BRYANT POND — REACH, Oxford County's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, also covering the towns of Bridgton and Harrison, will host a local conference, "Are You A Safety Net? Prevention & Intervention with Sexual Trauma and Mental Health." The conference will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at the Crosstones Conference Center with a focus on the awareness of mental health and trauma related to the needs of children and adults and ways to effectively meet their needs.
Keynote speaker will be Dr. Ann Jennings, founder of The Anna Institute, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to speaking the truth about the impact of childhood trauma. Jennings has been involved for more than 27 years in raising awareness and influencing fundamental change in how mental health service systems view and treat people with histories of unaddressed childhood trauma.
As director of the State of Maine’s Office of Trauma Services for eight years, she initiated projects bringing trauma-informed trainings and services to numerous agencies and survivors throughout the state. Additionally, Jennings has authored numerous published articles and documents including, "On Being Invisible in the Mental Health System."
The conference will include a choice of two breakout sessions with topics including: DBT Overview/ Use in Direct Intervention Settings (Ellen Crosby, LCSW), How Well Are We Listening and Responding to the Needs of Individuals Seeking Services? (Debbie Dembski, LCSW), Understanding Challenging Behaviors in Young Children (Eileen Fair, LCSW), Cyber Technology & Sex Crimes (Bill Mitchell, Maine State Police), Creating Safe Zones within Safety Nets: Considering the Needs of LGBTQ Survivors (Sarah Holmes, USM) and Normalized vs. Sexualized Behaviors (Ellen Crosby, LCSW).
The afternoon will include a showing of the Oscar Nominee documentary, "The Invisible War," which addresses the "shockingly common, profoundly distressing problem of sexual assault in the US Military,” as stated by the New York Times. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including: Terry Moore (Women VETS USA), Jennifer Norris (National Victim Advocate/Military Rape Crisis Center), Norman Pacholski (Maine Air National Guard), Teresa Clark (Readjustment Counselor), David Faigin (Clinical Psychologist), Jerry Smith (Veterans Service Officer) and Jasmine Savio, LCSW (Military Sexual Trauma).
Registration is $65. Early registration of $55 has been extended until March 18. A group rate of $250 for registration of five employees from the same agency is available until March 18. Lunch is included. The conference is applicable for clinicians, case managers, advocates, law enforcement, in home support, child and adult protective services, substance abuse providers, clergy, medical staff, first responders and community members.
For any questions contact Lauren Dembski at 743-9777, ext. 5, or REACHcs@sapars.org.