2024 Conference Brochure

2024 Conference Registration

Day One:

Session One

  1. The Young Brain    

Presented by: Jill Perry MS, NCC, LPC         JP Counseling & Associates

Childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood are times for significant growth—physically and emotionally. Because the young brain is not fully developed until around age 25, it responds differently than an adult brain. This training will focus on these developments and how the young brain is impacted by mental health and substance use issues.

  • Building Bridges: Supporting First Responders Through Mental Health Education, Engagement and Resources

Presented by: Heather McLean                     Mental Health Association- SWPA

This workshop provides an overview of impacts on mental health and the need for support for first responders. It will also cover the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and county Emergency Behavioral Health (EBH) response team, as well as (the Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (L.O.S.S.) team.

  • Building a Safer Community Through Crisis and Law Enforcement Co-Response

Presented by: Stacey Buettner LCSW           UPMC Western Behavioral Health

Crisis Services of Erie County is partnering with Millcreek Police Department and Erie Police Department to implement Crisis Clinicians and Crisis Car units into the departments. Presenters will discuss the positive impact these collaborative approaches have had in the Erie community.

  • So, What Does a Veteran Look Like, Anyway?

Presented by: Nicole Gallagher MSW           VA Pittsburgh

This workshop will challenge participants to look at their own bias and see this specialized population through data and their own stories. We will review veteran suicide prevention and veteran specific resources.

Session Two

  • Mental Health Within the Juvenile Justice System

Presented by: Nicole Miller BSCJ                  Beaver County Juvenile Services Division

This workshop will focus on the importance of mental health in the juvenile justice system. Using examples from Beaver County, we will highlight the partnerships with juvenile justice services and impact on the systems.

  • After the Crisis: The Importance of Ongoing Grief Support

Presented by: Janet Arida PhD, LCSW                     Highmark Caring Place

During crisis situations, the focus is on the crisis itself- establishing safety and containing damage. This workshop will discuss the ongoing needs after the crisis that may be overlooked, leaving those who experienced or responded to the crisis alone with grief from what was lost and what has changed.

  • Military Culture & Moral Injury

Presented by: Patti Tanner MAIC                               Pitt PERU

This workshop will focus on moral injury, its prevalence among service members, common precipitating events, health outcomes and treatment options. We will address ways to build understanding and support, and how to develop programs and services for the military and veteran community. 

  • Building Crisis Intervention Team Programs: The Role of Crisis Providers

Presented by: Dr. Jenna Mehnert Baker MSW          OMHSAS/DHS

This workshop will describe the components that are required for CIT implementation, following a best practice model. The role of crisis workers in building a strong CIT steering committee capable of transforming local crisis services will be highlighted.

Day two:

Session Three

  1. The Peer Role in Crisis Services

Presented by: Treasure Gallagher

This workshop will provide information on the vital role that certified peer professionals play in crisis services. We will discuss the role that peers hold, what makes them different than other crisis team members and the positive impact they make.

  • Chicken or the Egg: The Connection Between Substance Use & Suicidality

Presented by: Jill Perry-Phillips LPC, NCC   JP Counseling & Associates, LLC

Beyond the basics of both suicidality and substance use issues are important strategies to address in a crisis in order to keep the individuals, the community and ourselves safe. This workshop will review how to deal with such complicated scenarios while planting seeds for future healing.

  • Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care & Treatment (COMPACT) Act

Presented by: Laura Liang MSW                               VA Pittsburgh

The COMPACT Act was implemented on January 17, 2023. This benefit covers access to emergent care for veterans experiencing an acute suicidal crisis followed by a period of covered outpatient care. VHA and community partners are working to expand efforts to reduce barriers for veterans in need and extend access to care.

  • Caring in Times of Crisis

Dr. Jan Dreshman                                                      Hopewell Area School District

This workshop will explore a hands-on approach to developing & implementing effective crisis management/postvention protocol plans. We will discuss how to address and respond incidents including sudden death, violence and other traumas while keeping a prevention mind set.

Session Four

  • Military Culture & Military Sexual Trauma

Patti Tanner MAIC                                                      Pitt PERU

This workshop will discuss the nuances of military service and experiences of service members, to help build understanding, support, services and programs for military and veteran communities. We will discuss military sexual trauma, its connection to military culture and prevalence among service members, common health outcomes, treatment options and available resources.

  • Peer Support Specialist- The Best Advocates in a Crisis Situation

Michelle Gould                                                            Unity Family Services

This workshop will outline the role of peer support specialists, identifying the key benefits of peers in crisis work. Best practices for integrating peer specialists into existing crisis services will be examined. Case studies will be reviewed for the workshop/

  • Healing Heart: A Workshop for Mental Health Staff Navigating the Loss of Clients to Suicide

Jo Ann Jankoski D.Ed., LCMSW, MS, CCTP        Penn State University Eberly Campus

This workshop will explore ways to process personal grief and emotion associated with the loss of a client by suicide. We will discuss additional risk assessments and intervention strategies, including postvention techniques for supporting other clients, colleagues and oneself in the wake of a client lost by suicide.