Thursday, April 14, 2011

Save the date for the Children’s Justice and Mental Health conference in Cheyenne

This June 14-17 conference is timely, as mental health needs and juvenile justice continue to be big topics in Wyoming. Just yesterday, Gov. Mead was interviewed by Bob Beck on Wyoming Public Radio about the state’s flawed juvenile justice system.

The ACLU and other organizations have criticized the high numbers of juveniles who are jailed, many for minor offenses. Groups have called for a uniform approach towards addressing young offenders. Now, each county decides how to handle juveniles. Gov. Mead says he is trying to get a handle on how large the problem is, but says he does favor some type of uniform approach.
"The goal is not to put as many Juveniles in jail as possible, the goal is to address Juvenile problems and delinquency and address it. Jail is always going to be part of that, but we don't want to put more than we have to in jail."

Mead says he would like to see a Juvenile Justice system with strong accountability, but he does think they need to move away from incarcerating Juveniles. The legislature's Judiciary committee is tackling the issue next week.
Gov. Mead is in the hot seat on this one. His Republican Party supports tough crime laws  and local control. They have a Biblical bent toward “spare the rod and spoil the child.” None of that bodes well for juveniles seeking fairness from the justice system, especially in very rural counties.

The 2011 Children’s Justice and Mental Health Conference, “Well-Being, Family Voice, and Children’s Choice,” will be held June 14-17, 2011, at Little America, Cheyenne

Parent scholarships are available (see below for more info).

The conference agenda is built around several keynote sessions with a selection of breakout sessions. The conference will focus on building the capacity for a broad group of stakeholders including service providers, parents, and policy-makers in the following areas: trauma informed care, understanding the juvenile justice system, parenting children with serious emotional disorders, system of care for children’s mental health, and medication assisted treatment for youth and adolescents.

Internationally known counselor, speaker, and author, Dr. Bruce Perry, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Perry is a recognized authority on children in crisis. He has been consulted on many high-profile incidents involving traumatized children, including the Columbine school shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Branch Davidian siege. Additionally, Dr. Rick Delaney, a psychologist who specializes in foster and adoptive children and their parents, will be sharing practical strategies for parenting and working with children with serious emotional and behavioral problems.

Conference also includes a panel focusing on the juvenile justice system entitled, “Where Do Parents Fit In?” And Dr. Bob Klaehn will present on medication assisted treatment for youth and adolescents.

There is not a registration fee but participants must register at and click on “annual conference” or

UPLIFT has been awarded funding from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for a limited number of scholarships to assist with travel/lodging costs.  Parents participating in this event will have the opportunity to engage with other stakeholders and build their skills in understanding and parenting their child.  Parents of children or youth with emotional or mental health disorders need to register for the conference at website listed above and then submit the following information to UPLIFT at 4007 Greenway St., Ste. 201, Cheyenne, WY 82001 or

P.S.: I serve on the UPLIFT board. You can leave a comment here if you seek more info.


RobertP said...


Until recently Tyler was on the Missouri Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (even got appointed by a republican governor). She greatly enjoyed it and went to the Conference that was held in D.C.

glad to see you involved on the UPLIFT board.


Michael Shay said...

Bob: Tyler is an amazing woman and you should be proud -- I know you are. Missouri may be like Wyoming in some ways. There are times when Dems and Repubs have to work together. This issue is a biggie.