaks to good collaboration, organized planning and a commitment to partnerships," she said.

In addition to the conference, the Institute works with DBHDD in training community service providers, has helped coordinate conferences on veterans' services and suicide prevention, and manages professional development training for DBHDD staff through the department's Management Academy.