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Western Nebraska School Mental Health Conference

The Western Nebraska School Mental Health Conference will be August 13, 2024, in Alliance. The focus of this year's conference is "Tools for the Tiers - Take-away tools which align with MTSS."

KEYNOTE SESSION

Balancing Student AND Adult Wellness by Judith Norman (Introductory) - *1 CE Credit Available*
A push for educators to keep doing more brings with it feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion. It's time to learn how to scaffold shifts in student behavior WHILE supporting the well-being of educators. It's been a zero-sum game for too long; this shouldn't be an either/or situation; the well-being of both students and educators is essential. Come explore how different "myths" in education are getting in the way of modeling healthy behaviors for students and creating burnout for us!
Objectives:
1. Explain how stress impacts brain states, body states, and behavior.
2. Analyze how certain myths in education are leading to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
3. Identify the important role of authenticity and congruence in student and adult wellness.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Social Workers

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

4 Tier 1 Tools for Immediate Use by Roxie Smith (Introductory) - *1 CE Credit Available*
8 to Great is an 8 step process that creates internal motivation to succeed. One student who went from flunking to a B average wrote, "Now I'm taking charge of my life!" Many say that 8 to Great should be required for graduation. Research by the University of Nebraska found that 8 to Great made statistically significant changes in student attitudes and behaviors. "Not only did the school culture change, but students began using the High-Ways immediately home and work as well." Most participants at the workshop know what 8 to Great is, let's dive right into 4 skills for immediate use. TIER I
Objectives:
1. Explain the impact of the 8 to Great Power Pyramid on psychological well-being.
2. Discuss the Mad/Sad cycle helping individuals gain insight into their emotional patterns and learn healthier ways to cope.
3. Analyze the effectiveness of using the structured communication technique, L.A.D.I
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Parent's, Social Workers

COMET Community Training (Changing Our Mental and Emotional Trajectory) by Kristen Rose (Introductory)
With increased depression, anxiety, and loneliness, communities need resources that support a culture of mental and emotional (M&E) well-being. Rural community members developed COMET (Changing Our Mental and Emotional Trajectory), a universal community-based training program, to move upstream to prevent M&E health crises. COMET Community Training (CT) teaches people how to initiate a supportive interaction for a potentially emotional conversation using the simple, seven-item COMET conversational guide. TIER I
Objectives:
1 .Learn a natural way to talk with a friend, a neighbor, or an acquaintance about difficult topics.
2. Learn a conversational guide and the importance of being "the other person."
3. Practice the COMET intervening questions and plan how you will use COMET to have conversations about another's well-being.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Parent's, Social Workers

Creating Persistence and Optimism with Resilience by Nicole Berosek (Introductory) *1 CE Credit Available*
Tenacity is the one thing that most people think about when it comes to resilience with the idea of bouncing back really quickly after something happens. We start with a nice overview of the general concept of tenacity; from there we consider the concept of optimism. Then we launch into five techniques to stay motivated; as we know we all make mistakes, so next we'll learn how to learn from them. And finally we dash through 15-time management skills. TIER I
Objectives:
1. Explain tenacity and cultivate realistic optimism.
2. Describe the techniques for staying motivated.
3. Explain the 15 time management techniques.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Parent's, Social Workers

Family Patterns and Adoption: A presentation for educators by Steven Coppard (Introductory)
This Tier II informational seminar is designed for educators who may have children who have been adopted or fostered in their schools/classrooms/districts. The intent is to raise awareness of how families formed through adoptions, guardianship, kinship and foster care may have unique characteristics that can influence behavior in the academic environment. Part of the discussion looks more closely at childhood trauma (of varying degrees) may also affect behavior. Finally, there is a segment on how educators can think about their interactions, environment and even lesson plans and how they can support this group of children. TIER II
Objectives:
1. Increase awareness of family composition.
2. Explore childhood trauma and the effect on behavior.
3. Increase sensitivity to issues related to adoption and how they may intersect with school related activities.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Parent's, Social Workers

The Internet and Counseling by Nathan Favaloro (Introductory) *1 CE Credit Available*
This presentation will delve into the relationship and growth of the Internet and the counseling profession. TIER I
Objectives:
1. Describe the relationship of the Internet and the Counseling Profession.
2. Explain how the Internet is used in the Counseling Profession.
3. Identify positive and negative aspects of the Internet and Counseling Profession relationship.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students

