Dedicated tracks focus on addiction, depression, interpersonal violence and suicide prevention

OREM, Utah — The Utah Valley University (UVU) College of Humanities and Social Sciences announced that its 2023 Conference on Mental Health  will be Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on UVU’s Orem Campus.

The one-day conference will include keynote speaker and mental health advocate Sean Astin, an American film actor, director, voice artist, producer, and a New York Times best-selling author. He is best known for portraying Samwise Gamgee in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In addition to his film career, Astin, son of Patty Duke — an Academy Award and multi-Emmy Award winner — has worked hard to continue his mother’s legacy of supporting mental health services.

The plenary speaker will be Nadine Burke Harris, Ph.D., an award-winning physician, researcher and public health leader. Harris is a recognized expert for her research and teaching around the treatment of toxic stress, especially in how adverse childhood experience and toxic stress can hurt the health of individuals later in life. Her session is being sponsored by the Cambia Health Foundation.

“This conference is a crucial opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to come together and learn more about mental health,” said Candida Johnson, assistant dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and conference organizer. “We’re thrilled to bring together such an esteemed group of speakers and experts to help raise awareness and promote change.”

The conference will include four tracks including addiction, depression, interpersonal violence, and suicide prevention. It is open to the public and registration is $95. Participants can access the speakers and workshops in person or through online streaming and may earn continuing education units that count toward licensure.

Please visit the conference website for registration, streaming information, and a complete list of speakers and sessions.