Please see below for the conference schedule by day. A downloadable program is coming soon...


Tuesday, April 11th

2:00pm - 3:00pm  Welcome
2:30pm - 4:00pm  Stand Up for Mental Health
4:00pm - 5:00pm  Welcome continues/ What to Expect

Wednesday, April 12th

8:00AM - 9:45AM  OPENING PLENARY 
10:15AM - 11:45AM  MORNING BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Working With Others: Recognizing and Coping With Stigma Associated with Mental Health and Addictions
Shosia Bohn, LADC

Working with others: Recognizing and coping with stigma associated with Mental Health and Addictions presentation includes a multidimensional approach detailing stigmatization associated with addiction and mental health using evidenced-based research. Through both a clinical and consumer viewpoint, the use of lecture and interactive group modalities, participants will understand how stigma affects us biologically, psychologically, socially, and socio-culturally. Developing and incorporating a strength-based approach will begin our pathway to recognizing and using our strengths to lead a positive fulfilling life. 

Refugee/ Migrant Youth Speak Out about Mental Health Stigma
Linda Jensen, Phd, RN
Alana Schriver, MPH

THRIVE Leadership Club is a part of the Omaha,. Nebraska, Public School's Migrant Education program. The club is active in five OPS high schools that hold the largest immigrant and refugee populations. Every year, each club creates their own community service project to plan and execute, based on something they feel is an important issue to share with the community. Students from Northwest High School's THRIVE club chose to learn more about mental health issues and to create an advocacy video to bring more awareness and understanding to other high schools in the Metro area and to their own ethnic communities. Representatives from this group will present their video and handouts and discuss mental health issues in their culture.  

Best Practices in Addressing Underage Drinking
Megan Hopkins
Linda Major

The Nebraska Collegiate Consortium to Reduce High-Risk Drinking (NCC) includes 27 institutions of higher education in Nebraska working to reduce high-risk drinking by implementing a combination of individual, environmental, campus, and community strategies.  NCC members develop strategic plans, brief intervention programs designed to reduce high-risk drinking, liaison with law enforcement, parents and community members to promote safe behaviors, connect to national and state organizations, provide skill building opportunities, maintain an effective educational website and list serve, support and encourage partnerships with local alcohol prevention coalitions, provide technical assistance on the analysis of existing databases and the development of new surveys.

Cognitive Biases and the Recovery Journey
Arthur Doler

Make no mistake, the recovery journey is hard. It requires introspection, effort, and dedication. But your brain might be making it more difficult than it has to be! The culprit is simple: cognitive biases. These biases are ways your brain tends to think or feel about things that can act like traps and cause you to make decisions that might make your recovery progress harder or even derail it entirely. In this talk, you’ll learn about these hazards your brain sets for you along the recovery road, and learn some techniques to help to remove them.

1:00PM - 2:30PM  AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS I

Society of Care: Growing Service & System Change
Greg Donovan, MPA
Lucinda Mesteth

Learn about the Society of Care's statewide behavioral health efforts with and for Native American youth & families. Family led. Youth guided. Culturally competent. Evidence based. 

Creating a Culture of Health and Mental Well-being
Katy Karsting, RN, MPH

In this presentation, participants will assess evidence and data showing the ways in which mental well-being in communities and populations is influenced by the social and environmental conditions in which we live.  

Brief Motivational Interviewing for Health Promotion
Mogens Bill Baerentzen, MS, BSN, CRC, LMHP

This training will explore the use of brief motivational interviewing techniques to promote physical health for persons with mental illness. Participants will learn how to apply a stage of stage framework and how to use 4 specific techniques to promote physical health. The training is highly interactive and require participant participation. The training is intended for consumers, peers, and staff.

