Mangano: Nassau County To Address Childhood Trauma At Conference On Co-Occurring Disorders

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced Nassau County’s 4th Annual Co-Occurring Conference, to be held on December 6th at Hofstra University, and focus on “Pathways to Healthier Children: Identifying & Treating Childhood Trauma.” The conference will focus on ways to increase awareness of how trauma affects cognition and behavior, and provide guidance on therapeutic interventions that can be used when working with children, adolescents and their families.

After multiple school shootings nationwide, and the profound effects of Superstorm Sandy across Long Island, Nassau County’s Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency & Developmental Disabilities Services will provide local professionals with information on healthy responses to children who witnessed or experienced trauma. The conference will emphasize the practical strategies that can be used in schools and community settings. A keynote speaker will focus on the mental health response for the children who survived the Avianca plane crash in Cove Neck in 1990. That incident created the platform on which future mental health interventions following disasters were developed.

Dr. James R. Dolan, Jr., Nassau’s Director of Community Services, will present an award at the conference to recognize an individual that delivers outstanding “Integrated Care” to children. The first speaker of the day will discuss the new normal of the highly stressed child. Breakout sessions will follow on topics such as: treatment for children with PTSD; how to recognize, prevent and respond to child abuse and sexual assault; and solutions for the treatment-resistant client. Attendees of the conference will also hear a first-person account from a resident who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as an undergraduate at Harvard University. The Uniondale native will tell of his journey from mental illness to wellness, and the advocacy work he is doing in schools about learning to live with mental illness.

Experts have found that trauma in childhood can affect children cognitively, behaviorally, and physically and can lead to an increased likelihood of substance abuse, mental illness, and other negative impacts.The challenge of integrating care for mental health, chemical dependency and physical health care is the mission of the County’s recently launched Behavioral Health Awareness Campaign.

The conference is hosted in collaboration with the Mental Health Association of Nassau County and will take place at Hofstra University’s Mack Student Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. County Executive Mangano will make opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. To register for the conference, call (516) 463-5750. Hofstra University’s registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and 6 OASAS credits.