Yampa Valley Wellness Conference returns Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Wellness Conference returns Friday

Gaëlle Desbordes, a researcher and instructor at Harvard Medical School, speaks at the Yampa Valley Wellness Conference in 2015.





Gaëlle Desbordes, a researcher and instructor at Harvard Medical School, speaks at the Yampa Valley Wellness Conference in 2015.

— More than a dozen health and wellness experts from Steamboat Springs and beyond will share their know-how Friday as part of the sixth annual Yampa Valley Wellness Conference.

Primarily organized by Reaching Everyone Prevention Suicide, or REPS, the conference aims to educate the public on matters well beyond suicide prevention, with speakers on early childhood brain development and mental health, trauma and addiction and self-care, among others.

"You're not going to get this caliber of speakers anywhere else in town in one day," said Tom Gangel, regional director of Mind Springs Health and a REPS board member.

The free conference runs from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort. Event registration is full, but there is some space for drop-in attendees.

The conference will include three keynote speakers for the entire group, and three breakout sessions, each with three options for attendees to choose from.

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REPS board members said Wednesday that over 200 people had pre-registered for the event, including local medical professionals, nursing students, educators and law enforcement.

Tough there is a lack of mental health resources in rural Northwest Colorado, the conference will better inform attendees of what is available, according to REPS board member Joel Wefel.

Organizers said the conference is beneficial for local organizations who might not be able to send employees to expensive multi-day conferences.

"Steamboat is a great place to do this as well because people here are mindful of wellness and try to take good care of themselves," said Shelly Gainsley, administrative director for The Foundry and a REPS board member.

The conference is free for attendees thanks to a handful of local sponsors, including the Craig Scheckman Family Foundation, REPS, Mind Springs Health, The Foundry and Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Learn more about the speakers and see a schedule for the day here.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

If you go:

What: Yampa Valley Wellness Conference

Where: Sheraton Steamboat Resort, 2200 Village Inn Court

When: 7:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28