2021 Student Conference

Advancing Positive Mental Health and Behavioral Health Career Opportunities

Saturday, October 9, 2021   |   9:00 am to 12:30 pm   |   Virtual

A conference focusing on reducing stigma, providing skills to promote better mental health, and exploring behavioral health career pathways.

This conference will provide information, tools, and resources to address common behavioral health issues faced by high school and college students. Participants will also hear from industry experts about the various behavioral health careers and the pathways to reach those professions.

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Cost: FREE

Audience: High school and college students, parents, counselors, and educators

Registration is Closed

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Click for mental Health & Wellness Support Resources

Conference Schedule 

9:00 amplaceholder



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Click to view Keynote recording

Dr Evita Limon-Rocha is a Latina Spanish speaking dually board-certified Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside, her master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles and her medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is board member of a nonprofit Reach Out, is a board member for the Chicano Latino Alumni Association at UC Riverside, along with other roles in national organizations such as National Hispanic Medical Association.

Dr. Evita Limon-Rocha has found great meaning working with non-profits, including working toward strengthening and creating pipeline programs to increase diversity within higher education, the sciences, medicine, and ultimately psychiatry. She hopes to continue to serve as a mentor to students of all levels. She remains committed to work to assuring families, especially monolingual Spanish families, will not experience the substandard medical care she has witnessed so many times. This work fuels her spirit. This work gives her meaning. Her ultimate goal is to decrease stigma around the utilization of mental health services and mental health diagnoses, specifically within underserved communities and the Latino community.

10:00 AM

Mental Health First Aid Overview

In this workshop, you’ll learn what Mental Health First Aid certification is, why it’s important to get certified and some of the information the training covers. The session will cover why mental health issues are so serious right now, the role Mental Health First Aid certification can play in supporting our communities, and will give you an opportunity to ask questions with a Mental Health First Aid instructor.  This class does NOT count toward MHFA certification.

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Click to View recording of student session 

Director – Cypress Resilience Project
Deputy Director – FACES for the Future Coalition
Public Health Institute

S. Brooke Briggance comes from a multi-sector background in health, direct impact programming for children, youth and families, and non-profit work. She began her career in healthcare in the Department of Neurology at SUNY Stony Brook in New York, and has experience in administrative leadership and public education advocacy and reform. She served as the Executive Director of an education foundation and has worked as a consultant assisting in projects ranging from school district redesign, community engagement and best practices for non-profits. She currently serves as the Director for the Cypress Resilience Project and as Deputy Director for the FACES for the Future Coalition – both programs at Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA. Brooke has a BA in World Religions and Comparative Religions from SUNY Stony Brook. She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor (Adult, Youth and Teen), and a Certified Trainer in Trauma Informed Systems and Practice.

Click to view recording of session for educators, counselors & parents

 Program Manager – Cypress Resilience Project

Karen Lane is the Program Administrator for multiple programs at Public Health Institute and serves as a Trainer for Cypress Resilience Project. She is a certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist and Mental Health First Aid Instructor in the adult curricula and is also a certified Mental Health First Aider in the youth curricula. She holds a BA in Human Development from Cal State East Bay and brings experience working with college students, senior citizens and individuals at end of life/hospice and has experience as a volunteer crisis hotline counselor. She finds teaching for Cypress a wonderful opportunity to empower others.

11:00 AM

Career Paths | Professional Panel

Learn the various careers available in the mental health field and explore the educational pathways to get there. Then, hear from practicing clinicians to gain insight into the requirements, daily life and skills they utilize regularly.

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Education Pyramid Chart

Career Options with Education chart



Professional Panel   

Learn first hand from professionals about their educational and personal journeys to a career in behavioral/mental heath. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions as time allows. Panel includes: Substance Abuse Counselor, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Peer Support Specialist, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Click to view professional panel recording

Nichole has been a Peer Support Specialist working for Cal Voices for 9 years. She loves supporting individuals who struggle with mental health, rise to their full potential.  She has been living with a mental illness since she was a child. It was very difficult trying to find support and understanding from anyone, especially her peers. As she got older, she realized that getting well and staying well was entirely up to her. By developing tools and techniques to stay on top of her health, she began to see that she could recover from mental illness. Sharing her lived experience with others has helped her not only stay well but allowed her to spread her knowledge about mental wellness to all her peers. 

Jené first worked as a child development professional for 12 years, before discovering her passion - working in the field of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment. Jené is currently a DUI program counselor - providing case management, group counseling and education to individuals who have recieved DUI charges. Much of what she does is with the goal of lowering stigma and providing accurate information about addiction. She feels honored to be able to watch her clients' stories unfold.She has an BA in Early Childhood Education and an AA in Addiction Treatment. She is a Registered Drug and Alcohol Technician and is preparing for the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certification exam. She is also a full time student in a MFT/PCC Master program.

Amanda has earned a Master's in Public Health from CSU Long Beach and a Master's in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas. She has experience in independent research, teaching, advising, health and wellness programing, and counseling.  She was a full-time Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). In this role, she successfully organized and executed undergraduate level courses and consistently received positive evaluations from her students. Her community-related activities include Youth Action Project (YAP) and the Center for Latino Community. For YAP, she worked as a mentor with underprivileged racial/ethnic minority high school youths to improve their educational outcomes and promote mental health awareness.  At the Center for Latino Community, she worked as a researcher and health educator. She aspires to achieve health and education equity in her lifetime.  

 Marcus received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Humboldt State University in 1998 and began working as an outpatient psychiatric case manager.  After a short time, Marcus experienced the stigma faced by individuals suffering from mental illness, and decided that this was the population he wanted to make a career servicing. Over the next 10 years, he worked as a psychiatric case manager/rehabilitation specialist before returning to school to pursue a Master of Social Work from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).  Upon graduating from CSULB in 2010, Marcus continued to work with adults suffering from severe mental illness, with an emphasis providing therapy, case management, and risk assessment to justice involved clients. His passion is as strong as it was when he started 23 years ago. His experiences include Behavioral Health Clinician for Ventura County Behavioral Health (VCBH) Forensics Department, Community Program Director for MHM Services of California, Clinic Administrator at VCBH South Oxnard Adult Clinic, Clinical Supervisor at MHM Services of California, and a Therapist in Private Practice. 

For over 30 years, Dr. Pisano has worked in several health care organizations, with a specialization of integrating behavioral health services into primary care and/or specialty clinics. Dr. Pisano obtained her doctorate degree from the California School of Professional Psychology. Her previous work includes LAC/USC Medical Center, California Hospital Medical Center Family Residency Program, Planned Parenthood, Regional Center for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, community mental health, and served as consultant for various health plans and hospitals. Dr. Pisano’s passion is to provide services to vulnerable, culturally diverse, and underserved populations. In order to achieve successful implementation of behavioral health services at AltaMed, Dr. Pisano currently integrates a team-based approach working alongside several departments such as Women’s Health, STOMP Childhood Obesity Program, Youth Services, Pediatrics, screening for substance use disorders, as well as overseeing several HRSA grants. Dr. Pisano’s mission is to provide early intervention and prevention behavioral health services in order to reduce health disparities in underserved communities.











*Conference schedule may change based on availability.