August 09, 2005

Latino Behavioral Health Conference

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Latino Behavioral Health Institute (LBHI), one of the nation's largest non-profit organizations dedicated to eliminating discrimination against Latinos in need of behavioral health services and health care, will present its eleventh annual international conference, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 20 -- 22, at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif.

Themed, "Transformation: Towards Access and Quality in Latino Behavioral Health," the event will address contemporary issues of policy, training, research, clinical practice and education related to Latino mental health, substance abuse, health and human services. Approximately 1,000 behavioral health professionals from the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and South American countries are expected to attend.

The largest event of its kind in the Western United States, the LBHI annual conference seeks to provide mental health professionals with training and education tools to help them apply scientific principles to their practice, and promotes a networking environment among participants from various and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

According to recently released reports from the National Hispanic Congress (2000), President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2002) and Surgeon General (1999), Latinos are one of the most under-served populations where behavioral health services are concerned.

"The studies qualify issues of disparities as critical and strongly urge national, state, local, private and public institutions to take action and effectively address the service utilization barriers confronted by Latinos and other underserved communities," says Juan Ramos, Ph.D., director of minority affairs, National Institute of Mental Health (retired). "LBHI's work has helped make quality mental health services more easily accessible to Latinos, but we still have a long way to go."

The conference will include more than 45 workshops and plenary sessions, many of which fulfill continuing education unit requirements for mental health professionals:

-- Ramos will explore meaningful access to behavioral health
services for persons with limited English
proficiency/linguistic competence, mandated by Title VI of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

-- Stephen Mayberg, Ph.D., director, State of California Dept.
of Mental Health, will lead a panel discussion exploring ways
to improve access and quality of care for Latinos in need of
mental health services;

-- Kathy Jett, director, California Dept. of Alcohol and Drug
Programs, will be plenary speaker in the opening session,
Sept. 21;

-- Pedro Ruiz, M.D., vice chair, University of Texas at
Houston, will discuss suicide and suicide prevention for
Latinos. Ruiz, president elect of the American Psychiatric
Association, will be honored during the conference for his
outstanding contributions to Latino behavioral health;

-- William Vega, Ph.D., professor, Princeton University, will
present on the topic, "Developing Research Priorities for
Latinos with Persistent Mental Disorder."

Begun in 1995 by Ambrose Rodriguez, MPA, president of LBHI, the annual conference brings together internationally recognized researchers and clinical professionals currently working in Latino communities throughout the Americas. The event provides a training forum for learning State-mandated clinical practices and for studying current research on behavioral health trends in Latino communities. Conference attendance has increased from 450 participants in 1995 to 1,000 in 2003.

Conference delegates include participants from diverse backgrounds, states and countries, including mental health professionals, government workers involved in child and family services, researchers, and the press. The conference is complemented by Folkloric music, art and decor that immerse participants in Latino cultures and traditions.

The conference is sponsored in part by Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Pacific Clinics, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health, American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, California Department of Alcohol and Drug Program, California Endowment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Association of Community Human Service Agencies Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and College Hospital.

Pricing and Reservations

Pricing for the LBHI Eleventh Annual Conference is $65 per day; $175 for all three days; or $200 for all three days with pre-conference events. Attendance fees include all workshops and sessions; special events extra. A Sept. 21 luncheon, with entertainment by comedy group Que Locos, is available for $20.

Delegates who register by August 15 receive a $30 discount off their total cost. Out-of-state groups of five or more are eligible for a $35 discount off the total cost of each delegate registered (all registration forms must be submitted together in one package to receive discount).

For a registration form or for further information, call (213) 538-0225 or visit

About Latino Behavioral Health Institute

Latino Behavioral Health Institute (LBHI) is a non-profit corporation founded by its president, Ambrosio Rodriguez, M.P.A., and incorporated in 1996 (EIN No.: 93-1195514). LBHI's mission is to enhance skills of persons interested or involved in providing behavioral health services to the Latino community. The Institute is dedicated to eliminating discrimination against persons in need of behavioral health services, human services or health care.

LBHI accomplishes its mission by providing training, interactive and didactic education and experiential opportunities to professionals involved in human services with the Latino community. The Institute's activities are intended for consumers, family members, professional care providers, administrators, educators, researchers and trainers.

Since its inception, LBHI has provided hands-on training in delivery of culturally competent behavioral health services to practitioners. It has also participated in education opportunities for family members of persons requiring behavioral healthcare.

LBHI has been joined in its efforts by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission (LACMHC), American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry (ASHP), the Southern California Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), College Hospital, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS), Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (LACDCFS), Pacific Clinics, the National Hispanic Consortium on Mental Health and by the United Farmworkers Foundation.

CONTACT: Latino Behavioral Health Institute
Ambrose Rodriquez
PHONE: (213) 381-8363

Ansel Communications
Gerry Ansel
PHONE: (714) 879-4111

Original Source: Latino Behavioral Health Institute to Present Eleventh Annual Conference, Sept. 20 -- 22. Primezone. August 2005. [Press Release]


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