Wayne State College Hosted First-Ever Behavioral Health Conference

Kristian Perez, News Writer

Wayne State College hosted its first-ever, Behavioral Health Conference on August 26, 2022,
from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This event discussed many needed topics, such as people who work with children that have
unique behavioral health concerns, like school counselors, law enforcement, addiction recovery,
multicultural competency, and self-care practices.
Dr. Jeff Peterson, assistant professor in the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences at
Wayne State College said, “The overall event focuses on approving the health of rural America
students because of this, we brought people from all different types of places to learn.”
A keynote presenter, Alexandra Hulst, who has coached over 40 agencies presented how
collaborative, team-based integration of physical and behavioral health care can help shift the
conversation about what it means to help our rural communities to be healthy.
Peterson said anyone who works in human services or with people, in general, could benefit
from this event, “We invited schools in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and anyone who works
in the human services career. We also wanted to invite students on campus to come as well.”
Dr. Suzanne Scott is an assistant professor that teaches counseling courses and school
counseling courses in the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Wayne State College.
Dr. Scott said there is a very big need to discuss Behavioral Health among students. “The
need for this topic is big, working together for many students is really important.”
Dr. Peterson said The Behavioral Health Conference covered a lot of different topics such as
describing the rationale for integrating rural physical and behavioral health care.
“Identifying key principles for making integrated care effective and sustainable and
determining next steps in moving towards an integrated care model in rural communities,” said
Dr. Peterson said the Midwest is struggling to find people wanting to work in this
profession, “We want to focus on approving behavioral health throughout the Midwest, there is
a shortage of work but this is a need.”
“We had a great turnout for it being our first ever behavioral health conference, 150 plus
people showed up as well as 6 students presenting their behavioral health speeches, we ended
with a job fair as well, it was a great time.”