Bluefield College to Host Conference to Encourage Human Service - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield College to Host Conference to Encourage Human Service Providers

            Bluefield College will host a human services conference, Friday, May 16 from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. designed to support and encourage human service providers who are always attending to the health and welfare of others while seldom getting the chance to care for themselves.
Titled “A Path to Hope: A Conference Encouraging Current and Future Human Service Providers,” the forum will feature eight professional development workshops and a keynote presentation led by leading local human service specialists, including Twyla Hersman, a nationally certified counselor with more than 25 years of experience, who will serve as keynote speaker.
“I will speak about, ‘Hope for the Helping Professional,’” said Hersman, a licensed professional counselor and supervisor who maintains a private practice in Princeton, West Virginia, “as I believe those in the human services field can always benefit from a reminder to take good care of themselves.”
Co-sponsored by the SouthwestVirginia Workforce Investment Board, an affiliate of the Virginia WorkforceNetwork, “A Path to Hope” will feature eight motivational and instructional sessions, including: 1) Behavioral Health as the Crow Flies, led by DeAnna Dick, M.A., provisionally licensed counselor, 2) Leading Like a Champion, led by Dr. Bob Boozer, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Psychology at Bluefield College, 3) Education: How Does it Determine What Human Services Job I Get?, led by Jamie Edwards, M.A., M.Ed., assistant professor of sociology and human services at Wytheville Community College, and by Brenda Workman, online admissions counselor at Bluefield College, 4) Mental Health Trends and Issues of Children and Youth in Rural Southwest Virginia, led by Kimberly M. Hall,M.S.W., program director at Pressley Ridge in Tazewell, Virginia, 5) Pardon the Interruption - Addiction in Appalachia: There is Hope, led by Jamie Edwards, M.A., M.Ed., assistant professor of sociology and human services at Wytheville Community College, 6) Motivation for Motivators: Braiding Hope, Encouragement and Understanding in Human Services, led by Kimberly Sobey Brintle, M.A. , director of the Bland County Department of Social Services, 7) Suicide in the Appalachian Region: A Discussion of Risk Factors and Protective Factors and Their Impact on Intervention, led by Connie Cochran, M.A., licensed psychologist, director of business development for The Behavioral Health Pavilion of The Virginias, 8) Improving Mental Health Awareness: An Overview of Common Psychiatric Illnesses, Treatment and Barriers to Recovery, led by Dr. Jeffry Gee, M.D., psychiatrist and medical director for The Behavioral Health Pavilion of the Virginias.
Human service professionals, including counselors, psychologists and advocates in such diverse settings as group homes and halfway houses; correctional, intellectual disability, and community mental health centers; family, child, and youth service agencies; and programs concerned with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and aging,among others, are invited to attend the conference. Students and teachers of the profession are also encouraged to take part.
Registration for the event will take place in 8 a.m. inside Bluefield College’s Shott Hall, followed by a welcome assembly at 8:30 a.m., the first workshop session at 8:45 a.mthe secondond session at 10:15 a.m., and the final workshop session at 1:15 p.m. In between workshops, participants are invited to visit vendors at a Job and Agencies Fair, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Private or non-profit human services agencies are invited to be a part of the Job and Agencies Fair by applying in advance for a vendor’s booth at The cost for one table space is $50 for private agencies and $25 for non-profit agencies. Each vendor registration includes two individual tickets to workshops and two individual tickets for lunch.
            The “Path to Hope” schedule will also include lunch at noon during which time Hersman will present her “Hope for the Helping Professional” keynote address. In addition to her private practice counseling in Princeton, Hersman counsels victims of various types of trauma at Child Protect of Mercer County. The event will conclude with a question and answer session involving participants, presenters and agencies.
The cost for the daylong conference is just $12 for human service professionals. Students from local colleges will be admitted for free. All participants, including students, are asked to pre-register in advance online by visiting Additional support for the conference has been provided by Wordsprint, printers, designers and direct mail specialists from Wytheville, Virginia.
            For more information, contact Brenda Workman by e-mail at or by phone at 276-326-4293.
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