A conference builds a network


Zachary Araki

Sherry Chaney, a licensed clinical social worker for Lifeline Behavioral Health, left, speaks with other professionals in the field at the second annual Terrell Conference to build a community. This year’s conference included more time for attendees to network.

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

The University Counseling Center hosted the second annual Terrell Conference to provide continuing education and networking opportunities in the community.

The conference was held on Jan. 10-11 in the Student Union. The conference honors its namesake who is one of the founding members of the Louisiana Counseling Association and the former director of the UCC.

Annette Newton-Baldwin, assistant director of programming and outreach for the UCC, hoped to create a conference of a “comfortable learning and networking environment with a reunion type atmosphere” for mental health practitioners.

“Our conference provides a platform for our UCC interns to assist and learn from seasoned professionals,” said Newton-Baldwin. “It saves on travel as mental health professionals both on campus and in the community can receive what they need to maintain their license locally. The conference is also an avenue to maintain and foster relationships that support LION UP Recovery at Southeastern, which is a collegiate recovery support for students.”

The conference’s breakout sessions addressed topics such as addiction and ethics. Dr. Kenison Roy, chief medical officer of Addiction Recovery Resources, focused on the use of medication in abstinence-based treatment programs, and he wants people to see addiction as a disease rather than a moral problem.

Roy said, “People have trouble embracing the idea that it’s an actual disease of the brain that removes the willpower of people with addiction to use addicting drugs, and so any information that can be communicated to health care providers, social service workers, anybody that interacts with people in a helping way is going to help people with addiction get what they need.”

At the conference, the Tom Terrell Award was announced to be given out at the 2020 conference to honor a mental heath professional who exhibits leadership, advocacy, crisis intervention and commitment to higher education. The call for nominations will be announced in September, and the deadline for submissions is set for October.

For the conference’s second year, the UCC added more social space.

“Our attendees asked for more networking time,” shared Newton-Baldwin. “This year, we added a Thursday evening reception and a networking lunch. This year, we added our certificate to issue the NBCC continuing education clock hour, which is a national recognition.”

By networking, Angie King, a licensed clinical social worker for Covington Behavioral Health Hospital, believes attendees could build partnerships and associate “a face to the location”

“They can do online searches, or they can talk to other providers, but being able to have direct conversation with different agencies, they can have a true understanding of the different services that are offered,” discussed King. “So, it helps to build that confidence and be able to refer to each other.”

Sherry Chaney, a licensed clinical social worker for Lifeline Behavioral Health, explained the benefits of networking at the conference.

“There’s a lot of patients I’m able to help in my program, and there’s some patients that I can’t help,” said Chaney. “Maybe they have the wrong insurance. Maybe they need something that I can’t provide, so meeting with all these different providers gives me the opportunity serve my patients better. So, a patient calls me. I talk with them, find out what they need, and if I’m not the best place for them, then I’m able to reach out to the other people that I’ve met here and maybe refer them.”

King expressed that the Terrell Conference impressed her.

“A lot of conversations are going on,” shared King. “A lot of questions are being asked about the different programming. I’m very happy with the turnout.”