Porterville College

Porterville College to Host Mental Health Conference May 2

Porterville College to Host Mental Health Conference May 2

Conference will feature six breakout sessions led by local health professionals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PORTERVILLE, Calif. – (April 19, 2018) – Porterville College and the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, in partnership with Porterville Unified School District, Burton School District and the Tulare County Office of Education, will host an “Overcoming Obstacles: Signs, Symptoms and Strategies” mental health conference May 2 at PC.

The conference is free and open to the public and will take place from 1-5 p.m. in the college theater. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. The event is geared toward kindergartners through college sophomores, postsecondary educators and support providers.

The event will feature a variety of breakout sessions, including:

  • “Psychotropic Medication and Alternatives,” presented by Diane Kecskes, who is the psychiatric medical director at Promesa Behavioral Health in Fresno.
  • “Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention,” presented by Michelle Reynoso, who is a California certified prevention specialist for the Tulare County Alcohol and Other Drug treatment programs.
  • “Individualized Educational Plan Criteria and Process, Student Study Teams, 504 Plans,” presented by Heather Rodriguez, who is the special education coordinator for Burton School District.
  • “Trauma-Informed Practices for Schools,” presented by Ray Buchanan, who is the clinical supervisor for the Tulare County Office of Education’s Behavioral Health Services.
  • “College Transition and Porterville College Programs, Resources, Supports,” presented by Errin Sullivan Arcos, who is a certified rehabilitation counselor and learning disability specialist for the Disability Resource Center at Porterville College.
  • “Suicide Prevention and Intervention,” presented by Noah Whitaker and Lisa Williams Hall. Whitaker coordinates the Tulare & Kings Counties Suicide Prevention Task Force and Hall is Porterville College’s safety and security program manager.

Citrus High School principal Scott Braden, who in 2010 authored an inspirational book for educators titled “Win Their Hearts…Win Their Minds,” will be the event’s keynote speaker. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 43.8 million adults experience some kind of mental illness in a given year. Also according to NAMI, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24.

“Mental health is an important part of everyone’s overall health. Its importance cannot be underestimated,” said Diane Thompson, PC’s director of Student Services. “As a team, we are committed to increasing public safety through cross-system collaborations and doing everything we can to prevent suicide, destigmatize mental health disorders and promote help-seeking behavior for all of our students.”

Preregistration is required for this conference. Those who are interested in attending can register via the PC website. For registration assistance, contact Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde at solmedo@portervillecollege.edu or 791-2425.


Any questions about this event can be directed to Alex Schultz, who can be reached at (559) 791-2209 or alex.schultz@portervillecollege.edu.

Kern Community College District