Art Journaling, A Beginner's Consideration to Use as a Wellness Skill
John Friday, MEd, CPSWS, WRAP Facilitator, Pathways to Recovery Facilitator

I was introduced to art journaling in 2014; and will draw from that personal experience as one way I nurture my recovery journey. Much of my art journal uses words and images, most cut from magazines. After a brief introduction to art journaling, the participant will be able to explore first hand their recovery journey challenges in their own art journal. I will share how I use my art journal activities to celebrate the brighter side of my recovery journey, such as reflecting on one's strengths, passions, gratitude, hope, etc. The participant will explore and celebrate a part of their own recovery journey. We will end with a brief discussion.

2:45PM - 4:15PM  AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS II

Thought Field Therapy a Cognitive Acupressure Based Approach
Michael Yeager, BA, LCDC, CHt, SAP

This SAMSHA Evidence Based has already assisted thousands recover from Chemical and Behavioral Addictive Behaviors, PTSD, anxiety, unresolved death and non-death related losses and a variety of other psychological and behavioral disorders. Whenever a person holds to a belief that is limited in any way some type of pain or discomfort occurs.  Many simply "medicate". This amazing acupressure process works as it releases the energetic hold our thoughts have on beliefs, self-concept, victim mentality, sense of hopelessness etc. When the internal pressure is released then the person is free to relate to the event in a more empower way. The work is rapid and permanent so besides being results oriented it fosters a desire to heal at a deeper level.  

From Dream World to Death’s Door and Back  The Opioid Journey 
Chistine Chseak,LIMHP, LADC, NCC, MAC

The opioid epidemic that has taken hold across the country has now reached the borders of Nebraska.  How did we get here?  How do we identify an opioid problem?  How can we help?  While there are no easy answers, this presentation will begin the journey to understanding and healing by examining the Opioid problem from a historical and treatment perspective.  The history of opioid use, pain management, the creation of pill mills, and the rise of the illegal use of opioids will be discussed followed by an examination of best practices to use when assessing and treating opioid use disorder.  The American Society of Addiction Medicines guidelines for assessing and treating Opioid Use disorders will be reviewed and resources for treatment in Nebraska will be discussed.

Tapping for Stress Relief
Roni Wilder, CPSWS
Michaelle Vega-Hernandez CPSWS

In this session you will be provided with the tools to reduce or relieve the stressors that can hold us back from enjoying life and reaching our full potential.  Tapping is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone. And you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are. It does not require an appointment or prescription and can be used with specific emotional intent towards your own unique life challenges and experiences. Most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.

Dual Stigma: Serious Mental Illness and Criminal Justice System Involvement
Michael Dicken, CPSWS, QPR Trainer
Lisa Casullo PsyD, CPSWS

This workshop will review the history of forensic peer support and how it is currently being implemented in Nebraska by MASSIVE Inc.  This organization will review their philosophy, principles and programming for justice involved individuals who have lived experience with a behavioral health challenge.  This workshop will review best practice in working with the identified population as outlined by SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation.  

4:30PM - 6:00PM  AFTERNOON PLENARY

Standard of Care
Bernie Hascall MS
Karla Bennetts

Thursday, April 13th

8:00am - 9:45am  Opening plenary

Promoting Community Inclusion and Participation
Mark Salzer 

This plenary session will discuss community inclusion as a rights issue comprising of two societal commitments.  First, to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity to fully participate in the community; and second, to establish communities that actively seek out and welcome the participation of everyone. Evidence will be provided on community participation as a wellness necessity for individuals in recovery, as well as data indicating that people are not currently living in the community like everyone else.  Finally, essential fundamentals for promoting community inclusion and participation will be offered, including the need to see people in recovery as people and not patients, strategies for utilizing natural resources and mainstream resources, and identifying and eliminating environmental barriers to participation.  

10:15AM - 11:45AM  MORNING BREAKOUT SESSIONS

The Convergence of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders:  What We Know and What We Can Do
Gerard Schmidt, MA, LPC, MAC

This workshop is a presentation and interaction for consumers, family members as well as providers focusing on the major mental health disorders and their co-occurrence with substance abuse disorders.  Participants will be given an overview of the major mental health disorders and co-occurrence with substance abuse disorders and common methods of treatment including medication assisted treatment methods of care.  Participants will have the opportunity to discuss individual issues related to these disorders and common practices and pitfalls.  The presenter will assist consumers, families and other supports to explore options perhaps not previously considered as methods of care.

