Mental Health Monthly Main Banner Arrow
Registration links are currently under construction. We will be sending out a notification and information once available. Thank you for your patience.
January 19th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "There’s more to it… What’s going on with us."
Daniel DeGryse - CFO, BA, BS, CADC
Director, Rosecrance Florian Program
Ret. Battalion Chief, Chicago Fire Department
Description: Dan will present the fight/flight/freeze response in terms of our physiological response.  He will outline how our HPA axis functions and the chain reactions it sets in motion.  He will explain how years of this response from countless emergency responses throughout our careers can lead to overexposure to adrenaline and cortisol that may lead to some short term and long-term consequences.  These may include heart disease, weight gain, sleep issues, and mental health concerns, to name a few.  He will offer some statistics on suicide and PTSD in the fire service and share some proactive approaches to address these.  Lastly, He will outline an approach every fire department can implement to improve recognition and addressing the mental and physical health concerns facing our fire & ems personnel.
February 14th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "Benefits of Art Therapy & Other Experimental Therapies for PTSD, Anxiety, and Similar Diagnosis"
Jada Miller
Rosecrance Florian Program
Description: Jada will review what Experiential Therapies are and how they can be used as coping skills and grounding techniques for first responders. Some therapies covered will be Art Therapy, equine-assisted services, meditation, which includes the use of both non-verbal and verbal expression. Case study examples of specific directives will be shared to shed light onto the subject and to gain further understanding of the benefits of these modalities.
March 23rd, 2022 ~ 1:00 PM CT
Session: "Talk Saves Lives"
Sara Kohlbeck, MPH
Director, Division of Suicide Prevention
Medical College of Wisconsin
Description: Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide. Participants will learn common risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide, and how to keep themselves and others safe.
April 18th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "Understanding Substance Use disorder (SUD) and its impact on fire service personnel."
Daniel DeGryse - CFO, BA, BS, CADC
Director, Rosecrance Florian Program
Ret. Battalion Chief, Chicago Fire Department
Description: In everyday life, people turn to alcohol and/or drugs for pleasure and to cope.  In the fire service the line between pleasure and pain relief can seem clear, and other times blurred.  It is important we seek healthy means to address the cumulative stress, traumas, and exposures we encounter and manage every day throughout our careers.  When use turns to abuse and possibly a diagnosable disorder in our profession we are affecting not only ourselves, our families, and our livelihoods, but our coworkers and the citizens we serve.  Dan will begin his presentation identifying various definitions of a substance use disorder (SUD).  He then will discuss and expound on the general consequences of a SUD, why we may be susceptible to increased use, barriers to change, and the particular impact it has on an individual, family and within the fire service community.  Finally, he will share what we can do to address this longtime concern.
May 18th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "Peer Support 101 - How to have an uncomfortable conversations, how to frame it, and how to support your colleagues"
Vic Welle
Description: Description coming soon.
June 15th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "LGBTQ+ Suicide Prevention"
Erica Steib, MPH
Prism Program Coordinator
Mental Health America of Wisconsin
Description: LGBTQ+ people deal with certain burdens that their straight and cisgender peers do not, including the stress of navigating homophobia and transphobia in society and in personal relationships. As a population, LGBTQ+ youth report higher levels of depression and anxiety, social isolation, bullying, family rejection, substance use, and suicidal ideation and attempts than straight and cisgender youth. Trans and gender-nonconforming people often face stigma and discrimination in healthcare, school, and the workplace, which makes it harder to access care. Despite these disparities, the LGBTQ+ community is resilient! Many queer and trans* individuals thrive with the help of a supportive community. This session will cover:
 
  • Basics of sexual orientation and gender identities
  • Data on LGBTQ+ mental health disparities
  • How to support LGBTQ+ mental health 
  • Lessons learned from the Prism Program, a new mental wellness resource for LGBTQ+ youth and adults in Wisconsin
July 14th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "Stop The Threat - Stop The Stigma"
Adam Meyers
Stop The Threat - Stop the Stigma
www.stopthethreatstopthestigma.org
Description: Stop the Threat - Stop the Stigma features Adam Meyers personal experience using deadly force against someone who had armed themselves with a hatchet in a department store in Chippewa County, WI. This presentation is to inspire first responders to speak about their own mental health challenges and to help command a new perspective on mental health, advocacy, and awareness. 
August 17th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "The Impacts of Trauma on Relationships"
Dr. Abby (Baumgart) Huntley
President & Therapist
The Wellness Co-Op Team
Description: Description Coming Soon.
September 13th, 2022 ~ 2:00 PM CT
Session: "Suicide in Wisconsin Data Presentation"
Leah Rolando, MSW
Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator
Mental Health America of Wisconsin
Description: In this presentation, participants will learn about Wisconsin suicide and suicide related data and the four broad strategies for prevention outlined in the report, Suicide in Wisconsin: Impact & Response (2020). Strategies include 1) enhancing protective factors, 2) increasing access to care, 3) best practices in prevention in health care, and 4) enhancing data surveillance and program evaluation. Participants will learn how to support people with lived experience of suicide including attempt and loss survivors. National and statewide resources for a variety of settings and populations will be provided. Participants will learn about opportunities for suicide loss support personally and self-compassion resources. There will be time for Q&A and open discussion.

Presentation Learning Objective:
1) Participants will learn about current data and prevention strategies in the WI state suicide prevention plan.
2) Participants will gain confidence in communicating with people experiencing thoughts of suicide.
3) Participants will learn about resources for people with lived experience of suicide (thoughts, plans, attempts, and/or loss) and for first responders and helping professionals supporting people with lived experience of suicide.
October 11th, 2022 ~ 1:00 PM CT
Session: "Brain Exercises and Grounding Techniques for Yourself, Colleagues and Those You Serve"
Dr. Abby (Baumgart) Huntley
President & Therapist
The Wellness Co-Op Team
Description: Description Coming Soon.
November ~ 
Session: "Topic Pending
Presenter Pending
Description: Description Coming Soon.
December ~ 
Session: "Topic Pending
Presenter Pending
Description: Description Coming Soon.