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34th annual GMHCN conference

Sponsored By

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with additional financial support from


Day 1: Tuesday June 4
12p-2:45p: Registration/Network/Vendor tables
2:45p: Welcome
3:00pm-4:30pm: Break/Hotel Check-In
4:30p-5:30p: Athens Recovery Warriors
5:30p-7:00p: Dinner
7:00p-9:00p: How to work with Trauma without losing it followed by TraumAnon 12 step meeting with Shawn Witt
9p-Midnight: Game Room/12 step meetings/wellness activities/Bonfire
Day 2: Wednesday June 5
7:00a-8:00a: Registration/Breakfast
8:00- 8:45: Vendor Booths
9:00-9:30a: Deputy Commissioner Welcome
9:30-10:30a: Legislative Panel
10:30-10:50: Legislative Address
10:50-11:00a: Break
11:00-12:00p: Workshop I
12:00-1:00: Lunch
1:00-1:20: Vendor Booths
1:30-1:50: RESPECT Speaker- Molly Keefe
2:00-2:15: Keynote Speaker-Sean Garvey
2:30-3:30: Workshop II
3:40-4:40: Workshop III
4:45-5:00: End of day wrap up
6:30-8:30: Banquet/Awards
8:45-12:00a: Dance/Game Night
Day 3: Thursday June 6
7:00a-8:30a: Breakfast
8:30-10: Cultural Competency w/Dr. Dietra Hawkins
10:00-11:00: Check Out
11:10-12:00: 50/50 Closing Remarks (CEO)

*Schedule subject to change with little or no advance notice. Please see the online registration form for additional information. 


Workshops, Presentation, and Lectures Eligible for Continuing Education Credit

Workshop 1: 
Wednesday, June 5


Pam Brooks-Crump: Building in the Moment: Resiliency, Emotional Intelligence and Self Awareness in order to thrive as a CPS, or other Frontline Workers (Duran Duran)


Shawn Witt: The Traumatized Brain (Goonies)

Sarah Farmer: Want to be a WRAP Facilitator? Steps, Fidelity, Values and Ethics (plus a lot of joy) (I Love Rock and Roll)

Dottie Bailey/Hiram River: Mental Health Alert Bracelets (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

The RESPECT Institute of Georgia: Sparking Wellness, Resilience and Transformation in the Peer Workforce (The Breakfast Club)

Amy Morris/Ty Cardaci: Humor Offering Resilience and Wellbeing in any Pathway to Recovery (AC/DC)

Kurt Butts: FROM EF 243809 TO GPA 4.00 (AC/DC)

Ellyn Jaegar: Turning thoughts into action (Aerosmith)

TaTa-Nisha Frazier: Unlocking Potential For Addiction Recovery and Mental Wellness (Back to the Future)

Jennifer Yearwood: Affordable Housing -Is it really?  (Don't Stop Believin')

Workshop 2: 
Wednesday, June 5


Pam Brooks-Crump: Building in the Moment Resiliency, Emotional Intelligence and Self Awareness in order to thrive as a CPS, or other Frontline Workers (Duran Duran)

Shawn Witt: The Traumatized Brain (Goonies)

Sarah Farmer: Want to be a WRAP Facilitator? Steps, Fidelity, Values and Ethics (plus a lot of joy) (I Love Rock and Roll)

Hiram Rivera: Behavioral Health Unit a Collaborative Response to People in Crisis (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

Jen Banathy: Exploring the Trait of High Sensitivity from an Empowered Perspective (The Breakfast Club)

Gary Merritt and Angela Patterson: How to Start and Run a DTR Meeting (Fame)

Beth Boersa: CPRP, Is it for Me (AC/DC)

Amy Morris: Bold New Visions for Peer Support: Celebrating Neurodiversity Awareness/Inclusion (Aerosmith)

Lori Blanchard: Georgia Housing Voucher Program (Back to the Future)

Joseph and Ashleigh Sanders: Moral Injury what is it and what are it's affects. (Don't Stop Believin') 


Workshop 3: 
Wednesday, June 5


Pam Brooks-Crump: Building in the Moment Resiliency, Emotional Intelligence and Self Awareness in order to thrive as a CPS, or other Frontline Workers (Duran Duran)

Shawn Witt: The Traumatized Brain (Goonies)

Sarah Farmer: Want to be a WRAP Facilitator? Steps, Fidelity, Values and Ethics (plus a lot of joy) (I Love Rock and Roll)

Dottie Bailey/Hiram Rivera: Mental Health Alert Bracelets (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

Angela Adgers: The Past, Present, and Future of the FPM Project (The Breakfast Club)

Amy Morris/Ty Cardaci: Humor Offering Resilience and Wellbeing in any Pathway to Recovery (Fame)

Beth Boersa: Professional (and Effective) Communication, (AC/DC)

Gary Merritt and Angela Patterson: How to Start and Run a DTR Meeting (Aerosmith)

TaTa-Nisha Frazier: Unlocking Potential for Addiction Recovery (Back to the Future)

Jennifer Yearwood: Affordable Housing--Is It Really? (Don't Stop Believin') 


Workshop Descriptions

Dottie Bailey, co-presenter Hiram Rivera: Mental Health Alert Wristbands.