Home Visiting! Oh Sure!  That's Where You, Uh...Visit Homes, Right?
Jennifer Auman

Evidence-based home visiting is a prevention program designed as support for pregnant or parenting families of children birth to age 5 who may struggle with significant life stressors such as poverty, exposure to violence or substance abuse, teen parenting, or military families with one or both parents in service.  This presentation will describe the program, the benefit and value not only to the families served, but the community as a whole.

SBIRT: Sparking Integration in Nebraska
Nikki Roseberry-Keiser, MA
Chris Wagner, MA
Christie Abdul LCSW, LMHP

Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an important tool for health care professionals to understand and utilize with their patients. This presentation will help health care professionals to understand the need to implement SBIRT within their setting, become knowledgeable of evidence showing significance of untreated behavioral health conditions on physical health, recognize the skills and training needed to implement appropriately, and recognize the value of the pilot SBIRT project being conducted in Omaha.  

Overcoming Stigma to Thrive
Lilchandra Sookram, Phd
Victoria Olser, CPSW (pending test) 

Have you ever heard something like “You’ll never amount to anything—You’re mentally ill,” from a professional, friend, or family member? In this presentation, we will show that self-stigma prevents self-empowerment, and is a major obstacle for recovery and thriving. We will cover core beliefs, values, expectations, and overall attitudes that undermine feelings of self-empowerment and the will to thrive beyond being a “professional patient”. We will examine how positive ideas and feelings can affect our health, work, recreation, and relationships—the things that make us reach our full potential! In this interactive session, we strive to offer hope and a sense of clarity on next steps individuals with severe mental health challenges, and their families, can take to live life to the fullest.

1:00PM - 2:30PM  AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS I

Ethics
Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP

Coming soon...

Social Class Bias in the Clinical Relationship; Does Socio-Economic Status Impact Treatment?
Anthony Rivas, EdD, LAC, MAC
Bita Rivas, EdD, LPC, NCC, ACS

Social class is an aspect of being for every individual regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture. Social class carries with it implicit and overt rules of behavior, boundaries, and ramifications for members of that particular class group. Its presence cannot be simply overlooked, ignored, or allowed bias the clinicians view of the client or vice versa within the therapeutic setting. Social class bias in treatment is a fundamental issue that arises in the clinician client relationship. Bias has been indicated to impact treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis. Rising rates of poverty as well as increased rates of AOD diagnosis begs the question, what can be done to improve the clinician’s awareness and ability to address this bias in the therapeutic setting.

Consumer Community Building in Region 6
Jonathan Koley, CPSWS
Roger Zemanek CPSWS

This presentation will introduce participants to the Region 6 Consumer Community Development Project. This consumer-driven project is designed to support the growth of an independent consumer community in the Region 6 service area. Drawing from personal experiences shared by a panel of project participants, we will demonstrate the value of this work. We will outline the processes and activities that have made the project a success, as well as existing challenges and outcomes. Participants will also learn ways in which they can grow community in their areas, such as defining a vision of community, leadership development, and outreach through social media.  

Fresh Hope: Saving Lives around the world
Nikki Giske

Empowering individuals to live a full and rich faith filled life in spite of a mental health diagnosis.

3:00pm - 4:30pm  afternoon plenary

Opioid Panel

Ashley Newmyer MPH, CPH
Cynthia Moreno Tuohoy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP
Johnathan Koley
Josh Shassere
Patricia Stilen
Todd Stull

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. In 2014, more people died from drug overdoses than in any other year with majority of those overdose deaths involving an opioid. Nebraska’s experience with this problem has not reached the magnitude of other states. Therefore, this panel will focus on proactive approaches at a national level as well as here in Nebraska. You will hear firsthand from those who are building partnerships to create unified approaches to prevention, treatment, and recovery for those experiencing opioid abuse in our state.