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A virtual experience with support from a DBHDS Grant

November 16, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm 

State of the Commonwealth: The Covid-19 Impact on Mental Health Services

Keynote presentation by Alison G. Land, FACHE, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS)

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm  - Stretch and Information Break - Be sure to visit our Virtual Exhibit Center!

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Concurrent Workshops - Select a workshop to attend.*

Workshop 1 - Grief and Loss during the COVID-19 Pandemic, presented by: Allyson England Drake,M.Ed., CT

Grief is painful and stressful, even in the best of situations. We understand that facing the death of a friend or family member during the Covid-19 pandemic is more challenging due to the social isolation and health and safety regulations that are currently in place. Allyson England Drake will discuss ways that the pandemic is complicating our grieving process, as well as ways to cope with your grief as well as honor and remember your loved one during these most challenging times.

Workshop 2 - Panel Presentation: Pandemic Impact on Various Populations & Ages

In this workshop, the speakers will discuss the impact of the Pandemic on children and youth, seniors, and vulnerable populations. You will learn about practices and programs to meet the needs of these populations.

Panel Members:

Cerrene Cervantes, Ph.D., National, State and Local Mental Aid Educator, Trainer and Presenter

Kelly Henderson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Formed Families Forward
Amanda Lynch, MA, Trauma-Informed Training & Prevention Specialist, Greater Richmond SCAN

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm  - Stretch and Information Break - Be sure to visit our Virtual Exhibit Center! 

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm 

Concurrent Workshops - Select a workshop to attend.*

Workshop 1 -

Pandemic Parenting: Towards a New Framework for Supporting Youth Mental Health presented by Jenna White, FCCPTA Representative, Fairfax County Trauma Informed Community Network and ACE Interface Presenter

County Trauma Informed Community Network and ACE Interface Presenter
Are the kids ok? Post Pandemic, are we are still struggling to understand and respond to the mental health needs of our children? This session will discuss how to process the current normal and respond effectively to promote youth wellness despite living through a global Pandemic.

Workshop 2 -

The Impact of Covid-19 on Telehealth presented by Karen Schulder Rheuban, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Senior Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and External Affairs and Director of the University of Virginia Center for Telehealth.

Medical Education and External Affairs and Director of the University of Virginia Center for Telehealth
In this session, Dr. Rheuban will discuss telemedicine with an emphasis on behavioral health and the federal and state policy waivers implemented during the public health emergency. Dr. Rheuban will also provide her insights on the future of tele-health for mental wellness.

3:45 pm -4:00pm

Virtual Exhibit Center open.


4:00pm

Conference Day One Adjourns ~ We look forward to you joining us tomorrow at 12:00 Noon!

*The conference is recorded and will be available to all conference registrants!

 

November 17, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm 

How Polyvagal Theory Explains the Disruptive Influence of the Pandemic on Mental Health

Keynote Presentation by Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D.

Dr. Porges will speak on The Polyvagal Theory, a brain-body theory that provides insights into the treatment and management of mental and physical health challenges. The theory describes how, via evolution, a connection emerged in the brain between the nerves that control the heart and the face. This face-heart connection provided the structures for the “social engagement system” that link our bodily feelings with facial expression, vocal intonation, and gesture. This transition enabled mammals to derive a biological benefit from social interactions in which sociality functioned as a neuromodulator that could efficiently regulate and optimize autonomic function to support homeostatic processes. The Polyvagal Theory provides a more informed understanding of the automatic reactions of our body to safety, danger, and life threat. The human nervous system is tuned to detect safety and danger, integrating body and brain responses via the autonomic nervous system. Polyvagal Theory provides a perspective to understand the impact of the pandemic on mental and physical health. This perspective highlights the important role of the state of the autonomic nervous system in exacerbating or dampening threat reactions to the pandemic. Theory alerts us to the impact of clinical history and mental health on autonomic regulation as an important compounding risk factor lowering the threshold to behaviorally and physiologically destabilize in response to the pandemic. The theory provides a strategy to dampen the adverse reactions to threat (e.g., acute stress disorders) through portals of social engagement that evolved to downregulate defenses to promote calmness and connectedness.

Objectives of this session:
1) To illustrate how a Polyvagal perspective provides insights into the assessment and treatment of mental health.

2) To describe how autonomic regulation is linked to mental health and sociality.
3) To explain how the prevailing threat experienced during the pandemic disrupts autonomic regulation and exacerbates mental health symptoms.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33192715/

https://www.clinicalneuropsychiatry.org/download/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-a-paradoxical-challenge-to-our-nervous-system-a-polyvagal-perspective-2/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2ZJ0NJ4d0g

https://www.polyvagalinstitute.org/mission-and-team

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm  - Stretch and Information Break - Be sure to visit our Virtual Exhibit Center!

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Concurrent Workshops - Select a workshop to attend.*

Workshop 1 -

Pandemic Trauma presented by Jennifer Kell, LCSW, and Heather Pate, RPRS, Peer Recovery Specialist - Robin's Hope

This session will take a look at the many ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic experience worldwide. We will explore the unique challenges of the pandemic, coping skills to help manage the impact, and areas of resilience in which people have been able to thrive in the midst of the challenges. We will explore how the pandemic has impacted mental health in general and what changes our systems may need to adopt in order to meet the growing demand for services

From this session, attendees will be able to identify:

Why the pandemic is a traumatic event
How trauma impacts relationships
How the pandemic trauma has impacted different populations
Identify helpful coping skills to use or to suggest to others
Identify resilience skills and ways to build these
Areas of need and opportunities for growth on a system wide and/or community level

Workshop 2 -

The State Level Implementation of the Marcus David Peters Act presented by Alexandria Robinson, MSPH, Marcus Alert Program Coordinator, DBHDS.

On May 14, 2018, Marcus David Peters was shot and killed by a Richmond Police Officer while experiencing a mental health crisis. Through advocacy efforts by Marcus-David's family members and others, Governor Ralph Northam signed the Marcus-David Peters Act into law. The Act creates a "mental health awareness response and community understanding services," alert system (the Marcus Alert). The Marcus Alert aims to promote a behavioral health response to people in crisis, including mental illness, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities. This workshop will overview the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) requirements and the Act's impact at the local level.

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm  - Stretch and Information Break - Be sure to visit our Virtual Exhibit Center! 

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm 

Reframing Self Care: Lessons from the Pandemic

Keynote Presentation by Paula Jurczak, RCC, RSW, DIR Clinician and Training Leader/Self-Regulation Consultant

3:45 pm -4:00pm

Virtual Exhibit Center open.


4:00pm

Conference Adjourns

*The conference is recorded and will be available to all conference registrants!