Dottie will explain the background of the Mental Health Alert Wristbands and the impact they have made around the world. These wristbands help peers feel and stay safe. Wristbands will be given out during the presentation, along with our glow in the dark decals. Come hear the story of a simple idea that has touched the lives of thousands of people. Dottie Bailey is the CEO and Hiram sits on the board of directors for the Wristbands.


Jen Banathy, Respect Institute

Respect Institute of Georgia Graduates will discuss the transformative effects of the RESPECT Institute training and speaking experience. A RI Graduate will present their story and join a panel of Graduates, who will describe the healing benefits of the RI process in the context of recovery, resilience, wellness and personal growth. Additionally, they will discuss how the RI process prepared them to create a healing workplace environment in which the peers they serve are empowered to share openly about their lived experience and find their voice.


Jen Banathy, Exploring the Trait of High Sensitivity from an Empowered Perspective Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is an innate personality trait, or temperament, of people born with a more sensitive and finely tuned nervous system. Highly Sensitive People, or HSPs, are more aware of subtleties in their environment and process information deeply. This leads to heightened insight, empathy and creativity, but it also can lead to stress and overwhelm. Understanding the trait of high sensitivity is life-changing and with the right supports, HSPs can move out of survival mode and into thriving to their fullest potential. In this interactive workshop we will explore the trait of high sensitivity and discuss ways in which HSPs can support themselves and others in living empowered lives.


Ty Cardaci, co-presenter Amy Morris, Humor: Offering Resilience and Wellbeing in any Pathway to Recovery

Humor isn't just a punchline – it’s a positive coping skill. This workshop takes a lighthearted look at all aspects of humor in recovery, and how we can take recovery seriously without taking ourselves too seriously. Fun is a form of self-care that can help us continue healing and help sustain our wellness. Laughter can help letting go of past trauma. The opposite of addiction is connection and laughter is the shortest distance between two people. The healing power of laughter is evidence based and there are numerous studies that show how humor helps our physical well-being. Being able to laugh at our past, we create a space for healing to begin, because if we can laugh about it, we can talk about it.



Gary Merritt, co-presenter Angela Patterson, How to Start and Run a Dual Recovery (Double Trouble in Recovery) (DTR) Meeting

DTR creates a safe environment where peers can discuss the issues of mental health without shame or stigma. People who are in dual Recovery are challenged by the double stigma of mental health concerns and chemical dependency. These negative attitudes are everywhere, including in single-focus self-help groups. For people who are in dual Recovery, these negative attitudes can be devastating to the recovery process. In this workshop, we will cover how to facilitate a Double Trouble Meeting, and how to start a DTR group in your area. We discuss how DTR is different than other 12-step programs and the specific benefits of dual recovery peer support.



Beth Boersma CPRP Certification: Is It For Me?

This workshop explores the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) credential, offered by the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA). PRA developed the practice of psychosocial/psychiatric rehabilitation, establishing it as an integral part of community-based services and the recovery movement. PRA's primary mission is to grow and train the recovery workforce while promoting wellness and recovery. We will explore the CPRP credential and steps for pursuing certification, benefits of achieving this certification for CPS’s and other interested individuals. We will also provide a description of the Georgia chapter of PRA and how to become involved.



Beth Boersma, Professional (and Effective) Communication

Are you sure that the messages you send are being received the way you intend? This workshop explores the various types of communication (verbal, written, non-verbal) and steps you can take to ensure that you are communicating effectively. Applicable to both professional and personal life, effective communication skills help to ensure clarity, minimize conflict/misunderstanding, and strengthen relationships. Come see how you might strengthen your skills and become a more effective communicator.



Jennifer Yearwood, Affordable Housing: Is it, really?

Focus will be placed on the "Housing First" model and how finding an agency to provide this service can be overwhelming and confusing for many: those who are unsheltered, at risk, or trying to relocate. We will discuss the reasons people are denied housing, such as having felony convictions on their record, using vouchers, or being low income. We will look at solutions for how to overcome those barriers when working with people in recovery who are affected by these factors. The presenter will utilize a property locator app during an interactive workshop to give a real time look at rent fees throughout the state. Resources will be provided to attendees upon request.



