DSM-5 and Behavioral Health Services: Workshop Recap

Our behavioral health services include regular fundraising events and educational workshops geared towards helping individuals, families, and professionals deepen their understanding of mental health. This month we were pleased to host two workshops, “Bridging the Gap” and “Psychopharmacology.” Both topics are timely in the mental health industry and generated some informative discussions among mental health professionals. For those of you who missed it, below is a recap of what we covered in our behavioral health workshops this month.

Behavioral Health Services Workshop Recap

Bridging the Gap

The first workshop, “Bridging the Gap,” focused on providing an overview of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM-5. This publication is put out by the American Psychiatric Association, and has long been the go-to manual in the behavioral health services industry for diagnosing specific types of mental illness. As this edition is the first we’ve seen in 20 years, there were some significant changes to address.

Dr. Tania Diaz, licensed clinical psychologist and mental health counselor, was the presenter for this workshop. In just three hours, she was able to present a comprehensive summary of the changes to the DSM-5, as well as ‘bridge the gap’ between the manual and its practical application. Workshop participants learned how to identify new mental disorders from the DSM-5, as well as distinguish the changes to the diagnostic process. Finally, Dr. Diaz concluded by outlining the psychological conditions that could benefit from further study.


Psychopharmacology has quite an impact on behavioral health services, yet it can be very hard to effectively communicate the details to clients. This can lead to misunderstandings and increased stigma regarding mental health disorders. This workshop investigated how mental health professionals can deepen their knowledge of the most recent psychotropic medications and explored how they can successfully explain that information to their clients.

Dr. Peter P. Ventre, MD presented this mental health workshop. He is American Board-certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, with special expertise in 7 areas. Dr. Ventre received the 2011 award for Compassionate Doctor Recognition. During the workshop, Dr. Ventre spoke in depth about the latest anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and anti-manic medications, explaining how they all apply to specific mental health disorders. He wrapped up the workshop with a discourse on therapist-client relations and discussed ways in which participants can improve their methods.

Upcoming Events

If you are interested in participating in one of our future events, please visit our events page for details. Upcoming events include our “Get the Picture” art fundraiser on August 27th, a craft fair on October 5th, and our next professional workshop, “Trauma & Dissociative Disorder: Assessment, Treatment & Intervention” on October 11th. We hope to see you there!

If you or someone you love is suffering from a mental illness and is facing financial obstacles to services, please call us.  We provide access to low-cost or no-cost mental health services through a variety of community mental health centers and professionals.  We also offer educational workshops for families and professionals.