Public Policy and Mental Health Conference

Date:  Wednesday, October 29, 2014October 29, 2014
Time:  8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (program begins at 8:30 a.m.)
Location:  University of St. Thomas; Opus Hall, 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Map and driving directions.

Event Contact: 
Aneisha Tucker
There is no cost for this program, but pre-registration is required.

This event is full and online registration is now closed.


The Public Policy and Mental Health Conference addresses current mental health issues and will explores social justice issues in mental health and disability. Professionals, students, practitioners, and academics in special education, social work psychology, public policy, education and law are encouraged to attend. This year's theme is Human Trafficking: A Mental Health Challenge.

This conference will educate participants about human trafficking within our state. Focus will also be given to issues relevant to human trafficking in Minnesota, provide awareness on the depth and scope of the problem from the local and national perspective, and provide insight into Minnesota’s “Safe Harbor” legislation. Participants will be provided information on current trafficking law, historical background on case investigation and prosecution in Minnesota, and how local agencies are working to address the complex mental health needs of this population.

Featured speaker: Speakers will include U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen; John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney; Vednita Carter, Breaking Free; and Susan Schmidt, MSSW, LGSW, a consultant on children and immigration issues. Special remarks will be given by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. The conference will also include two panel discussions focusing on human trafficking and the complex mental health issues of this population and the role of professionals and policy makers in addressing their needs.

Who should attend: Attendance is encouraged for professionals from victim services organizations and other allied professions who routinely work with victims of crime in Minnesota. This can include: law enforcement, attorneys, policy makers, educators, victim/witness coordinators, advocates, social workers, and mental health professionals. In addition, students pursuing degrees in any of these professional areas are highly encouraged to attend.


Program Schedule


8:30 a.m.   Registration
9:00 a.m.


Mark Salisbury, Ph.D., Dean, College of Education, Leadership & Counseling

Conference Overview and Special Remarks
Patricia Jensen, J.D., Conference chair and program director, Public Policy and Leadership Program

Video Comments/Welcome
Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota U.S. Senator

9:15 a.m.   Remarks
Susan Neis, Executive Director, Cornerstone
9:30 a.m.


Congressman Erik Paulsen, Minnesota’s Third Congressional District

10:30 a.m.   Break
10:45 a.m.


Panel Discussion
Suzanne Koepplinger, Catalyst Initiative Director, George Family Foundation
Amanda Borde Collier, LICSW, 180 Degrees, Inc.

Moderator: Vednita Carter, Founder and executive director, Breaking Free

12:00 p.m.   Lunch and table discussions
1:00 p.m.


ohn Choi, Ramsey County Attorney

2:00 p.m.


Panel Discussion
Abby Sterner, Legal Advocate, St Paul Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
Commander Bruce Folkens, Minneapolis Police Department

Moderator: George Baboila‌, co-director, University of St. Thomas Inter-professional Center for Counseling and Legal Service
2:45 p.m.   Break
3:00 p.m.


Presentation: Unaccompanied Children
Susan Schmidt, MSSW, LGSW    

3:45 p.m.


Closing Remarks
Patricia Jensen

© University of St. Thomas · Minnesota
1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 ·