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Daughter of Musician Ray Charles to Speak About the Value of Substance Misuse Professionals at Northeast Workforce Forum on September 14th
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Bureau of Drug and Alchohol Services
Publish Date:
September 12, 2016

CONCORD – The State and its partners bring celebrated speakers, performers, professionals and job candidates together for the Northeast Workforce Forum on September 14th in Manchester at Southern New Hampshire University to address workforce development in the substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health fields.

The Northeast Workforce Forum is one of only four events scheduled nationally, and is a collaboration between the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS), officials from Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the New England Institute on Addiction Studies.

According to BDAS director Joe Harding, the wide range of participating organizations ensures that the forum is a regional event.

“New Hampshire is developing a robust continuum of care to address the State’s opioid crisis, ranging from innovative treatment, crisis and recovery services to investment in training for qualified physicians, clinicians and other healthcare professionals, that is critical to providing an effective high-quality service,” Harding said.

“This is an excellent opportunity for people interested in mental health, human service or social work careers, in addition to people in the substance use disorder career track,” said Dianne Pepin, MEd., MLADC, executive director of the NH Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Association. Pepin added that the event will allow current and potential students to network directly with organizations with hiring potential.

Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of musician and singer Ray Charles, will also speak about the value of working in the profession from the perspective of someone who has received life-saving counseling. Both father and daughter struggled with SUD and Sheila is now a nationally recognized advocate on the subject.

Lindy Keller, resource and development administrator at BDAS, will offer opening remarks and discuss the importance of SUD services. The event’s featured speakers include Kathryn Power, the SAMHSA Regional Administrator for Region 1 (which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), Cynthia Moreno Touhy from NAADAC, who will discuss the national perspective, Kelly Reardon, MEd., CAGS, MLADC, who is the president elect of NHADACA and chair of the NH Board of Licensing for Alcohol & Other Drug Use Professionals, and Charles, who will speak and perform for attendees.

In addition, instructors will discuss New Hampshire’s certification and licensing requirements, allow participants to network and establish industry connections, and discuss the benefits of a career in behavioral health.

At the conclusion of the event, a panel of students and professionals working in the field will convene to discuss the path they took to begin their careers in behavioral health.

The forum will be streamed online live, rebroadcast in other New England states, and captured for future digital distribution through NAADAC and additional trainings may be added.

In addition, 15 to 20 sponsors will feature booths to provide informational materials.

The event is open to all members of the public, but registration is required at:

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