General Sessions

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Welcome, Introductions and Going to Bat Award

Helene Silverblatt and Chris Pederson


The “Going to Bat Award” is given to an individual for advocacy in the area of rural mental health above and beyond the call of duty. It is given to an individual who has consistently advocated (supported, promoted, stood up for, championed, defended, made room for, protected, etc.) for rural mental health beyond what are their normal job responsibilities.

This year's award goes to New Mexico’s Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has committed her life to rebuilding her home state, began her professional career providing free legal service to seniors, laying a foundation for selfless work on behalf of vulnerable New Mexicans, the defining characteristic of her decades long public life at the local, state and national level. Driven by a deep compassion for seniors and those living with disabilities, and with experience as a caregiver herself, Lujan Grisham introduced and led the push for Care Corps, her legacy legislation, an innovative caregiving initiative that places volunteers in communities to provide non-medical services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. With this support, people can continue to live independently in their homes and communities. She has also fought tirelessly to improve access to mental health care and services to New Mexicans throughout her career in public service.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Plenary 1: The Path to Thriving: Strategic Doing and Rural Mental Health

Liz Nilsen, Lauren Goldstein, Betty Johnson, Geniphyr Ponce Pore

Addressing mental health challenges, especially in rural areas, requires relationships and partnerships across the community. Strategic Doing practitioners will facilitate an interactive session to imagine how those currently involved in rural communities might engage collaborative groups to move communities from surviving to thriving. Practitioners will share an overview, provide examples of how they’ve utilized the process, and will guide an exploration of how community health/behavioral health agencies can benefit from using the Strategic Doing process in agencies, with clients, and across communities.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:10 PM - 1:40 PM

Awards Luncheon and Federal Updates, Community Assessment Tool

Anne Hazlett, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

The “Victor I. Howery Memorial Award” is given for significant contributions to the field of rural mental health. This year the award will be given to Anne Hazlett. Anne is a Senior Advisor for Rural Affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). An Indiana native, she has a deep and lifelong passion for rural America, small towns, and the people who call them home.

We are giving a second Going to Bat Award to Wayne Lindstrom. Wayne is the Director of Business Development and Consulting for RI International. Previously, he served for five years as the Director of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Division and the CEO of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative. Wayne is receiving the award for his work in community mental health, hospitals, emergency departments, corporate environments, and private practice while also teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Ann Schumacher Award is presented annually to an experienced practitioner who has demonstrated excellence, innovation, professional development and who has worked with domestic violence. The recipient of this year’s award is Matt Probst for the tremendous impact he has had improving all aspects of health care for his patients and community. Matt is recognized throughout the state of New Mexico and now, across the nation, for the pathbreaking work he has done in rural northern New Mexico to improve access to mental health and substance use treatment services in a primary care setting. Because of his compassionate and dedicated commitment to his community, he and his life’s work providing care and training the next generation of health care providers, was the subject of a recently released, award winning PBS film, “The Providers”. NARMH is pleased to be able to offer a showing of this film on Wednesday evening, August 28, at 7:30 pm.

Federal Updates, Community Assessment Tool
Ann Hazlett from the White House Office of National Drug Control Panel will give a federal update on the community assessment tool.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Reception and Flamenco Dancing


The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education's Behavioral Health Program (WICHE BHP) is pleased to present Albuquerque's Spanish Broom dance collaborative, performing flamenco for an evening reception at the La Fonda Hotel. Formed in 2016 by talented, experienced, and passionate dancers and musicians, the Spanish Broom flamenco collaborative both carries on and propels New Mexico's nationally recognized flamenco tradition of excellence, and will enchant you with gorgeous, colorful costumes, beautiful melodies and rhythms, and a blend of traditional and modern flamenco footwork.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 7:30 AM - 9:10 AM

Breakfast Buffet, NARMH Membership Meeting, Rural Arts Award and Welcome

NARMH Board Members

Members and non-members are invited to join the NARMH Board of Directors for our annual Membership Meeting.

