2018 Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series
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2018 Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series

The 2018 Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series seeks to provide information and resources, on innovative approaches to address the needs and challenges of rural community behavioral health. These approaches are embedded in a public health framework that acknowledges the role that social, economic, and geographic elements play in the lives of individuals and how it impacts behavioral health and well-being, especially for those in rural settings. Based on the needs of rural communities, direct attention has been placed on providing information and resources on how to create and sustain
services and supports so that rural communities are able to reduce the impact of behavioral health problems and promote a good quality of life for the entire community, including those with behavioral health challenges. The webinar series provides an opportunity for participants to learn from experts and each other about innovations, practices, and programs focused on rural communities. 

Webinar 1: Human Trafficking: A Rural Perspective
May 24, 2018, 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Human Trafficking is often referred to as modern-day slavery realizing horrific impact on children, youth and their families both globally and nationally.  The realities of this issue are challenging for all communities to recognize and address throughout the nation.  Rural communities have particular challenges regarding human trafficking.  These challenges come as a result of factors such as the isolated, geography and transportation routes that facilitate human trafficking and allow it to go unnoticed.  This isolation further challenges opportunities for prevention and intervention services.  The lack of economic opportunities in many rural areas also make individuals more vulnerable to trafficking. 

Through a public health approach, child-serving systems in rural communities can address human trafficking to both prevent the crime and to facilitate the identification, assessment, evaluation and delivery of services for children, youth and their families who are victims of human trafficking.   In particular, schools have an important role to play in preventing and responding to the human trafficking of children.  This webinar will provide information and resources to assist school districts in developing policies, procedures, evidence-based prevention programs and practices as well as focused services for those who are victims or at risk of being trafficked. 


Participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • Data on the prevalence of the human trafficking of children in rural communities and schools;
  • The risk factors and indicators of the human trafficking of children, particularly in the context of schools; and,
  • Evidenced-based and promising prevention and intervention programs and
    practices that use a public health approach and can be implemented in school and communities.

Presenters: Karen Gentile, LCSW-C, Esq., Public Health Advisor, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), SAMHSA, Eve BirgeEducation Program Specialist, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, U.S. Dept. of Education, Carrie Freshour, LCSW-C, Chief Operating Officer, Araminta Freedom Initiative, Kevin Lavine, MA., Prof. School of Criminal Justice, Jackson State University.

Facilitator: Karen Francis, Ph.D., Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Webinar 2: The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children and Youth in Rural Communities- How Schools and Communities are Responding
July 19, 2018, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Webinar 3: Addressing the needs of Young People with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) through a Comprehensive Continuum of Services and Supports
September 6, 2018, 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time

The 2018 Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series in supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Mental Health Promotion Branch, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, & Special Programs, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

Taccess resources and information on rural behavioral health please visit http://ruralbehavioralhealth.org