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Be one of the researchers, practitioners, policy makers, service user advocates, and students sharing ideas, research, innovative programs, resources, and strategies to promote mental health, strengthen mental health services and improve lives.  The abstract submissions deadline has been extended to May 15. Conference registration will open June 1. 

Not sure whether your work fits? Download the call for abstracts and abstract guidelines.

CALLING ALL STUDENTS!! Submit your abstract to be eligible for the Outstanding Student Abstract  award.

Now more than ever we need research, innovation, and action to promote behavioral health among individuals, families, and communities. In the United States, Canada, and the world, people feel marginalized, many do not have a voice, and many slip through the cracks of our communities and systems. Making progress necessitates a comprehensive, people-centered approach to developing and implementing formal and informal services and supports. Such progress cannot be made without the engagement of community members, practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.

Recognizing the need to act, the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association, or “Ortho”) encourages proposals that illustrate innovative and effective efforts to:

  • Prevent behavioral health challenges;
  • Promote health and well-being;
  • Foster responsive community systems;
  • Value wellness and healing knowledge of marginalized individuals, families, and communities;
  • Implement well-targeted intervention and treatment;
  • Develop strategies for addressing social determinants of whole health; and
  • Increase equity across communities.

All authors whose submissions are accepted will have the opportunity to submit papers for possible inclusion in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. All conference presenters and attendees must register for the conference.

Presenters are responsible for their own travel, accommodations, and registration expenses.

Examples of topics related to the goals and themes of the conference

Presentations may address research, policy, and practice topics that could include (but are not limited to) such contexts and foci as:

Systems, for example:

  • Effective strategies in integrating behavioral health and primary health care
  • Organizing systems and supports to reach underserved populations
  • Mechanisms to support cross-sector collaboration and coordinated care
  • Policy change to support behavioral health
  • Substance use prevention and intervention
  • System supports for culturally- and contextually-sensitive intervention
  • Enhancing children’s social and emotional competencies in our schools

Community, for example:

  • Efforts to address income inequality or economic mobility
  • Community-campus partnerships
  • Neighborhood or physical environment influences on behavioral health and social development
  • The contribution of the built environment and/or green space to behavioral health and well-being
  • Multilevel strategies to prevent homelessness
  • Community and neighborhood initiatives to support individuals with behavioral health needs
  • Strategies for fostering support for individuals and families
  • Contextually- and culturally-responsive intervention

Marginalized and Underserved Populations, for example:

  • Promoting positive mental health and well-being for marginalized and underserved populations
  • Responding to the needs of children and youth
  • Promoting behavioral health and social justice for LGBTQx populations
  • Preventing behavioral health problems and meeting behavioral health needs of indigenous populations
  • Facilitating reintegration of military veterans
  • Advocating for human rights for diverse populations
  • Supporting integration post-incarceration
  • Prevention of and intervention for human trafficking

Guidelines for Submitting an Abstract

  • Session type (formats described below).
  • Presentation title (15 words maximum).
  • Short Abstract: These 75-word abstracts will be included in the conference program book and the conference program app. They are required for all submissions except poster presentation proposals.
  • Long Abstract: These abstracts will inform the review and proposal evaluation process. Format-specific
    guidelines are noted for each session / presentation type.
  • Presenters / Authors (as well as their affiliations and contact information).
  • Learning Objectives: A minimum of two learning objectives must be submitted with each abstract.
  • Themes / Topic areas: Submissions will indicate up to 3 key areas (from the 7 main themes / topic areas from this call for proposal) with which the proposed presentation aligns.
  • Qualification statement: MUST be specific to the abstract and describe presenter’s qualification and areas of expertise as it relates to the topic.
  • Additional requests (e.g., length of session; access needs; faith-based accommodations)

Presentation Formats: Description and Guidelines

Abstracts should include adequate discussion of background/rationale, method/approach, results/findings/discussion objectives, and conclusions/implications so that reviewers can evaluate the submission’s potential contribution to the conference.

  • Poster presentation. Posters can provide valuable opportunities for one-on-one or small group discussion of a work. Submissions will be considered across all topic areas, and poster sessions will be organized to cluster work with similar themes, populations of focus, or emphases. Poster abstracts are limited to a maximum of 250 words.
  • Individual paper. Submissions will be considered across all topic areas. Accepted submissions of these traditional presentations will be grouped thematically with one or more other related works in a 50-minute session. Depending upon space and scheduling availability, some individual paper submissions may be accepted as posters. Paper abstracts are limited to a maximum of 250 words.
  • Symposium. Symposia typically include 3 or 4 papers organized around a central theme, issue or approach. They also will generally include a chair or moderator as well as a discussant. Symposia can present different elements of a large-scale project, varying approaches to intervention / prevention, diverse perspectives regarding an issue faced by communities or systems, and the like. Symposium submissions should include a 200-word (maximum) abstract that provides an overview of the session and the planned approach as well as abstracts (250 words maximum) for each individual paper. The overall abstract should also include specific information about the presenters’ planned approach for engagement of conference participants. At the time of submission, presenters will also indicate a preference for a 50- vs. 75-minute session.
  • Panel discussion. These 50-minute sessions typically include multiple presenters and a moderator who facilitates the discussion. Panels may include one or more brief presentations of ideas or key content; the primary focus is the presentation of ideas, findings, and/or recommendations by panelists, and for these presentations to elicit a questions from and responses by conference participants. These sessions typically focus on timely issues in the field as well as needed future directions and recommendations for practice, programming, and policy. Abstracts must also include specific information about the planned strategies for facilitation and the proposed approach for engagement of audience members. Abstracts are limited to a maximum of 250 words.
  • Round table. These 50-minute sessions are intended to foster discussion among presenters and conference participants. These sessions are typically less formal than panel discussions and often lend themselves to more audience participation. One or more facilitators may lead a session, which may include a brief presentation of foundational content prior to the interaction- or discussion-focused activity. These sessions provide a forum for sharing ideas and learning about diverse perspectives. They typically focus on critical issues in the field, innovative projects or initiatives, lessons learned, and needed future directions. Abstracts must also include specific information about the planned strategies for facilitation and the proposed approach for engagement of audience members. Abstracts are limited to a maximum of 250 words.
  • Workshop. This presentation format focuses on skill-building or competence-enhancement. These sessions are usually focused on a method (e.g., using social network analysis in applied research; how Geographic Information Systems can inform community-based intervention), approach (e.g., community-based participatory research), or work within a particular setting or domain (e.g., policy, advocacy). Workshop instruction may be provided by a maximum of 3 presenters. Workshop abstracts (maximum of 500 words) must specify the content focus of the workshop, the proposed instructional methods, the learning objectives for participants, and strategies for engaging audience members and facilitating interaction. Submissions must also specify the preferred length of the workshop session (i.e., 60, 90, 120, or 180 minutes). Those proposing workshop sessions will also need to submit a brief biosketch (150 words) for each presenter and a short (maximum 10 pages) curriculum vitae.

Selection Criteria

Including but not limited to:

  • Alignment of the submission with conference theme and emphases
  • Clarity of purpose and goal(s) for proposed presentation
  • Relevance / significance of the topic for practice, education/preservice training, research, or policy
  • Implications / actionable recommendations for behavioral health practice or policy
  • Appropriate methodology / rigor (as relevant)
  • Potential contribution to knowledge / applied work
  • Evidence of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Overall quality of submission; effective communication regarding planned presentation

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