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Social work program hosts conference

Ethics and legal practices concerning adolescents with mental health issues training to be offered

Heather Hines, Reporter

SocialWorkGraphicTWU’s Social Work Program will host its annual conference on April 22 about ethics and legal practices pertaining to adolescents with mental health issues. Managing Director for the Arizona and California branches of the Casey Family Programs, Dr. Jackie Contreras will deliver the keynote speech, followed by a speech from TWU’s Program Director and Professor of Social Work, Mark Sandel. The conference will provide a free breakfast and three continuing education credits for attendees.

Bland explained: “Dr. Contreras was recommended as the individual that would be able to do a great job in terms of what’s going on with adolescent mental health right now. This is a way to inform [social workers] and have better practice with adolescent mental health patients. Social workers reach out to the community to help others, this is an opportunity to fine-tune and improve their practitioner skills.”

All social workers must have annual ethics training to continue practicing, this conference provides the continuing education credits social workers need, but the Social Work Program encourages everyone interested to attend as well.

Bland stated: “Any TWU staff, person or faculty is invited to attend, because wherever you are, if you’re working with adolescents some of those adolescents might have mental health issues. So having an opportunity to get some training on that, about how to work and practice with that group – you can’t beat it.”

Assistant Grant Program Director and instructor of Social Work Michele Bland and five social work students have planned and coordinated the conference. The conference will be held at Cumberland Children’s home. Many professionals from the community are expected to attend.

Bland concluded: “There are a number of organizations in the community Child Protective Services, Mental Health and Mental Retardation [facilities], Denton Watch; and what you’ll find is that all of those groups recognize adolescents are particularly prone to having some mental health issues. And we as a community are responsible for helping. Particularly as social workers, we’re responsible for helping and reaching out and improving their lives.”     

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