CMHACY Poster Sessions and Wine and Cheese Reception

Wednesday Evening 8:15

Fred Farr and Kiln

This year we have added “poster sessions” to our conference agenda. Poster sessions allow individuals and groups to present their research, policy and practice ideas in a more informal setting than could be done in a workshop session. The “poster” is a display of the ideas. Those involved with the research, policy or practice will be available to answer questions and to further discuss the topics they represent.

We encourage all conference attendees to attend the poster session, which is occurring at the same time and location as our traditional wine and cheese reception.

The following are descriptions of each of the confirmed poster sessions:

Teaching Drug and Alcohol Education to Middle and High School Students: Self-Knowledge Leads to Personal Power

For decades, alcohol/drug education programs for youth have relied on scare tactics and/or simplistic admonitions (Just Say No, DARE) to dissuade substance use. I avoid this and admit to youth my intention: Respectfully give them enough information to make decisions that will keep them Safe, Healthy & Out of Trouble.

This poster session is aimed at anyone who needs to first effectively connect with youth in order to educate them about substances and substance use, abuse and addiction. Parents, youth, educators and clinicians can benefit from attending.

Teens expect drug educators to tell them two things: drugs are bad and you are doomed if you use them, so they often tune out. David’s message is different:  Drugs, legal and otherwise, are powerful agents of change on our minds and bodies. It’s our relationship with drugs that matters. What will your relationship be? Who will be in charge—you or the drugs?

David presents factual information in a nonjudgmental approach; he helps students to recognize that their brains have the ability to provide a safe and healthy “high” without outside substances.  Armed with facts, students feel empowered to make the choices that are right for them. – Pam Eimers, Middle and High School health teacher

David N. Hafter runs the Urban Children’s Resiliency Program in Yolo County, providing MHSA funded Prevention and Early Intervention services through Victor Community Support Services in Davis CA. He has been a subject matter expert with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences since 1991.


Supporting Teachers in Recognizing Mental Health in their Classrooms

The ideal setting for the promotion, early identification and intervention strategies on mental health is the school classroom yet research indicates that teachers feel they lack the skills needed to identify and find help in supporting children and youth’s mental health needs (Reinke, Stormont, Herman, Puri, & Goel, 2011). Having better prepared teachers to meet the challenges experienced by this population will not only provide a positive climate that enhances social and emotional development but will also promote a healthy learning environment by raising awareness of mental health in the classroom as well as in the community (California Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup, 2012).

Rachael A. Gonzales, Professor, California State University Sacramento

Daniel R. McCarthy, School Social Worker


How to Make Key Performance Indicators that Work for Your Agency

This Poster session will cover Characteristics of good performance indicators (KPIs); How to select KPIs that will work with your agency; Initial Steps—connecting with your agency and stakeholders; Criteria for Selection of Key Indicators; Examples of Key Cross-Cutting Performance Indicators/Outcomes; Cross-walk of Key Indicators to Other Frameworks; and Sample Logic Models and Tools for Measurement and Evaluation

Judith Calvo, PhD, Outcomes and Evaluations Consultant, Community Solutions;

Lisa Davis, Chief Operations Officer, Community Solutions


It is all about Collaboration

At Victor our focus is on providing services to the most disadvantaged clients, and often in remote areas of San Bernardino and Riverside County. We believe strongly that this strengthens not only families but communities. We are currently providing a full continuum of services in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties from 0-5 in the SART/EIIS program to school age kiddos in the CIS and WRAP programs to TAY and juvenile diversion. We will also share our success in collaborating with San Bernardino around initiating Katie A Services.

We consider these programs highly successful because of how we have been able to collaborate with DBH, the schools, consultants, drug court, DOR, and CFS, to name a few, in both counties. We would like to share how these collaborations have enhanced our service delivery through practical strategies and tools.

Juliann Curabba, Regional Executive Director, Victor Community Support Services

Sharmelle Parker, Executive Director, Perris Location, Victor Community Support Services

Debbie Reno Smith, Executive Director, Victorville Location, Victor Community Support Services

Paula Quijano, Executive Director, San Bernardino Location, Victor Community Support Services


Marginalized Youth Finding their Voice in Student Government

For the past 30 years, Seneca Family of Agencies (“Seneca”) has been providing children’s mental health, special education, crisis stabilization, and kinship caregiver support services in 12 California counties. Seneca’s mission to help children and families succeed through the most difficult times in their lives reflects the agency’s core value of “unconditional care.” The focus of this presentation, the students of Seneca’s Olivera School, are an incredible group of adolescents with histories of trauma and aggressive behavior. These students, despite incredible setbacks, are working to overcome those challenges and find their voice in student leadership.

These youth are often referred to Seneca after repeated dismissal from other programs due to significant behavioral challenges, including (but not limited to) dramatic assaultive and self-abusive behaviors. These behaviors and challenges often deeply impact academic achievement and lead to extended suspensions and expulsions. Youth enrolled in mental health services often have little to no say in what happens to them; decisions are made, and expectations lain out with no opportunity for choice or change. Consistently labeled as outsiders, the IP (identified patient), and ‘hopeless causes,’ these students rarely have an opportunity to have a voice in their education or their treatment. In order to feel safe, youth need to know that their voice matters. They need to know that if they speak up – someone will listen, “it was not until I felt included in my treatment and how my day would go that I started to feel safe following the rules, and participating in the school environment,” shares a former student.

