Purchase photos

Statewide mental health conference comes to Hays


Special to the HDN

Special to the HDN

The state organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will have its annual conference in Hays at Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union on Oct. 18 and 19.

The conference will feature general sessions and workshops for individuals who experience mental illness and for their family members. A keynote presentation will be offered by FHSU's Carol Patrick, who will address "The Complex Causes of Mass Shootings: Moving Beyond Stigmatization." Another general session will address mental health services for rural and frontier areas.

"We are excited about bringing our annual conference to Hays this year as part of an effort to reach a broader audience in western Kansas," said Rick Cagan, executive director of Topeka-based NAMI Kansas. The conference last was in Hays in 2005.

"This is great opportunity to become acquainted with the work of NAMI at the national, state and local levels and to learn from qualified presenters from around the state," Cagan said.

Twelve workshops will be offered during the conference including sessions that address individuals' right to treatment, a review of KanCare, and an opportunity to learn more about the new health insurance marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act. Information about registration is available at www.namikansas.org and (800) 539-2660.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Social Work Program, the Department of Psychology and the Kelly Center at FHSU, in cooperation with NAMI Hays, the local NAMI affiliate.