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Youth Mental Health Conference: Closing the Gap

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Youth Mental Health Conference: Closing the Gap

According to national studies, the average delay from the time youth begin to exhibit mental illness symptoms and the time they begin to receive care is 8-10 years. The 2022 Youth Mental Health Conference "Closing the Gap" will provide up-to-date information, trauma-informed best practices and practical solutions on how each of us can use our influence to close this 8-10 year gap.

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Conference Overview

When & Where

October 20, 2022
8:30-4:30, with Reception Following
Holiday Inn Executive Center-Columbia Mall
2200 Interstate 70 Drive Southwest
Columbia, MO, 65203


  • Early-Bird Registration (Through Sept. 16): $99
  • Standard Registration (After Sept. 16): $124
  • CEs: Additional $25

Keynote Speakers

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Dr. Lori Desautels

Dr. Lori Desautels has been an Assistant Professor at Butler University since 2016 where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Education. Lori was also an Assistant Professor at Marian University in Indianapolis for eight years where she founded the Educational Neuroscience Symposium. Through these conferences and symposiums, educators, parents, and the community learn to implement the tools to help our students be successful and feel a sense of purpose and connection as they walk into their classrooms. Lori’s articles are published in Edutopia, Brain Bulletin, and Mind Body Spirit international magazine.

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Rick Lavoie

Rick Lavoie served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs for 30 years. He has delivered his message to over 500,000 parents and professionals throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Rick’s intensive experiences at residential schools provided him with a “living laboratory” in which he developed and refined his methods and philosophies related to the education of children and adolescents with special needs. Rick is the author of the book “It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success(Touchstone/ Simon and Schuster, 2005).

Breakout Track Topics

In addition to keynote speakers Rick Lavoie and Dr. Lori Desautels, breakout session topics will include the following tracks:

  • Whole-School: This track will address relevant topics for teachers, administrators and school systems
  • Behavioral Health Professionals: This track will address topics relevant for behavioral health professionals working with youth
  • Challenging Situations: This track will address topics regarding Seriously Emotionally Disturbed youth, high-risk behaviors, juvenile justice involved youth and those presenting with the most challenging situations
  • Special Topics: This track will address specialized topics, including diversity, equity and inclusion

2022 Youth mental health advocate award

The Youth Mental Health Advocate Award recognizes an individual who truly personifies what it means to provide or promote youth mental health. Who is someone you know who has gone above and beyond for the youth in their lives and demonstrates a commitment to their overall wellness and success? Submit them for this award so they can be recognized for their great work. Submit your nomination by September 23.

Submit Your Nomination
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Call for Speaking Proposals

Share your expertise by presenting a breakout session! Use the link below to fill out your proposal. Deadline to submit is August 19.

Submit Proposal

Sponsorship Opportunities

Become an integral part of our fall conference, Youth Mental Health: Closing the Gap, which will bring together hundreds of educators, administrators, community leaders, students and behavioral health professionals from across the Midwest for a day of conversation and learning about behavioral health needs, services and trends in our schools, our communities and in homes. Secure your sponsorship by emailing Karen Braun at karen.braun@burrellcenter.com.


24-Hour Crisis Line

Call our toll-free, 24-hour telephone line for help with your immediate crisis situation.

Southwest Missouri: 1-800-494-7355

Central Missouri: 1-800-395-2132

National Help Line: Call or Text 988