close of up the exterior of little hall

UA VitAL Team to Host Conference on Behavioral Health

Logo for VitALTUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama will hold a conference on emerging trends in behavioral health Aug. 25-26 at the Bryant Conference Center.

Jointly hosted by the VitAL initiative in the UA School of Social Work and the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the conference includes in-person and virtual options for attendees and will focus on the connection between behaviors and their impact on individuals. Strategies for engagement and treatment will also be discussed.

The conference is designed to expand the knowledge of any professional interested in gaining knowledge on mental health and substance use disorders including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers, counselors, educators/teachers, first responders, drug court officials, law enforcement officers and peer support specialists.

Attendees will take courses ranging from myths about mental health to identifying the need for person-centered communication in persons with or at risk for opioid misuse.

“We are so excited about the inaugural offering of this training event,” said Dr. Ellen Robertson, conference director. “With a speaker lineup of experts in behavioral health, you can expect to gain up-to-date information you can apply with your patients or clients. We hope to have a substantial turnout as we intentionally designed this conference to be extremely informative and useful to people across many important professions in our state.”

VitAL is a trusted partnership between Alabama state agencies and the UA School of Social Work. Through engagement, collaboration, research and education, VitAL is committed to improving the lives of Alabamians with mental health, substance use and trauma-related challenges.

A collection of specialists will speak during the conference including award-winning mental health and suicide prevention activist Kevin Hines; Dr. Mark Westfall, psychiatrist; Dr. Brent Boyett, addiction specialist; and Dr. Trolonda Triplett, a social epidemiologist, public health ethicist and engineer.

Visit for additional information and online registration.

VitAL Alabama Annual Conference

Aug. 25-26, 2022

Bryant Conference Center 

Jackie Harrison

Related Stories


Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, 205-348-4328,


Jackie Harrison, VitAL,