It's Real: For Both Middle School & High School Youth by Donna Wolff (Introductory) *1 CE Credit Available*
The presentation covers such topics as: What is mental health? How is it similar to, or different from,physical health? How to notice signs of someone needing help. Tips and strategies for having a caring conversation with someone you might be worried about. Methods of self-care for mind, body, soul, and surroundings. Examples of trustworthy resources including: How reaching out to trusted adults can help teens manage their mental health. The presentation includes brief video narratives featuring well-known GenZ influencers sharing their own experiences with mental health,and what they found helpful at the time. TIER I
Objectives:
Recognize signs of suicide,.
Learn who is a trustworthy resource.
Recognize how reaching out actually helps mental health.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Parent's, Social Workers, Anyone wanting suicide prevention education

Panhandle Situation Table by Emily Timm and Misty Curtis (Introductory)
The Panhandle Situation Table is a weekly collaborative, action-oriented virtual meeting between several service sectors and public officers. These include but are not limited to law enforcement and justice systems, first responders, hospital systems, social service agencies, family/child abuse advocacy agencies, housing assistance agencies, transportation services, schools, mental and behavioral health providers, alcohol and drug counselors, employment services, veterans assistance services.
The Situation Table is a deeply collaborative, multi-agency, risk-driven initiative that allows agencies to work together and mobilize in new ways to rapidly triage situations of Acutely Elevated Risk to connect individuals/families to the support they need. TIER III
Objectives:
1. Introduction to the Panhandle Situation Table
2. Reduction of Acutely Elevated Risk/Connection to Services
3. How Schools Can Benefit from Utilizing the Table
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Social Workers

Screen Time: Current Evidence by Gage Stermensky (Intermediate)
How much screen time is too much? Explore current recommendations and evidence for youth. TIER III
Objectives:
1. Understand the difficulties of a student struggling with their mental health and how it effects their lives
2. Explain the following disorders in school age kids: depression, panic disorders, ADHD
3. Achieve an understanding of how each disorder affects a student ability to function day to day
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Parent's, Social Workers

Trauma-Informed Classroom Practices by Jamie Sato (Introductory) *1 CE Credit Available*
This will help inform school staff (e.g., teachers, administrators) on the definition, causes, and symptoms and presentation of trauma and give practical tools to approach and view students with a trauma-informed lens and support students. TIER I
Objectives:
1. Identify trauma and its presentation in children and adolescents
2. Describe trauma symptoms and view student needs through a trauma-informed lens
3. Discuss how to appropriately support to optimize students' learning
Target Audience: Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators

Why aren’t students using the skills I’m teaching? by Judith Norman (Intermediate) * 1 CE Credit Available
Self-regulation is crucial to manage stress, behaviors, and access thinking, all vital for successful learning. Most SEL programs are missing essential components, hindering students from independently utilizing effective strategies, even those we've already taught them. This can result in a lack of prerequisite skills being perceived as intentional behavior and can feel very frustrating. Learn what's missing and how to shift practices by incorporating simple elements, such as interoception, facilitating students' abilities to initiate appropriate self-regulation skills in the classroom.
Objectives:
1. Describe the different skills necessary to support developing self-regulation and how to incorporate them into already existing practices.
2. Discuss that interoceptive awareness is foundational to being able to self-regulate.
3. Identify ways to incorporate self-reflection into daily routines, thereby promoting neural rewiring and nervous system re-patterning.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Social Workers, Parents

Youth Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Resources by Ranae Aspen (Introductory) - *1 CE Credit Available*
No Limits Nebraska's is the NDE's youth tobacco prevention program that aims to provide schools and professionals about the dangers of commercial tobacco use and correlations between mental health and youth tobacco use will be discussed. The session will also highlight tools and resources for educators, parents, and youth to positively reduce the incidence of youth using tobacco products as well as highlighting cessation resources for those youth who are addicted to tobacco products. Additional resources available for policy development, social media resources, and Nebraska Preventing materials. TIER I
Objectives:
1. Discuss emerging tobacco products and the connection between mental health & youth who are using tobacco products.
2. List resources to prevent the initiation of tobacco use among Nebraska Youth.
Target Audience: School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Students, Teachers and Para Educators, Administrators, Parent's, Social Workers

#Some breakout sessions will be recorded and available to registered attendees following the conference.

CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS*AVAILABLE

*Continuing education hours for psychologists may be used by other behavioral health professionals.

“The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center (NUPPC) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.

The NUPPC sponsors this event and maintains responsibility for this program and its content.”
This conference is sponsored by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

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