North Dakota Behavioral Health Conference to highlight effective programs, accomplishments, and new initiatives

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakotans are more aware of behavioral health needs in their communities, and the state aims to energize individuals to take action at the upcoming Behavioral Health Conference, Sept. 27-29, 2017, at the Bismarck Event Center.

Behavioral health professionals, policymakers, advocates and others are invited to attend to learn about effective programs and best practices, state and local accomplishments, and new initiatives in North Dakota supporting treatment and recovery. Attendees will also learn about clinical practices and strategies to help prevent behavioral health issues, provide effective treatment and support individuals in recovery.

“This is an opportunity to review accomplishments in the state’s behavioral health system, and identify areas we can still take action on together to support the health of North Dakotans,” said Department of Human Services Executive Director Chris Jones.

The conference features local, regional, and national experts and follows the Sept. 26 Recovery Reinvented event hosted by Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum.

Registration is now open and more than 200 individuals have already registered. Conference details, including the programming schedule, are online at

On the opening day, Sept. 27, speakers will share information about local and tribal initiatives, the state’s behavioral health assessment, workforce development efforts, programs supported by lawmakers, medical marijuana, ND Cares providers, and statewide efforts addressing the opioid crisis.

That afternoon, conference attendees can learn about North Dakota program highlights, the state’s new Justice Reinvestment and Community Behavioral Health Program, and can listen to a legislative panel discussion.

Thursday morning, Sept. 28, sessions focus on women’s recovery issues, mindfulness-based stress reduction and relapse prevention, social determinants of behavioral health, understanding trauma and attachment, and peer specialist certification, services and crisis help. 

Thursday afternoon training sessions address discharge planning, trauma, mental health self-direction, substance abuse in the Baby Boomer generation, the substance use and confidentiality final federal rule, medication-assisted treatment and rural mobile methadone services, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing psychotherapy in chronic pain treatment.

The final day of the conference is devoted to training on supervision and ethics. 

Registration is $100 for the entire three-day conference, or $40 per day. To register online, visit People can also register at the door. All conference activities are at the Bismarck Event Center at 315 S. Fifth St.

Conference organizers are pursuing continuing education units for various behavioral health professions. Details are pending.

For information about the Behavioral Health Conference, visit, or contact the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division at 701-328-8920 or