MSSA Northwest District Virtual Conference 2021

Thursday, September 2, 2021
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Thanks for joining us on September 2 for the Northwest District Conference! A certificate of attendance, recordings of the sessions, and handouts will be emailed to registrants the week of September 7.


8:00 - 9:15 am Ferocious Self-Care: To Survive or Not to Survive
Laurie Dahley, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, Concordia College
  Been to a self-care session lately? Implemented any measures? The pandemic served as a wake-up call that we need to be ferocious in our self-care. This session will explore the need not only to understand the need for a self-care plan but also to create a plan that will work for the short run and long haul. Resources and tools to establish a plan will be provided.
9:30 - 11:30 am Ethical Professional Relationships
Jeremy Carney, PhD, MSW, Professor of Social Work, Minnesota State University Moorhead

Most high-profile ethics cases involving helping professionals revolve around the development of problematic relationships with clients. What are the potential hazards of these relationships? How can rural practitioners avoid these pitfalls? Dr. Carney will explore these issues and the ethical implications involved. An engaging discussion of professional boundaries and an ethical framework for decision making will be the focus of this session. This presentation will use a number of case studies to illustrate these ethical dilemmas, so come prepared to participate! 

11:30 am - 12:15 pm Lunch Break

12:15 - 1:15 pm Fostering an Inclusive Work Environment Beyond Performative Actions
Alexa Dixson-Griggs, Economic Empowerment Program Coordinator, CAPLP (Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership)

  This presentation will discuss how to create and foster a culture where diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts can thrive. Participants will learn how to assess their current organizations' cultures, how to engage staff, and finally, how to assess change over time. There will be actionable items included that can be tailored to fit the needs of each agency.

1:15 - 1:30 pm  MSSA Public Policy and Advocacy
Michelle SanCartier, MPH, MSW, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, MSSA

1:45 - 3:00 pm  People Have the Right to Make Bad Decisions!
Mandy Lilly MSW, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Superior 
Self-determination, bias, influence, and choice—this seminar seeks to discuss the considerations for supporting choice in an ambiguous social landscape. Review of the components of independent decision-making and the Code of Ethics encourages participants to evaluate their understanding of self-determination. The presentation is beneficial for those who work with populations often marginalized against independent choice: Individuals with disabilities, the elderly, children, and diverse communities. 

3:15 - 4:30 pm  Co-Occurring Disorders
Michelle Wilson, M.Ed., LPCC, LADC, Lakeland Mental Health Center 
  One of the binding features of people drawn to a career in social service is often seeking to understand the experience of another person. This webinar is designed to expand the understanding of clinicians who work with people navigating substance use/misuse and mental health diagnoses. People who require intervention for co-occurring disorders often navigate systemic limitations and stigma. By challenging stigma and placing an emphasis on function of substance use in relation to symptom management, clinicians not only improve outcomes but the quality of experiences in treatment settings. This webinar will provide information regarding potential functions of substance use in relation to specific substance benefits, as well as provide information regarding best practice interventions and emerging research intervention to best serve people navigating substance use/misuse and co-occurring disorders.