2021 Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference

///2021 Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference
2021 Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference 2021-01-15T16:25:49+00:00

Registration is Open

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s annual Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference will take place virtually on Friday, February 5, 2021. Participants from all over the country attend this conference to learn about the newest research, innovative supports, and best practices to assist and advance the mental health needs of children, adolescents, and young adults. Register Here.

The 2021 event, Closing the Gap: Prioritizing the Needs of Traumatized Youth, will examine the intersection between the pandemic and complex trauma, and the role trauma plays in rising suicide rates among marginalized youth. 

The conference is geared toward parents, caregivers, mental health professionals, educators, and students. The schedule includes two keynote presentations, a panel discussion, breakout sessions, and virtual exhibitor time. Continuing Education Credits and Act 48 hours are available.

View the Conference Schedule
View the Conference Brochure
Conference Registration

Paid registrants will have access to recorded sessions and presentations for an additional 30 days (March 7). Recordings are accessible from the Agenda tab on the Event Website.

Continuing Education Credits 

Psychologists: UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education credits for psychologists. UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This program is being offered for 6.5 continuing education hours. 

Licensed/Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists (LSW/LCSW, LPC, LMFT): This program is offered for 6.5 hours of social work continuing education through co-sponsorship of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, a Council on Social Work Education accredited school and, therefore, a Pennsylvania pre-approved provider of social work continuing education. These credit hours satisfy requirements for LSW/LCSW, LPC, and LMFT biennial license renewal. For information on social work continuing education call (412) 624-3711. 

Mental Health Professionals: Nurses and other health care professionals are awarded 0.65 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). One CEU is equal to 10 contact hours. Nurses: For attending this program you will receive a Certificate of Attendance confirming 6.5 hours of continuing education. These hours may be considered eligible for completing the 30 hours of continuing education required for biannual nursing re-licensure in Pennsylvania. 

Peer Specialists: This program fulfills requirements for Certified Peer Specialists continuing education. For attending you will receive a Certificate of Attendance. There is no additional fee. Certified Peer Specialists should register at the Individual Rate, not the Mental Health Professional rate.  

ACT 48: Allegheny Intermediate Unit is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer continuing education credits under Act 48 guidelines. Allegheny Intermediate Unit adheres to the Act 48 Continuing Education Guidelines. 


* Cancellations made prior to Thursday, January 28, will be refunded. If requesting CEUs, a $25 administrative fee will be deducted from your refund. No refunds will be issued after Thursday, January 28, 2021. 

Those receiving continuing education credits or Act 48 hours,  must attend the entire conference in order to receive the full credit hours. Partial credit hours will not be given for this conference. Registrants will receive more instructions via email on the day of the conference.

Continuing education credits (SW, PSYCH, CEU’s) cannot be earned after the CE period ends at 5:15 p.m. (EST) on Friday, February 5. You must attend the live conference in order to receive your full credit hours, with the exception of ACT 48 hours.

Those registered for ACT 48 hours have until midnight on Sunday, February 14 to earn credit hours for this conference. Although a recorded version of the conference can be viewed up to 30 days following the live conference, after February 14, ACT 48 hours cannot be earned.

Conference Lineup

Conference Registration

Opening Keynote Presentation

Coronavirus Pandemic: Coping Strategies for Youth With a History of Complex Trauma


Jana Pressley, PsyD, Director of Clinical Services, Complex Trauma Treatment Center Boston; Senior Training Associate, Foundation Trust.


Current events can trigger complicated and painful responses for youth with chronic relational trauma, or complex trauma. In this presentation, we will distinguish between complex trauma and acute, situational trauma. We will further describe some of the common symptoms and difficulties that complex trauma survivors have been facing during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Given the ongoing nature of the pandemic, individuals and families are feeling cumulative distress: grieving lost time with loved ones and managing disrupted life routines and annual traditions. We will discuss strategies for sustained coping, with a focus on how to build and maintain a sense of safety and connection to support youth and families during this time.

