Ways to prevent bullying and underage drinking will be on the agenda during the Northwest Missouri Mental Health Task Force's spring conference, which will take place 5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Maryville Community Center.
"The concerns surrounding bullying and underage drinking continue to be present in our community," said task force chair Tammy Oltman. "This conference will provide applicable information as well as a forum for continued awareness and collaboration as we all seek to improve the health of our community."
During the session on bullying, Jenna Strawhun and Jeanne Weidner, both graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will present research compiled under the auspices of UNL's Empowerment Initiative.
Strawhun’s research interests include family dynamics and their relationship to bullying as well as bullying on college campuses and the connections between hazing and bullying behaviors.
Weidner’s has done work focusing on educational environments and communication among students, parents and school staff.
The underage drinking portion of the conference will take the form of a panel discussion on the "21 & Over" ordinance and enforcement approach adopted by the city of Warrensburg, home of the University of Central Missouri.
Maryville Public Safety and the Maryville City Council have been evaluating strategies used by Warrensburg to limit underage drinking during an ongoing debate over raising the legal bar and tavern entry age minimum from 19 to 21.
The task force conference discussion is expected to cover such topics as binge drinking, underage drinking in bars and house parties.
Cost of the seminar, which is open to the public, is $10 and includes and light meal.
Assistance is available for those who can't afford to pay.
To register, call the St. Francis Hospital & Health Services Office of Community Relations at (660) 562-7933.