BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The 2023 Behavioral Health and Children and Family Services conference has begun in the capital city.

During the event, behavioral health professionals throughout the Peace Garden State come together to learn how to best aid struggling individuals in our state.

Official Laura Anderson says the conference provides an opportunity for these individuals to learn and share their previous exploits with other like-minded individuals.

“This is a really great opportunity for professionals in the behavioral health and child welfare fields to learn and network,” she stated. “We have 24 speakers from around the nation coming to provide information on best practices and new ways we can serve the people of North Dakota.”

Many of the conference’s attendees, including Emma Quinn, agree that the best part of the conference is the ability to gather with their peers.

“There’s amazing networking and relationship-building opportunities at the conference,” Quinn explained. “Getting to meet with other vendors throughout the exhibit hall, along with the state agencies and professionals throughout the state, is really important. It’s a way to collaborate and better understand how we can help North Dakotans get services.”

During the first day of the event, approximately 1,000 individuals came through the event center’s doors — many of whom emphasized the importance of conferences like this.

This sentiment is one that seems to be shared with the state itself, and the meeting was recently recognized in the state legislature.

“The Department of Human Services and North Dakota Behavioral Health Services are very, very important,” said event sponsor and attendee Dave Marion. “This last legislative session, it was very apparent. It’s a collection of everybody coming together and networking and finding solutions. It’s exciting.”

The conference will wrap up on Thursday with the introduction of a keynote speaker, who will present a speech relating to “The Science of Happiness.”

Organizers say it’s all about developing a positive mindset to be able to overcome any obstacle and to help behavioral health professionals find joy in the work that they do.