Conference Registration

Panel Discussion

The Path Forward: Addressing Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Education for Marginalized Youth


Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO,
National Alliance on Mental Illness

Michelle M. Johns, MPH, PhD, Health Scientist, Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, Psychologist; Founder of the AAKOMA Project
Nikki Pitre, Exec. Dir., Center for Native American Youth, Aspen Institute


Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 10 – 24.¹  Statistics show that when you go deeper, marginalized youth are being impacted at an even greater rate. The suicide death rate among Black youth has been found to be increasing faster than any other racial/ethnic group.²  For Native/Indigenous youth between the ages of 15-19, the suicide death rate is more than double that of non-Hispanic white youth.³  Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.⁴

The numbers are staggering. It’s clear that the current one-size-fits-all approach to suicide prevention and mental health education isn’t working. So what is our path forward? How can we prioritize the needs of diverse youth? How can we adapt our discussions about mental health concerns to better engage all young people? Experts from across the country will discuss the unique risk factors and culturally competent protective factors of suicide.

Conference Registration

Closing Keynote Presentation

Re-coding Your Life – Mental Health Fitness for Uncertain Times


Kai Koerber, Mental Health Activist; UC Berkeley, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health, Board Member


Kai Koerber survived the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Following this tragedy, Kai turned his attention to mental health advocacy. He launched the nonprofit, Societal Reform Corporation, which pushes for mental health in schools, specifically the implementation of mindfulness, mental health training, and the use of neurotechnology tools for students in all grades and universities.

In his presentation, Re-coding Your Life – Mental Health Fitness for Uncertain Times, Kai will share his experience and talk about how he is using technology to connect with his peers to help them manage their mental health, especially negative emotions, to reduce stress and improve confidence.

Youth Mental Health Leadership Award

For the second year in a row, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania will honor a young person who is a change-leader in the areas of mental health education and shifting conversations about mental health from negative to positive.

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s Youth Mental Health Leadership Award recognizes the passion and courage of young leaders who are committed to fighting the stigma of mental health conditions, providing a safe community for peers to share their own mental health experiences, and empowering peers through education.

To be eligible for the Youth Mental Health Leadership Award, the nominee must:

  • be between the ages of 13 to 21;
  • reside in Pennsylvania;
  • be nominated by self or other.

The award recipient will receive a $500 scholarship and a commemorative plaque.

The nomination process is closed.

The award will be presented during the NAMI Keystone PA Child, Adolescent, and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Virtual Conference on Friday, February 5, 2021. The award recipient will be asked to give brief remarks during the event. The award recipient will also be required to submit a photo for promotional purposes once they have been chosen.

Elle Snyder (center) received NKPA’s inaugural Mental Health Youth Leadership Award in 2020.

Virtual Conference Marketing Opportunities

The conference will feature speakers from across the country who will share their expertise and personal experience on a variety of topics including the pandemic and complex trauma, and suicide prevention and education for marginalized youth.


Sponsors can choose among three categories: Diamond, Silver, or Bronze. Each option includes a listing in the online sponsor directory, logo on the virtual event website and in virtual lobby, exhibitor’s booth that includes live interaction with attendees during “Virtual Exhibitor Time,” lead retrieval, logo included in conference emails, acknowledgment on NAMI Keystone PA’s social media channels, and an ad in the virtual program.

Sponsorship Details


Secure your virtual resource table today at one of the region’s only conferences specializing in youth mental health. The virtual conference will include an expo page that showcases exhibitors, “Virtual Exhibitor Time” that allows exhibitors and attendees to interact virtually, and lead retrieval.

Exhibitor Information

Place an Ad

The virtual program features a complete schedule of the day’s events, bios on the main presenters, and workshop descriptions. Placing an ad is an opportunity to highlight your company or organization’s name, promote your book or research study, or spread the word about an important initiative.

Place an Ad

For information on sponsoring, exhibiting, or placing an ad, contact Sara Levine Steinberg at slsteinberg@namikeystonepa.org.


Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Prior Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conferences