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2023 Keynote and Breakout Presentation Descriptions

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Setting the Foundation: Understanding the Building Blocks for Wellness in Childhood

Dr. Megan Zapatelli
9:15 - 10:15 am


By the end of this presentation, you will be able to:

  • Understand an overview of typical brain organization and childhood development. 

  • Understand the stress-response system and the concept of state-dependent functioning.

  • Describe the difference between sensitizing and resilience-building stress patterns of stress.

  • Describe the development of skills in self-regulation and relational health.

  • Develop strategies in their own work and home settings for improved self-regulation and therapeutic environments. 

Emotional Vaccines

Dr. Rahul Mehra 
10:15 - 11:15 am

Life in today’s fast-paced society can be very taxing on our mental health and well-being. How we handle everyday life stressors can impact our ability to lead a healthy and happy life. Existing treatment models are reactive and a more positive, preventative, and revolutionary approach is needed to emphasize education and meet rising demands.

Emotional Vaccines is a physician-led solution to help groups, families and individuals manage life’s daily challenges.

Excellence in Employer Provided Behavioral Health Care

Megan Delp 
11:30 am - 12:30 pm


By the end of this presentation, you will be able to:

  1. Educate on the Importance of Workplace Mental Health: Discuss the significance of mental health in the workplace, emphasizing its impact on employee well-being, productivity, and overall company performance. Highlight the necessity of providing comprehensive mental health benefits for employees to create a supportive work environment.

  2. Demonstrate the ROI of Mental Health Benefits: Present data and case studies illustrating how investing in employee mental health programs can yield positive returns for the company. Showcase how improved mental health can lead to increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism, and enhanced overall workplace morale, leading to higher productivity and retention rates.

  3. Discuss the options for employers to include mental health benefits: Ensure mental health benefits are equitable to physical health benefits, provide access to and education on EAP, investigate whether a digital health tool might be beneficial to your workforce, and provide anonymous feedback channels for employees to discuss the resources/benefits that they need most.

Lunch With Panel

Dave Stafford, Dr. Hillary Blumberg, Dr. Megan Zapatelli, Dr. Rahul Mehra
12:30 - 1:30 pm

This lunch panel will consist of a question and answer period focused on the current state of behavioral health as well as lessons learned throughout the pandemic related to behavioral health, wellness, and service delivery.

Parental Leave and Mental Health

Dr. Jessica Obeysekare  (Breakout Session 1A)
1:30 - 2:30 pm


By the end of the presentation, you will be able to:

  1. Understand a broad overview of current parental leave policy and utilization in the United States and South Carolina.

  2. Review evidence on the intersection of parental leave and health outcomes, with a specific focus on mental health.

  3. Review practical considerations in implementation of changes in parental leave policies.

Worlds Apart: What Works with Adolescents and Why

James Campbell (Breakout Session 1B)
1:30 - 2:30 pm


Advancing Mental Health – Employer Initiatives to Meet Current Challenges

Tonyia Ragland-Davis & David Cerniski (Breakout Session 1C)
1:30 - 2:30 pm

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to amplify mental health challenges for employees and employers.    

Goals and Objectives:

  • Benchmark what employers put in place internally (communication, support networks, etc.) to meet the challenges related to mental health during the pandemic.

  • Benchmark what employers put in place externally (access to EAP and behavioral health services) to meet the challenges related to mental health during the pandemic.

  • Benchmark considerations for the future state of mental health support.  

Mental Health First Aid

Robyn Ellison (Breakout Session 2A)
2:45 - 3:45 pm 


  • Recognize the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems.

  • Interpret the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced negative attitudes in their communities.

  • Assess their own views and feelings about mental health problems and disorders including stigma.

  • Provide information about how to bring MHFA to their groups, communities, and/or businesses.

Physical Activity and Middle Age

Dr. Rahul Mehra (Breakout Session 2B)
2:45 - 3:45 pm 


By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Review the psychosocial and physical barriers to physical activity.

  • Educate on the interplay between physical activity and emotional well-being.

  • Role of physical activity to optimize human performance.

Psychiatric Topics in Aging: Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Belynda Veser (Breakout Session 3B)
2:45 - 3:45 pm


  1. Identify differences in symptom and treatment of adult vs geriatric depression.

  2. Understand key features and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  3. Identify actionable step we can all take to delay/prevent Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

Palliative Care

Dr. Jeff Black (Breakout Session 3A)
4:00 - 4:45 pm


Group Reflection and Support Sessions for Wellness in the Workplace

Dr. Megan Zapatelli and Dr. Neha Hudepohl (Breakout Session 3B)
4:00 - 4:45 pm

Description: The practice of healthcare is ever-changing.  The constant change, while essential, can be stressful and is a contributing factor to physician burnout. Considering the rapid and drastic changes that have happened in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, burnout and physician stress seem to be at an all-time high. During this workshop, the speakers will outline the methods that were used to create the Group Reflection and Support Series (GRASS) and will lead participants in a GRASS session.  By modeling the methods used to create and lead a session, participants will be able to facilitate the GRASS sessions in their own workplace following the session to decrease burnout and to improve wellness across all facets of the changing healthcare system. 



At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the process of creating a support and reflection group.

  2. Identify the components required to develop a Group Reflection and Support Session (GRASS).

  3. Appreciate the experience of a GRASS participant.

  4. Create and lead a GRASS that can be used to support healthcare professionals in any setting.

Bi-Polar Disorder

Dr. Hillary Blumberg (Breakout Session 3C)
4:00 - 4:45 pm


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