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DHS news release

October 12, 2004 Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738
Program contact: Ellen Pimental (503) 947-5523

Children's mental health 'summit' scheduled Oct. 19-20 in Monmouth


Friday noon is the deadline to register for a two-day conference that will bring together mental health experts, community leaders, parents and others to work on reshaping the state's mental health system for children.

The Oct. 19-20 conference, called "Re-Visioning Oregon's Children's Mental Health System," will explore better ways to keep children with mental illness at home and successful at school and in the community.

The conference will launch a children's mental health initiative to increase the availability and quality of children's services, including ensuring individualized, culturally appropriate services in the community using as little institutional care as possible.

DHS is asking each county to coordinate a team to focus on its mental health services for children. Team members are to be composed of family members of children with serious emotional disorders, clinical staff, caseworkers and care providers as well as representatives of community mental health programs, juvenile justice, schools and mental health organizations.

Interested persons may register by calling Alondra Rogers at the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) in Salem (503 945-7821) or e-mailing her at alondra.b.rogers@state.or.us. The conference is free, and lunches may be purchased for $5 each. For the conference, guardians and family members of children with serious emotional disorders may have their childcare, meals and mileage reimbursed.

Among speakers scheduled for the conference at Western Oregon State University, Monmouth, will be:

• John Franz, J.D., an instructor in Southern New Hampshire University's master's program in community mental health. An attorney with a treatment background, he helped write Wisconsin's legislation about children's mental health. He will speak Oct. 19 at 8:45 a.m.

• Barbara Friesen, Ph.D., of Portland State University's Regional Research Institute for Human Services. She will speak on Oct. 20 at 8:45 a.m.

• Andy Hunt, MSW, a member of North Carolina's Lumbee tribe, who was the first Native American to receive a U.S. Public Health Service award recognizing contributions to improving mental health services. Hunt did graduate study at Portland State University. He will speak to a breakout session on Oct. 19 at 10:15 a.m.

• James Mason, Ph.D., administrator of the Office of Multicultural Health in the Oregon Department of Human Services. He will speak to a breakout session on Oct. 19 at 10:15 a.m.