Sara Schnaitter, Classroom Therapist, Seneca Family of Agencies

Max Corrigan, Former Student Body President and Olivera School Graduate


Engagement, The fundamental component that drives WRAP AROUND success.

This poster session will: increase understanding about the importance of engagement within mental health services specific to WRAP AROUND program; provide knowledge on how engagement is an ongoing process that requires special attention and can result in better outcomes; identify barriers and learn to manage obstacles along the way of providing services within the WRAP AROUND model; illustrate what role engagement plays in the process of the shared core practice model; show how to utilized engagement to move the clients toward change in the Wraparound model; show how to engage families that have experienced trauma, guilt and/or shame within the WRAP AROUND program; and provide specific examples of barriers to effective engagement from a data-base of client surveys within Los Angeles County

Karina Vasquez, WRAP AROUND administration in Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

Heleodora (Dora) Guerrero, Parent Advocate, Countywide WRAP AROUND administration, in Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Ike K. Mendoza, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Children System of Care, Wraparound Administration.


Role of Clinician in the Wraparound Team

This poster session will help people understand the role of the Clinician in the Wraparound Team; identify the contribution of the Clinician to the Wraparound Process; understand the importance of engaging and partnering with parent partners service delivery; and gain an understanding of trauma informed care in the Wraparound Process

Ike Mendoza, Countywide Wraparound Program, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health,

Robert Trujillo, Countywide Wraparound Program, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Karina Vasquez, Countywide Wraparound Program, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Gwendolyn Slattery, Parent Advocate, Countywide Wraparound, Los Angeles Co Department of Mental Health

Heledora (Dora) Guerrero, Parent Advocate, Countywide Wraparound, Los Angeles Co Dept of Mental Health


Continuum of IEP Mental Health Services in the Lompoc Unified School District

The Lompoc Unified School District has successfully implemented successful K-12 therapeutic classrooms located on comprehensive public school campuses. The programs are staffed with one teacher and two behaviorally trained paraprofessionals per class. Additional weekly staffing includes a BCBA level behaviorist, mental health therapist, and school psychologist.   Students receive intensive individual and group mental health therapy. Students are engaged with a social emotional learning and social behavior curriculum. Students are mainstreamed based on their emotional/social readiness which is monitored through the Diana Browning Wright behavioral TIERS system.

Tina M. Christen, Director of Special Education, Lompoc Unified School District


More than ABCs and 1,2,3’s — Using Data to Improve Mental Health Outcomes for Children

The poster session will focus on the development of an outcome data collection and reporting system that illustrates the impact of children’s behavioral health services statewide and within counties, the outcomes collected for children in Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs and opportunities to use the outcome data to improve services, engage families and stakeholders and inform advocacy efforts. It will educate children and youth providers and advocates, consumers and their families on the importance of collecting, reporting, and using outcome data; demonstrate the impact of FSP services on the lives of children and their families; highlight an overall approach to outcomes grounded in 8 outcome domain areas; and highlight county, regional and statewide opportunities for quality improvement and practice improvement.

Adrienne Shilton, County Behavioral Health Directors’ Association, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Debbie Innes-Gomberg, Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health, Program Manager III- MHSA Implementation and Outcomes Division


NeuroRelational Repair – Opportunities to reimburse children and youth

The PersonBrain Model is a powerful NeuroRelational approach and promotes hope and opportunity. Modern science shows that our brains are continuously developing within the contexts of our relationships and ecologies. From the moment people are born, experiences shape our brains. We believe that all troubled children and youth can enjoy a more enriched and successful life when provided with appropriate people and experiences. The PersonBrain Model™ teaches therapeutic helpers critical skills known as NeuroDynamic Interventions that guide interactions to be more productive and transformative across a variety of needs.

Incorporating modern neuroscience and the best of positive, ecological and relational psychology, teaches the essentials of how the brain, body, culture and environment function together to impact one’s overall life experience.

Toné Reyes, Training Specialist, Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families


“Youth Mental Health First Aid”: How Adults Can Help Youth in Need

This poster session will explore “Youth Mental Health First Aid” (YMHFA), designed for caring adults to support youth who may be experiencing a mental health issue, addiction, challenge, or crisis.  It will give you an overview of YMHFA; clarify the fact and fiction of youth suicide and self-injury; and show you how to access this full training FREE

Monica Nepomuceno, Education Programs Consultant, Mental Health Services, California Department of Education


Breaking Barriers – Collective Impact

As a preview of Workshop A 12 on Thursday, Elizabeth Estes, Founder of Breaking Barriers, is available to describe and discuss the work she has been doing with Breaking Barriers to re-engineer how our educational, health and social services work together to support improved outcomes for children, strong communities and healthy families even in the light of the many political and funding pressures upon local child and family advocates and providers.

Breaking Barriers is focused upon “educational-social-emotional-behavioral” development of California’s children.  It is dependent upon outcomes derived from the implementation of a logic model that uses the components of ‘collective impact’.  Stop by this poster session and learn from Elizabeth how this can be done and why it is necessary.

Elizabeth Estes, Founder, Breaking Barriers

Recent Posts
Don't Miss It!

Stay up to date with our latest news and CMHACY conference updates.

Make an Impact

Elevate voices and support the movement for just mental health care.