Amy Morris, Bold New Visions for Peer Support: Celebrating Neurodiversity Awareness and Inclusion

This interactive presentation will encourage discussion on Neurodiversity awareness to increase participants’ knowledge of peers with a mental health diagnosis that also identify as having an intellectual/developmental disability or learning challenge. We will share ways to support each other and embrace untapped potential by learning how some traits or characteristics may impede one’s ability to participate in their wellness fully. We will discuss several types of assistive technology, communication devices, and other accommodations that may be requested by peers and how to communicate, support and advocate for them in your community and workplace. We will discuss ways neurodiverse people can be self-advocates on a personal, local, and state level. We will give attendees a basic understanding of the most common learning challenges people experience. We will look at reports from SAMHSA that give statistical data on how learning challenges can cause cycling in and out of jails, institutions, and care homes when you also have a mental health diagnosis, substance use disorder or physical disability. We will complete a questionnaire at the end of the presentation to determine the individual needs of participants.



Lori Blanchard, Georgia Housing Voucher Program

This workshop will cover the role of the peer mentor with a mental health team and guidance on how to fill out DBHDD’s Georgia Housing Voucher Application. We will start by discussing statistics for successes already obtained, through Georgia Department of Corrections, while outlining how to access GHVP’s Need for Supporting Housing (NSH) survey Zendesk website. We will walk through the application/survey process, together, step by step, to familiarize interested mentors to the process required for a positive resolution. By the end of the workshop, you will know how to request NSH access on the website and be able to begin an application requesting housing placement options for our peers.



Joseph Sanders, co-presenter Ashleigh Sanders, Moral Injury: what is it and what are its effects? In this workshop we will define Moral Injury and answer important questions you may have about it. Who is affected by this illness, and why is there so much stigma surrounding it? What are the differences and similarities between post-traumatic stress and moral injury? We will describe its effects on our mental health and how it impacts the mental health of those close to someone experiencing this illness. We will also discuss how Peer Support can assist in recovery from this illness and reduce the stigma associated with it.


Kurt Butts, from EF 243809 TO GPA 4.00

This workshop will demonstrate how to embrace your past and use it to have a bright future for yourself as well as helping others. Using personal testimony drawn from forensic experience, I will highlight the power of words and how they can be used to affect your future.

Angela Adgers, co-presenter Antinette , The Past, Presente, and Future of the FPM Project

The Forensic Peer Mentor Project launched as a pilot in 2015. Since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Go on a journey with us as we explain the How, Why, and When. We will walk you through the past, present and future of the Forensic Peer Mentor Project. Come join us!

Hiram Rivera, Behavioral Health Unit: a Collaborative Response to People in Crisis.

This workshop will present the Behavioral Health Unit currently operating in Chatham County. It was developed as a collaboration between the behavioral health crisis center, law enforcement, and emergency medical services to enhance the ability of people in crisis to connect to resources. Chatham County’s Behavioral Health Unit takes clinicians and paramedics into the field together with peer specialists. I will discuss my role in its development, the impact it is having on our community, and how you can advocate for more collaboration in your own community.


Pam Brooks-Crump, co-presenter Donna Brooks, Building in the Moment Resiliency, Emotional Intelligence, and Self-Awareness (in order to thrive as a CPS or other Frontline Worker)

Our goal for this workshop is to empower CPSs and other frontline workers to reach their full potential as service workers by embracing continual transformation. We will address secondary trauma and learn and experience in-the-moment rebalancing tools. We will teach ways to increase the capacity of our "Resiliency Zones” and show how this creates emotional intelligence and self-awareness. With our expanded Resiliency Zones, we now have increased capacity for connection, enjoyment and thriving! As always, I like to end in a fun way... by just dancing!


Sarah Farmer, WRAP, So You Wanna Be WRAP Co-Facilitator.

This workshop will present the fundamentals on how to successfully conduct a WRAP group, while upholding the Values, Ethics and Fidelity of the WRAP training and will explore career opportunities as a WRAP facilitator.


TaTa-Nisha Frazier, Unlocking Potential For Addiction Recovery and Mental Wellness Taking the time to build effective soft skills can contribute to a more efficient, harmonious and productive workplace. This workshop will explore why soft skills are

important in the workplace, understand 10 soft skills you should have in the workplace and how to apply them.


Shawn Whitt, The Traumatized Brain

“Why do I act like this?” “What is WRONG with me?” “Why can’t I hold it together?” Often, we feel as though we have lost control of ourselves and our behavior. We do and say things that we instantly regret. WHY? Shame washes over us. This workshop will break down why we lose control, how to ‘see it coming,’ and teach methods to broaden our ability to handle everyday stress and past trauma and will explain what it means to be ‘triggered’ and how to minimize those triggers in the future.

You will learn how ‘just ten minutes’ may change your life for the better, forever!


Ellyn Jeager, Turning Thoughts Into Acton

This session will help you understand the legislative session and give you the needed information on how to make advo

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