VCPI to host free 'Grow Your Impact in Mental Health' conference September 22

Vermont Business Magazine The nonprofit Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement & Innovation (VCPI) is hosting their annual conference – in a virtual format - on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. The theme for this year is Grow Your Impact in Mental Health! and this special online event is free and open to all.

“Tending to one’s personal & professional development is no simple matter, especially in these challenging times,” said Alex Lehning, Executive Director of VCPI. “We are here to help ground and support all essential work in mental health and wellness.”

Each year, VCPI offers workshops, technical assistance, and other learning resources across the full spectrum of providers as well as peers - including community mental health centers, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, practitioners, advocates, schools, and those with lived experience and their families. This full-day program, reflecting that mission, will feature presentations, workshops, self-care, informal networking, discussion, raffle prizes & more! Recognizing that screen time is valuable, session formats are drop-in and accessible by computer, mobile device, or phone via Zoom.

Topics and themes addressed will include health equity, workforce development, navigating COVID-19 & mental health, communications, and wellness in nature:

8:30am: Morning Mindfulness Practice (Whole Heart, Inc.)
9:00am: Opening Remarks (Department of Mental Health & VCPI Leadership)
9:30am: “Perspectives on the Pandemic & Impacts on Mental Health” (Commissioner Mark Levine, MD)
10:30am: Stretch Break
10:45am: Morning Concurrent Sessions
- “Exploring Culinary Medicine” (Deborah Kennedy, PhD)
- “
Managing Compassion Fatigue” (COVID Support VT)
“Does Your Website Spark Joy?” (Max Burns, MLIS)
11:45am: Lunch Break & Virtual Networking
12:30pm: "Stigma is Harming Patients with Substance Use Disorders: Actionable Steps to Improve Care" (Richard Bottner, DHA, PA-C)
1:30pm: Afternoon Concurrent Sessions
- “Healthcare Integration: Learning from Children & Families” (Tom Delaney, PhD & Juli Krulewitz, PhD)
- “Birding, Nature & Mental Well-being” (Bridget Butler, the Bird Diva)
- “Narrative Outreach” communications workshop (Alex Lehning, MA)
2:30pm: Stretch Break
2:45pm: VCPI Annual Meeting (reports/awards/elections; remarks by Nolan Atkins, PhD)
3:30pm: Gentle Yoga (Amy Mincher, MA)

The annual business meeting is open to members and the public, and will highlight new projects along with awards and elections. Participants can register at

This program is made possible through the generous support of: New England Federal Credit Union, Community Care Network - Rutland Mental Health Services, Green Mountain Support Services, Northern Vermont University, Northwestern Medical Center, United Counseling Service, Center for Health & Learning, Cabot Cooperative Creamery, the Vermont Association of Hospitals & Health Systems, Bees Wrap and Smugglers' Notch Resort.

VCPI is an independent nonprofit hosted by Northern Vermont University with a mission to impact workforce and professional development in mental health through training, coaching & consulting, educational programs, and program evaluation across the system and continuum of mental health care in Vermont.

Source: Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement & Innovation 9.7.2021