The National Association for Rural Mental Health established the Rural Arts Award in 2007 to honor the life-long contributions of Peter G. (Pete) Beeson to both rural mental health and the rural arts. Pete is recognized within the association for his masterful writing about rural life and his beautiful photography both of which have graced the pages of many NARMH publications. This year’s recipient is Sarah Elisabeth Brown of Saline, Michigan. She is currently a training specialist/consultant for Howie the Harp Advocacy Center in New York City. Sarah was chosen for her creative playwright, teaching and coaching skills which she has used to establish journal writing peer support groups in rural New Mexico and to create a professional stage play, working with peers to tell their stories and educate the public about mental illness. As an Advanced Level WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Facilitator/International Mentor, she has taught and coached peers in in rural areas of New Mexico and other states in the use of WRAP.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 9:10 AM - 10:10 AM

Plenary 2: From Surviving to Thriving in American Indian Communities: Transcending Historical Trauma

Esther Tenorio, Jimel Sandoval, Ryan Sanchez, Deborah Altschul, Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart

This panel will describe two community based intervention and research initiatives that emerged from years of collaborative work with tribal communities. Historical trauma (HT), the cumulative psychological and emotional wounding across generations, including the lifespan, provides a context for current trauma, grief, and loss across the lifespan by rooting them in the collective generational suffering. The Historical Trauma and Unresolved Grief Intervention (HTUG), a Tribal Best Practice adaptable to specific tribal history and culture facilitates: (a) participants’ experience of not being alone in their depression and grief, (b) reduction of stigma through the emphasis on the collective context, and (c) willingness to engage in therapy. HTUG incorporates traditional tribal cultural protective factors and resilience. Integrating Intergenerational Cultural Knowledge Exchange with Zero Suicide is an innovative study in collaboration with the Pueblo of San Felipe that incorporates screening and treatment for suicide and other behavioral health issues into primary care settings using Zero Suicide. The goal is to determine the effectiveness of Zero Suicide plus an intergenerational knowledge sharing cultural component compared to Zero Suicide alone on suicidal ideation, behaviors, and resiliency. A key aspect of the program are tribal members trained as certified peer support workers providing services alongside licensed behavioral health providers. Collaborative work includes training for tribal leaders in historical trauma and integration of HTUG concepts in Intergenerational Cultural Knowledge Exchange.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:50 AM - 1:30 PM

Lunch and Plenary 3: Panel Introducing the MHTTC- A New Workforce Development Resource

Joe Evans, Dennis Mohatt, Rachelle Espiritu, Liza Tupa

Years of research and knowledge of evidence-based practices show that well-designed mental health prevention, treatment, and recovery support efforts are effective and can have multiple benefits for individuals with mental disorders, including serious mental illness. The purpose of the new national Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network is technology transfer - disseminating and implementing evidence-based practices for mental disorders into the field. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the MHTTC Network includes 10 Regional Centers, a National American Indian and Alaskan Native Center, a National Hispanic & Latino Center, and a Network Coordinating Office. The Mountain Plains MHTTC network is pleased to be able to bring a panel presentation to introduce the national network and to acquaint attendees with the training and technical assistance resources spanning mental illness prevention, treatment, and recovery support now available at no cost to them. Following the plenary panel, the MHTTC is sponsoring workshop sessions on practical solutions for behavioral health workforce development challenges.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

NARMH Night at the Movies: The Provider

Michael Bare, ITVS

Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, The Providers follows three healthcare providers in northern New Mexico. They work at El Centro, a small group of safety-net clinics that offer care to all who walk through the doors. Amidst personal struggles that at times reflect those of their patients, the journeys of the providers unfold as they work to reach rural Americans who would otherwise be left out of the healthcare system. With intimate access, the documentary shows the transformative power of providers’ relationships with marginalized patients.

Thursday, August 29, 2019 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Plenary 4: The Very Large Array of Youth and Adult Peer Support

Avi Kriechman, Annette Crisanti, Carol Luna-Anderson, Kathy Sunderland-Bruaw, Harmony Johnson, Mohammed Abdullah, Shelby McDaniel, Dahlia Christen, Donald Hume

This panel discussion features representatives from youth advocacy/advisory councils and peer helpers, and adult peer support workers in social service, behavioral health care and medical health care agencies.

Thursday, August 29, 2019 12:10 PM - 12:30 PM

Closing Session: Next Steps and Door Prizes

We will ask our conference participants to review the high points of the meeting, identify the areas of strongest interest and importance, and take these suggestions to lay the path for NARMH's future conferences.