Second National Conference on Women

by Kris Jenkins

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Second National Conference on Women which was sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It was held June 27th - June 30, 1999 in Los Angeles, California and was sub-titled "Life Pathways" Women Healing, Thriving, and Celebrating." Since I have not attended very many "national" conferences, this was a real treat. There were almost 1,000 women in attendance, from all

Cross-sections of the United States (and some from abroad), all wanting to learn more about Substance Abuse and Mental Health issues as they relate to women. One thing that I appreciated about the conference organizers, was that they included teenage girls from across the country. The teenagers had specific programs designed with them in mind, but the message to them was that they are important in the future of mental health and substance abuse issues for women.

The conference dealt with many issues: Wellness for all Ages; Women and Their Families; Resource Expansion, HIV/Aids, Public Policy Issues of Interest to Women, Access to HealthCare, Senior Women's Issues, Girls and Women in Institutional Settings; Research on Women's Issues, Models of Cultural Competence, Focus on Youth, Women at Work, and Violence Against Women. There were approximately 77 session topics to choose from, along with 28 poster sessions to choose from. Needless to say, deciding which sessions to attend was tough. You could only chose 6 workshops to attend (out of the over 70 to choose from!) and three poster sessions to attend. With the poster sessions, it was a little easier to see more than one during a session, whereas with the workshops, I found that once I was attending one, I did not want to break away to go to another. In addition to the workshops, there were several plenary (meaning they were to be attended by everyone) and mini-plenary sessions that were really good also.

I tried to attend a variety of workshops, the first one I attended dealt with "wellness." The title was "Isn't She Lovely?: A Holistic Wellness Program for Women with Fuller Figures." This program discussed the impact of a structured 12 week holistic wellness program on promoting healthy lifestyle behavior changes and metabolic fitness in obese women. The presenters talked about a pilot program they ran by the same title and had a very high rate of success. I brought back literature on it and have since passed it onto the Director of our local Public Health Clinic.

Our first Plenary that we attended was on "A Multi-cultural Look at Women in the 21st Century." The program discussed the transition that is reflected in the lives of women of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, along with the challenges and opportunities that face women as we step into the future. I also attended a "mini-plenary" on that first full day of the workshop titled "Women in Leadership and Resiliency." As a consumer, I often feel inadequate to lead, so was hoping that I could gain some insight into how to be a leader within our consumer community. Another plenary session that we had dealt with "Violence Against Women: Developing Collaborative Models for Health and Change." This session presented by a panel of women provided an overview of the prevalence and impact of violence against women in our society. It also addressed some of the key issues that women face as they attempt to heal psychologically from abuse and violence.

Some of the "poster sessions" I attended were: "Creating Dialogue with the Public - The Stamp Out Stigma (SOS) Program; "Consumer Run Crisis Respite for Abuse Survivors" (an excellent program based on the Stepping Stone Crisis Respite program on the East Coast!) and "Statewide Advocacy: Advancing Women's Health and Treatment."

As I said, there were so many sessions to choose from and rather than go through all the sessions I attended (I don't want to bore you), I will list all the workshops that were available, by conference topic. It may be possible to order tapes of any sessions that you are interested in. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend this wonderful conference. SAMHSA did a wonderful job at the conference with the course selections and organization!


Sessions by Conference Issues:

Helping Women and Girls to Heal

Isn't She Lovely: A Holistic Wellness Program for Women with Fuller Figures

Creating Dialogue with the Public: The Stamp Out Stigma (SOS) Program

Spirituality and Wellness from the Four Directions

Resiliency: Roadmap for Recovering Women and Their Children

Profound Awakening in the Midst of Chaos: The Transition Process for Women

Responsible Sexual Behavior

Parental Bereavement: A Women's Perspective

Empowering Trauma Survivors and Their Helpers

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP): Implications for Children with Mental and Addictive Disorders

Women Coping Through the Life Cycle

Clinical Perspectives of the Palestinian Woman in Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy

Methamphetamine: New Threat to Women and Children

Children and Violence

Strengthening Family Approaches for the 21st Century

Single Parenting and the Support of the Extended Family

Families in Treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Assistance for Homeless Women and Their Families


Women and Breast Cancer: Fighting the Legal Issues

Partnerships for Women's Health Education and Career Development

Increasing Resources for Substance Abusing Women

Women-Focused Guidelines and Best Practices in Substance Abuse Treatment

Fullfilling the Promise of Women

Collaborating for Trauma-Sensitive Services: The TAMAR Project

Responding to Drug-Endangered Families: The Drug-Endangered Children (DEC) Multi-disciplinary Model


