Rural Mental Health Training

Thursday, August 15, 2024
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Online via Zoom

Join the Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota Center for Rural Behavioral Health for a day of growth and well-being!

Cost: $99
Earn 6 CEUs including 1.5 cultural competence!

CEU hours approved by the following boards: 

  • MN Board of Social Work
  • MN Board of Marriage and Family Therapy (pending approval)
  • MN Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (LPC, LPCC & LADC) 
  • MN Board of Psychology
  • SD Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals
  • SD Board of Counselor Examiners
  • SD Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
  • ND Board of Psychology Examiners
  • WI Department of Safety and Professional Services (Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board)

Morning Keynote | 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Dynamics of Rural Behavioral Health with a Focus on Agriculture Producers
Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC, Rural Mental Health Specialist

This training will discuss the rural landscape of behavioral health services including barriers as well as successful initiatives.  Additionally, it will focus on behavioral health in agriculture assisting the attendees in becoming "Agri-Culturally Competent" in serving producers, their families, and the broader ag community.  Risk factors and protective factors will be explored as well as strategies to build rapport.  Finally, the topic of isolation will be discussed as a contributing factor to mental health issues in rural communities.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Learn about barriers that exist in rural behavioral health and strategies to minimize those barriers.
    2. Learn concepts in 'Agri-Cultural Competence'.
    3. Understand the role isolation plays in mental health in rural communities.

Afternoon Session One | 12:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Multicultural Considerations in Serving Rural Communities
Dr. Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, PhD, NCC

This presentation will highlight multicultural considerations when serving rural communities as a mental health professional. Utilizing the Multicultural Social Justice Counseling Competencies, attendees will be encouraged to challenge values/biases they may have related to rural communities. Finally, attendees will be provided with tools to adopt an intersectional and holistic approach to working with clients in rural communities.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Attendees will be able to apply the Multicultural Social Justice Counseling Competencies to providing human services in rural communities.
    2. Attendees will be able to identify how pre-existing values/biases impact how individuals approach working with individuals in rural communities.
    3. Attendees will be able to demonstrate an intersectional approach to providing human services in rural communities.

Afternoon Session Two | 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Resilience in Practice for the Rurally Located Helping Professional
Dr. Tom Allen, PhD, LP

This interactive session will identify the barriers and opportunities for rural helping professionals. Research identifying internal characteristics that contribute to helping professional resilience will be discussed and applied to rural practice. Through individual reflection and structured small group conversations attendees may leave with a deeper understanding of their own path towards fostering and maintaining resilience over time as rurally located helping professionals.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Describe unique barriers and opportunities for rurally located helping professionals.
    2. Analyze and reflect on ten overarching themes and four core characteristics of highly resilient helping professionals.
    3. Identify personal action steps to continue pursuing resilience


Meet Your Speakers:


Monica McConkey
Monica Kramer McConkey has 28 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a counselor, program supervisor and administrator. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Minnesota.  Her focus throughout her career has been to increase access to, and remove the stigma often attached to mental health services in rural underserved areas.  Monica grew up on a farm in northwestern Minnesota and has intimate understanding of the dynamics leading to farm stress and its impact on farm families.  She currently works as one of two Ag Mental Health Specialists in Minnesota providing support to farmers/ranchers and their families.  Monica also travels throughout the country educating and speaking on rural mental health and resilience through her business Eyes on the Horizon Consulting, LLC. 
Kristine Ramsay-Seaner

Dr. Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, PhD, NCC is an Assistant Professor in the School of Counseling and Well-Being at West Virginia University. She is also a co-founding member of Strengthening the Heartland, a multi-state collaborative focused on rural wellness and rural prosperity. A passionate advocate for serving vulnerable populations, Dr. Ramsay-Seaner is committed to helping professionals who work in rural communities provide the ethical, effective, and much needed care. Prior to joining West Virginia University, she was an Associate Professor at South Dakota State University where she recognized the mosaic landscape that exist in rural communities in the Great Plains.

Dr. Tom Allen
Dr. Tom Allen, PhD, LP, (he, him, his) is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Mankato, MN. He is the Chair of the Rural and Greater Minnesota Division for the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) and served two years with the Blue Earth County Mental Health Task Force. Dr. Allen's research and speaking engagements focus on topics of rural practice and resilience. He has published peer reviewed papers in the Journal of Rural Mental Health (JRMH) and the Journal of Health Promotion and Prevention (JPHP). Outside the therapy room, you'll often find him pounding the pavement with his high energy German Shorthair Pointer, reading with his cat, or spending time with family.


Register Here


Not able to attend August 15? 
No problem.  Register for the recorded session and a link to view it will be emailed to you after the August 15th training.


Registration Questions:  Email or call 507-389-1094
Training Questions:  Email 



Center for Workforce Professional Education


Center for Workforce Professional Education