PALM DESERT, Calif. -

A free conference geared toward those who work with depressed people will be held at Cal State San Bernardino's Palm Desert campus today, thanks to the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative.

Anyone from police officers to school counselors to volunteers at homeless shelters is invited to attend to ``discuss and implement a local campaign to reduce stigmas related to depression and develop ideas on how to increase services for those who need them,'' campus spokesman Mike Singer said.

Jill Gover, a clinical psychologist and director of counseling at The Center in Palm Springs, will give the keynote speech, and Jenna LeComte-Hinely, director of research and evaluation at Health Assessment Resource Center in Palm Desert, will discuss depression in the Coachella Valley.

Panel discussion topics will include such things as treating veterans, medications, people with disabilities and suicide.

After panel discussions, breakout sessions are planned on ethnic considerations, sexual orientation and disabilities.

The collaborative's goal is to ``increase the desert region's access to mental health services by identifying gaps in services and developing a strategic plan to increase service levels.''

The Riverside County Department of Mental Health is funding the event, which will be held in the campus's Indian Wells Theater from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Those interested in attending should contact Regina Garrison at garriso@csusb.edu, or call (760) 341-2883, ext. 78144.