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Successes, Hopes, and Dream Conference 2014

This May will be the fourth annual Success, Hopes, and Dreams conference in Lincoln. The conference is focused on behavioral health recovery and wellness. In order to learn a little more about this year’s conference, I was able to talk with Pat Talbott, Conference Coordinator, to gain some insights.

How did the conference first start?

Dr. Scot Adams, Director of Nebraska’s Division of Behavioral Health (DHHS/DBHS), met with Alan Green, Director of the Mental Health Association of Nebraska (MHA) and a small group of very interested individuals to talk about a statewide behavioral health conference. We formed a conference planning group and accepted the challenge. Conference planning started in February 2011 with a very successful first conference in May 2011 held at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska.

When and where will the conference take place this year?

The conference will be May 19-21, 2014 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Who are the presenters for this year’s conference?

So far, the confirmed speakers include: Dan Abreu, Associate Director of National GAINS Center; Ann Jennings, consultant on trauma issues; and Robert Whitaker, investigative journalist and author.

What workshops will be available to attendees?

This year our workshops will be presented in separate tracks for consumers and providers.

The track for consumers, veterans, and family members will include Substance Use, Mental Health, Problem Gambling, Peer Support CEU’s, Trauma and Trauma-informed Care, Veteran’s Experiences, Medications, Peer Support, Sharing Your Story, Consumers and Law Enforcement, Survivor Panels, and Co-occurring Disorders.

The provider tracks will include the ethics workshops, the new screening: “Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment” (SBIRT), Targeted Parent Assistance: Family Peer Support In Nebraska, areas of trauma, and many more with CEU opportunities for substance use, mental health, problem gambling, and peer support.

On Tuesday, May 20, and Wednesday, May 21, we are offering a one-day registration option.

What are the goals of the conference?

With this year’s theme being “Creating New Possibilities and Overcoming Challenges”, the conference’s goal is to promote wellness, resilience, and recovery. We bring together a diverse group of individuals seeking to instill hope and to encourage confidence and self-awareness.

How is the conference different this year than past years?

Each year the conference planning committee works hard to add new workshops and to bring in outstanding keynote speakers. This year we have added separate tracks for providers seeking CEU’s and tracks for consumers that include substance use issues, trauma and trauma-informed care, mental health, and peer support. We are very proud of the variety of workshops available this year.

After the kick-off luncheon on Monday, May 19, 2014, we will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of LB1083. This is legislation during the time when Senator Mike Johanns was Governor of Nebraska. We will feature a short video from Senator Johanns and will have a panel discussion including former senators who helped develop the behavioral health reform as well as individuals currently working with behavioral health.

On Tuesday, May 20, we will be honoring former Senator Jennie Robak for her many years of service to Nebraskans including her support and interest in behavioral health.

Who is welcome to attend the conference, and how do they sign up?

Everyone is welcome! We will have family members, consumers, providers, legislators and legislative aides, stakeholders, and others interested in behavioral health in Nebraska. All conference forms, speaker bios, and other details are on our website, We are also accepting credit card payments this year. To set this up or for more information, you can contact Pat Talbott, Conference Coordinator, at (402) 441-4373 or