Friday, September 29th, 2023
The virtual conference this year is for anyone in a helper role. The sessions are designed to give attendees the confidence and skills they need to support a loved one, client, patient, or community member experience suicidal thoughts, feelings, or action.
There will be an opening session at 9:30 focusing on 988 implementation and updates both statewide and locally. Presenters include Dr. Anh Thu Bui from California Department of Healthcare Services, Stephanie Lewis LMFT who is the Acting Crisis System of Care Director from Alameda County Behavioral Health, and Narges Zohoury Dillon LMFT who is the Executive Director of Crisis Support Services of Alameda County.
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Safety Planning for Non Clinicians
The workshop is focused on increasing knowledge and confidence with safety plans. Developed in collaboration with a client, a safety plan can prevent crises from escalating by providing a person with tangible self-help coping strategies, including determining who can be most helpful during a crisis. Intended for those working in mental health and substance use settings in any role, however all are welcome.
Presented by: Jennifer Johal, MD, MPH, CHES® (she/her)
Jennifer is the Healthcare Engagement Program Coordinator on CSS’s Community Education Team. With a background in medicine and public health, she has been developing curriculum and providing suicide prevention workshops for medical professionals since 2018. In addition, she provides Mental Health First Aid and suicide prevention education to a variety of community members throughout Alameda County. Her favorite aspects of this work are being out in the community and building connections with others through learning and being part of a supportive and creative team. She has been a Certified Health Education Specialist since 2021.
Providing Support After Suicide Loss 10:30-11:20
Families and loved ones of those who die by suicide can often feel isolated in their grief. This session focuses on ways participants can start the conversation and support someone who has experienced the suicide death of a loved one. The session is open to all.
Presented by: Michelle Macarai LCSW
Michelle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works with CSS as the Clinical Program Training Coordinator. She also provides grief therapy and end-of-life doula services in private practice. She has focused her clinical practice on supporting people and families with chronic illness, end of life, grief, and loss. Michelle has worked in hospice, palliative care, and bereavement to partner with people in support of their grief process. She is currently facilitating an open drop-in grief group “Tending Your Grief” at the 81st Avenue branch of the Oakland Public Library on Tuesday evenings.
Supporting Youth in Crisis 10:30-11:20
Moderated by: Sarah Kim LCSW
Sarah currently serves as a Program Manager for Crisis Support Services, Clinical Department. She is collaboratively designing a new service called Organizing and Responding to Crisis for Alameda youth (ORCA) Program aiming to serve youth 25 years and younger whose lives are impacted by suicide. In addition to her work at CSS, Sarah offers individual and partnered therapy through her private practice, Collaborative Counseling Services. You can read more about her at www.
Pamela Parkinson, PhD, LCSW, is a clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, whose specialty area is working with youth and their families. Dr. Parkinson has spent most of her career working with system involved youth in our Continuum of Care (foster care, juvenile justice, mental health and the kids struggling in our school systems). She has published a book (2023) entitled: Speaking from the Hidden Heart: Helping Families Heal. Pamela is a certified PCOMS evidence-based practice trainer and currently works as a child/family consultant and trainer for community- based organizations in the Bay Area (and beyond). She has worked in level 14 residential, Non Public Schools, hospitals, and a variety of community-based settings including outpatient clinics, schools, diversion, kinship, etc.
In addition to serving as a CAMS-care Senior Consultant, Dr. Kevin Crowley works as a Staff Psychologist and Director of Externship Training at Capital Institute for Cognitive Therapy. He has conducted risk assessments, delivered suicide-specific treatments, and provided suicide-focused consultation and training through the VA Health Care System and outpatient private practices since 2010. He has also been involved in several suicide-focused program evaluations and formal research projects through The Catholic University of America’s Suicide Prevention Laboratory (Washington, DC) and the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention (Denver, CO).
Dr. Crowley’s research to date has emphasized brief interventions for reducing shame and suicide risk, understanding suicide “drivers,” and considerations for optimizing the effectiveness of suicide-focused training. He has presented this research and offered clinical workshops at the annual conventions of both the American Association of Suicidology and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Assessing for Risk Using Phone and Text 11:45am-1pm
The idea of talking on the phone or texting with someone about their suicidal thoughts can be hard. Here at CSS, we support provide support and assessment to over 35,000 callers on the Crisis Line and provide nearly 4000 text sessions annually. Additionally, our team trains volunteers on how to be effective on the phone/text. We are excited to share this information with you too. All are welcome.
Daniella has been with CSS for over 11 years and is the Training Manager within the Crisis Services Department. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she has clinical experience in crisis management, suicide prevention, trauma, grief, affirming care, and reproductive and perinatal mental health. Daniella is passionate about teaching and education, wearing many hats including that of a clinical supervisor, behavioral health program manager, and adjunct faculty member of a graduate counseling program. She is an advocate for non-carceral approaches to wellness and is committed to ending stigma surrounding mental health.
Cici is the Text Line Program Manager at CSS. Before her time at CSS, Cici provided crisis support at Yolo County and Santa Clara County since 2018.
Collaborative Approaches to Suicide Prevention 11:45am-1pm
This session explore how a collaborative approach can be used when working with clients with suicide risk. Andrea and Jessica draw on their experiences working across the crisis intervention continuum of care as providers as well as clinical supervisors and approach this work with empathy and an emphasis on the importance of client involvement at every step of the way. This session is designed for anyone, regardless of their role, working with clients experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Co-Presented by: Jessica Wolfinger LCSW, Andrea Henderson LCSW
Jessica is the Director of Crisis Services at Crisis Services of Alameda County. She also works as an On-Call Clinician for the Alameda Care Team. Prior to taking the position at Crisis Support, she was the Clinical Director at Sausal Creek. Jessica has been a LCSW since 2001 and worked in psychiatric inpatient hospitals, private practice, and outpatient services. Her experience at all levels of the crisis continuum, has allowed her to focus on systemic improvements in crisis management.
Andrea is a long term Oakland resident and Clinical Director at Crisis Support Services of Alameda County. Her professional experience is as a residential worker, case manager, and therapist. She is inspired by collaborative approaches to therapy and suicide risk reduction.
Using Client Centered Data Collection to Build Rapport and Improve Assessment 11:45am-1pm
Data collection is a part of our roles as helpers that can feel like a chore. However, when done with the client’s involvement and buy-in, it can provide us with information that could deeply impact a client’s experience. In this session, which is geared toward anyone who collects data from consumers or clients, you will be provided with concrete language and examples to change the framework of data collection from “something the provider needs to do, to a process in service of the client.”
Presented by: Narges Zohoury Dillon LMFT
Narges is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Executive Director of Crisis Support Services of Alameda County (CSS). Her career started as a case manager in 2006 and has been focused on reducing barriers to access for communities that have been historically underserved or inappropriately served by the mental health system. Narges gravitated to suicide prevention as a clinician because of personal losses she has experienced and believes strongly in the stigma reduction power of openly talking about the topic. Since joining CSS, Narges has worked to expand non-English services at the agency and is also dedicated to using data to advocate for a stronger crisis continuum that is not reliant on law enforcement.
For #SuicidePreventionMonth, we’re grateful to be in partnership with @planter.day, @oaklandish , and other amazing local artists and makers for a FREE community event Next Saturday, Sept 23rd @ 12p-4pm, called: Growing With Community: Exploring Various Forms of Mental Healing
This event highlights the value of collective care as a community and that healing comes in many forms.
@oaklandish warehouse @ 601 Brush St. in West Oakland