Do you Know What to do with a Teen in Crisis? Workshop to Address Teen Psychology

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Workshop to be offered May 19th, Beyond being 'just a kid': A cry for help, addresses mental and behavioral illness in teens. Learn from the pros at the forefront of teen mental health how to identify mental and behavioral illness, understand how and where to refer adolescents in crisis, reduce legal and administrative risk-the ethics of care and managing mental and behavioral illness. Speakers from Pomegranate Health Systems adolescent psychiatry, Netcare Alliance, Poling & Petrello, Attorneys at Law and Starr Commonwealth share their expertise in addressing best practice before a crisis, during a crisis, through-out a crisis and after a crisis.

Do you know what to do with a teen in crisis? It’s evident from headlines and the bullying epidemic that a lot of teens are on the edge of crisis. Pomegranate Health Systems announces the workshop, Beyond being ‘just a kid’: A cry for help. Mental and behavioral illness in teens, May 19th, 2012. The workshop is designed for junior and senior high school nurses, counselors, and administrators- principals, superintendents, but is also useful for therapists, psychologists, school board members and first responders.

There are four components to the workshop: 1) Identifying mental and behavioral illness: heart, soul, eyes and ears-beyond the basics. 2) Understanding how/where to refer adolescents in crisis: the treatment process. 3) Reducing legal and administrative risk: the ethics of care. 4) Managing mental and behavioral illness: family+ school+ community partnership. Registration begins at 8:30; the workshop begins at 9:00 am and ends at 2:30 pm. Contact hours/CEUs have been approved by Ohio Psychological Association (OPA), Ohio School Psychologists Association (OSPA), and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Family Therapist Board (CSWMFT). The workshop fee is $75 and includes all-day beverage station, buffet lunch, conference materials & handouts. The workshop will be held in the Gallery 3 + Galaxy theatre at COSI, Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. Registration for the workshop can be done by mail or online through Registration for the event ends May 9th.

The need for a workshop on mental and behavioral illness in teens is critical as a NIMH survey reports that, ‘About 20% of U.S. youth during their lifetime are affected by some type of mental disorder to an extent that they have difficulty functioning.’ The October 2010 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that ‘11% (of teens) reported being severely impaired by a mood disorder-depression, or bi-polar disorder, 10% reported being severely impaired by a behavior disorder such as ADHD, or conduct disorder, and 8% reported being severely impaired by at least one type of anxiety disorder.’ Government statistics on PTSD show that ‘of those children and teens who have had a trauma, 3-15% of girls and 1-6% of boys develop PTSD’ . In districts with no-tolerance policies toward even Midol, one wonders about the 1-in-25 teens age 12-17 who must take an anti-depressant or require ongoing treatment for mental or behavioral health concerns. Depression is a very real concern, which can lead to suicidal ideation. Bullying can lead to homicidal ideation. Research shows a greater emphasis on consequences for bullies rather than prevention in the first place.

Speakers for the workshop are:

  • Kris Brown, RN-BC, MS, Nursing Director at Pomegranate Health Systems, a 60 bed residential treatment facility with a 10 bed acute hospital for adolescents, where she manages the nursing staff. Brown has 22 years outpatient and inpatient psychiatric experience as an RN, manager and senior manager working with all age groups. Her MS is in mental health counseling.
  • Dr. Daniel Davis, PhD, ABPP, Sr. Forensic Psychologist, Netcare (and author of ‘The Angry Child’). Dr. Davis has over 30 years experience as a psychologist in a variety of clinical and forensic settings, and served as Clinical Director Buckeye Ranch, Supervising Psychologist of the Timothy B. Moritz Forensic Unit of the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Clinical Director of the Central Ohio Cluster of Mental Health Serivces of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and founded and served as first Director of Concord Counseling Service. He is a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

*Doug Holthus, Esq. Of Poling & Petrello Attorneys-at-Law. Holthus handles business planning, corporate compliance and general business litigation, professional liability litigation and governmental entity and civil rights litigation. He served as General Counsel for The Kokosing Group of Companies, with Reminger & Reminger, and is a Member of the Columbus Bar Association. He is a legal aide volunteer with Knox County Bar Association, Columbus Bar Association, Central Ohio Miracle League among other community service and professional activities.

*Lesley R. Puett, MSW, LISW-S, Assistant Director of Community-Based Programs, Starr Commonwealth, served as Supervisor of Ohio Families First Program at Starr Commonwealth, National Trainer for Parents as Teachers Program, Director of Parents as Teachers Program for Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and as Director of Nurturing Parenting Program. She holds training in Forensic Interviewing, Trauma Informed Counseling and Training in Sexually Reactive Youth Counseling, and is a member of the NASW. (Participation by companies or speakers does not constitute endorsement of any product or service presented here).

Each school, each school district and each county have significantly different policies, staffing, funding, groups, assemblies, approaches- or not- regarding mental and behavioral illness in adolescents. With funding cuts, even school nurse positions are on the table and many schools do not have the wherewithal to have school psychologists on staff. Many guidance counselors are concerned with getting a teen through to graduation, academic performance, and college entrance exams or career track concerns. School nurses deal with health and wellness issues like flu shots, immunizations, kids with asthma or diabetes, sexual health/wellness, obesity & diet, teen pregnancy or even ADHD. Administrators face school boards and demanding parents while balancing budget concerns, legal issues, and disciplinary actions. There are sports programs, music programs, busing, performance measures and more to deal with. Every day presents a new set of challenges.

When it comes to adolescent mental health, one district could be described as well-staffed with school psychologists, school nurses, counselors, counseling groups, health classes and a district-wide focus on social aggression- such as bullying and its consequences. Another district in Northeastern, Ohio has implemented SOS- Signs of Depression and Suicide, yet another county uses Teen Screen to screen for risk behavior, and several in other Ohio counties are piloting the Kognito webinar series designed to screen for mental and behavioral illness and reduce teen suicide, an initiative through OSPF-Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. Grants through ODMH have made these programs possible. Assistance is uneven, and many teens go untreated.

There is room for improvement and denial when it comes to more serious mental and behavioral health disorders in teens. A Central Ohio high school assistant principal said, ‘The athletic department deals with this stuff-mostly substance abuse issues on an individual as-needed basis. Like if an athlete gets in trouble.’ Another hospital and school volunteer (not far from Chardon) said, ‘We don’t have those kinds of problems or kids here.’ Another school counselor said, (exasperated), ‘We’re working on testing and getting kids to stay in school or even graduate. There simply isn’t funding for these types of programs or staff. Yet the need is very real.'

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Patricia Rodemann
Pomegranate Health Systems
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