WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., June 4, 2019 — The College of Education and Human Performance at West Liberty University is once again partnering with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) in presenting a two-day mental health conference at the Highlands Event Center, June 6 – 7. WLU President Stephen Greiner will offer an opening welcome at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to begin the conference.
Keynote speakers are mental health activist Gabe Howard (Thursday) and suicide prevention activist Taryn Aiken Hiatt (Friday).
The success of the first conference last spring inspired the partners to once again offer educational speakers, breakout sessions for discussions and fitness activities that address mental health.
“The goal is to reduce the stigma of mental illness and encourage people to strive for mental health. Anything we can do to educate the public on the need for taking care of mental health as well as physical health is important. West Liberty University’s College of Education and Human Performance is pleased to be a part of this effort,” said Dr. Catherine Monteroso, interim dean.
Mental health care in schools is a priority in West Virginia and is part of and ongoing discussion in the West Virginia Legislature as lawmakers study the need for addressing mental health.
Speaker Gabe Howard presents his story at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, June 6. An award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders, Howard is the host of the weekly Psych Central Show, an iTunes Top Ten podcast. His website is located at gabehoward.com.
Second keynote speaker Taryn Aiken-Hiatt takes the podium at 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 7. The nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, hired Hiatt, as the area director for Utah and Nevada.
A variety of other professionals speak during the breakout sessions that take place following the speakers. Two other nationally known speakers include Rudy Caseres at noon Thursday and Dr. Irene Hurford at noon on Friday, both following lunch.
Caseres is award-winning public speaker, social media influencer, and event producer who lives with bipo. Dr. Hurford is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania.
Mental health professionals, educators and other professionals in the helping professions are invited to attend. For registration information, please contact Wheeling’s NAMI by clicking namiwheeling.org or calling 304.238.8277. The Highlands Event Center is located at 355 Wharton Circle, suite 235, Triadelphia, just across from the Marquee Cinema.
West Liberty University’s College of Education and Human Performance is known for its degree programs in Teacher Education, Community Education, Exercise Physiology, Athletic Training and more.
Today, WLU offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs including master degrees in education, physician assistant studies, biology, professional studies and two online degrees, a master’s in criminology and the MBA. For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB) or visit westliberty.edu.