The Collaborative Group on Women and HIV/AIDs

The Magnitude of the Progem of HIV/AIDS in Women

Women and HIV/AIDS/SDTS: A new Challenge

HIV Outreach for Women: Findings from Evaluation of CSAT Outreach Projects

Integrated Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention


The Soul of Women, the Heart of Care

Impact of Roles and Experiences - Depression, and Substance Abuse on Women's Health

Statewide Advocacy: Advancing Women's Health and Treatment

Prejudice and Punishment: Judging Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs

The Journey of Homeless Women Toward Self-Sufficiency



Women are Veteran's Too!

Los Nervios in Mexican Women: Prevalence, Meaning and Healing

Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Partnerships to Improve Minority Women's Health

Suicide Prevention: Lives Touched by Suicide

What Happens to African American Women During Pregnancy

Women's Views of Women's Health: Shifting Paradigms

Service Needs of Homeless Women with Mental Illness

The California's Women's Health Survey: A Maternal Health Perspective

Redifining Integrated Primary Care, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Services for Women

Women as Leaders: Advocates for Families in Managed Care Systems Design

Eating Disorders in Adolescent and Adult Women

'Senior Synergy': Utilizing the Joy and Richness of Women's Life Experiences to Make Groups 'Come to Life'

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Delivery in Older Women

When Women Hurt Women



Out and In: Lesbians in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Settings

The In Jail Intervention Program (IJIP)

Break in the Walls: Addressing the Needs of Incarcerated Women While Preserving Families

Systems Integration: CSAT Adult/Juvenile Criminal Justice Treatment Networks

Healing Women Survive the Quadruple Impact of Drug Abuse, Violence, HIV/AIDS, and Incarceration

Creating New Service Delivery Models for the Millennium

Drug Courts: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues for Women and Their Families


Women with Multiple Vulnerabilities

Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health: Research Highlights

Preventing Substance Abuse in Women Using Community Health Assessments

Provider Perceptions and Attributions of Women at Risk

Women's Substance Treatment: 50 State Patterns and Profiles

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Issues and Outcomes for Women and Their Children

Special Issues in Methamphetamine Treatment for Women

Is There a Risk for Children Exposed to Substance Abusing Environments in Utero and After? - Data From Past and Current Research


Abolition of Female Genital Circumcision in OYO State, Nigeria

A Multi-Cultural Look at Women in the 21st Century

Cultural Competence in Working With Trauma Survivors

Clients with Invisible Needs: Girls/Women with Learning Disabilities (LD)

New Visions for Vital Action: Tobacco Control Among Asian Americans

Clinical and Programmatic Issues in the Treatment of Latina Substance Abusing Mothers

Living Out Loud: Building Resiliency in Disabled Female Adolescents

Farmerworker Women Face Limited Mental Health Access


A Force for Change: Youth Development for Young Women of Color

Young Women Speak Out: Issues Facing Their Generation

We Have Better Things to do Than Drugs

Gender Specific Programming for Girls: Notes from the Field

Youth on the Move: Adolescent Girls Work to Resolve Their Issues

Between Heartbreaks: Adolescent Women Surviving Trauma, Addiction and HIV

You and Mental Health. What's the Deal?

Young Girls: Making Choices and Building Lives Pregnancy-Free


Women in Leadership and Resiliency

Barriers to Employment: Welfare Reform, Child Welfare and Women's Treatment Issues

Barriers to Work for Women: Linking Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence Recovery and Welfare-to-Work

Welfare to Work Interventions for Women

Women, Work, and Substance Abuse

Women in the Workplace


Trauma Survivors: From Survival to Advocacy

Transformation: A New Paradigm for Healing from Violence

Trauma and Mental Illness: Macro and Micro Level Efforts

Consumer Run Crisis Respite for Abuse Survivors

Violence Against Women: Developing Collaborative Models for Health and Change

Project Safety Link: A Rural Domestic Violence Demonstration Project

Prevention of Violence Among Native Women: Cultural Framworks

Violence Against Women

Domestic Violence and Pyschoactive Substances


Contact Information: Toll-free 877-279-1539

SAMHSA contact:

Pamela Perry SAMHSA Women Children and Families Team at 301-443-7625