Dr. Drew to Kick Off the 2018 Annual N.D. Behavioral Health Conference


he North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is hosting the annual North Dakota Behavioral Health Conference Sept. 4, 6 and 7 at the Holiday Inn, Fargo. Celebrity physician and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew) will be kicking off the conference, which aims to support individuals and professionals in developing, supporting and providing a well-functioning behavioral health system. The conference is being held in conjunction with the Sept. 5 Recovery Reinvented event.

Behavioral health professionals, policymakers, consumers, advocates, health care professionals, first responders and others are invited to register and attend to learn about best practices in mental health and addiction, from prevention to recovery.  

Pinsky, who is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine, will give the keynote on recovery support services on the first day of the conference, Thursday, Sept. 6. Pinsky is a New York Times bestselling author and co-author of the first academic study on celebrities and narcissism published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Elsevier). Pinsky currently hosts “Midday Live” on KABC in Los Angeles and also hosts multiple podcasts including: “The Adam and Drew Podcast,” “This Life” and “Weekly Infusion.”

Other Behavioral Health Conference programming will focus on topics including harm reduction, marijuana, community recovery support services, substance abuse prevention, Wellbriety, effective peer support, pain management without medication, LGBTQ+ and behavioral health and more.

On the pre-conference day, Sept. 4, two tracks will focus on ethics and children’s behavioral health. The children’s track will feature Dr. Stuart Ablon who will discuss behaviorally challenging kids: namely that children often lack skill, not will in areas like domains of flexibility, frustration tolerance and problem-solving. He will introduce an approach to transform discipline called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), which is a model that has helped adults teach lagging cognitive skills while reducing the frequency and intensity of challenging behavior in diverse settings, including families, schools, group homes and inpatient and juvenile detention facilities.

“The annual Behavioral Health Conference provides an opportunity to bring together diverse stakeholders across the state to continue to advance behavioral health to best meet the needs of North Dakotans,” said Director of the Behavioral Health Division Pamela Sagness.

Registration is now open and is $150 for the three days (Sept. 4, 6 and 7) or $60 per day. To register online, visit www.behavioralhealth.dhs.nd.gov/conference/register. All conference activities are at the Holiday Inn at 3803 13th Ave. S. in Fargo.