16th Annual Conference

Supporting Children After Trauma and Disaster:
Protecting New York's Future  

June 7th, 2019
SUNY New Paltz 

Registration for IDMH's 16th annual conference is now closed!

 

Sponsored by New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services 

Additional sponsorship provided in part by NYU Silver School of Social Work Rockland County Campus

 


 


Agenda

              

8:15-9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00-9:30 a.m.  Welcome Remarks
9:30-10:45 a.m.  Protecting and Promotiing Children's Resilience to Extreme Adversity  When Facing Violence and Disasters
Gil Reyes, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist 
10:45-11:00 a.m.  Break
11:00-12:15 p.m. 

Taking Charge of Vicarious Trauma & Work-related Distress
Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO, Greenleaf Integrative 

12:15-1:15 p.m. 

Lunch              


Concurrent Professional Workshops:

Session 1
1:15-2:30 p.m.

Session 2
2:45-4:00 p.m.

Building a Trauma- and Bereavement-Informed Community in the Aftermath of a School Shooting
Marisa B. Nowitz, MSW, LKCSW-S, Baylor College of Medicine

Real Lessons Learned: Responding to a School Tragedy
Christine Montgomery, LCSW, Clifford Beers Clinic

Stress Mitigation: Management and leadership roles in promoting organizational resilience
Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO, Greenleaf Integrative

Stress Mitigation: Management and leadership roles in promoting organizational resilience
Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO, Greenleaf Integrative

Child-Focused Psychological First Aid              
Steve Moskowitz, MSW, NYS OMH
Jennifer Smith, Save the Children

Child-Focused Psychological First Aid              
Steve Moskowitz, MSW, NYS OMH
Jennifer Smith, Save the Children

Communicating Effectively with Victims and Families: A Workshop for Emergency Response Professionals
Gil Reyes, PhD, Clinical Psychologist

Communicating Effectively with Victims and Families: A Workshop for Emergency Response Professionals
Gil Reyes, PhD, Clinical Psychologist

FBI Victim Services Division: Helping Victims of Mass Violence
Tiffany Short, MSW, LCSW, Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBI Victim Services Division: Helping Victims of Mass Violence
Tiffany Short, MSW, LCSW, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Creative Approaches to Engaging Children in Trauma Processing
                   Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA

 

 Keynote Descriptions

Protecting and Promoting Children’s Resilience to Extreme Adversity When Facing
Violence and Disasters 
Gil Reyes, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist

All societies and cultures expect adults to protect children from the harms and hazards of life, including disasters and violence. Unfortunately, our abilities to prevent such adversities and our skills at mitigating the damaging consequences are more limited than we would wish them to be. Moreover, until recently we have not had reliable and valid information about how acute and chronic exposure to traumatic stress affects development among the young and across the lifespan. This presentation will highlight the best evidence for practices and programs intended to protect optimal development and enhance resilient adaptations among children and their families faced with recovering from violence and disasters. An information-processing framework is used to guide conceptualization of what is most likely to prove protective and promotive of resilience for children exposed to potentially traumatic stress.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe in multiple ways how exposure to extremely adverse experiences is most likely to affect children’s development in the immediate term and across time.
  2. Describe how families, schools, healthcare facilities, and other child-serving systems can more effectively protect children from unnecessary secondary and vicarious exposures to potentially traumatic stressors, including from news coverage and social media.
  3. Apply principles of utilizing strengths-based models to promote active resilience behaviors among children, families, and child-serving systems that provides a multi-contextual ecology for thriving in the face of adversity.

Taking Charge of Vicarious Trauma & Work-related Distress
Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO, Greenleaf Integrative

Being on the front lines of trauma response means exposure to physical stressors, mental challenges, and existential questions – all of which can have a negative impact on responders, particularly when children are hurt in a mass event.  The field of disaster response has grappled with vicarious trauma, burnout, and other types of distress with many advancements in scholarship and organizational action.  This keynote will illustrate these advancements and turn to ground level behavior change for front line workers. 

Participants will be able to:

  1. List studies in disaster response that have measured work-related distress.
  2. Give examples of behavior change in front line workers that promotes wellbeing.
  3. Fortify the capacity to exhibit self-leadership in maintaining a resilient response to occupational stress. 

 

 Workshop Descriptions 

Building a Trauma- and Bereavement-Informed Community in the Aftermath of a School Shooting
Marisa B. Nowitz, MSW, LKCSW-S, Baylor College of Medicine

On May 18, 2018, Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas experienced its most tragic day when a school shooting resulted in the death of eight students and two teachers, with thirteen others being injured. Since that time, the Trauma and Grief Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with school and community partners, has been providing trauma- and bereavement-informed assessment, intervention, and education within the broader Santa Fe community in an effort to foster resiliency and recovery. This presentation will explore theoretical frameworks for supporting a community following traumatic death, the interplay between grief and posttraumatic stress in youth, as well as challenges faced and lessons learned thus far.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe theoretical frameworks for assisting traumatically bereaved youth.
  2. Define trauma-informed and bereavement-informed practices in the context of a school shooting.
  3. Identify potential challenges faced when working with a community in the aftermath of a school shooting.
  4. Recognize evidence-based interventions that can assist traumatically bereaved youth and foster resiliency.

Real Lessons Learned: Responding to a School Tragedy
Christine Montgomery, LCSW, Clifford Beers Clinic

It happened in Newtown and has happened many times since.  On December 14, 2012, twenty 1st graders and six educators entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School and never returned home.  In the six years since the Sandy Hook tragedy, there has been hundreds of victims and thousands of family members impacted by mass shootings.  This workshop will detail the response provided by an external community partner to offer multi-tiered, flexible interventions to address the numerous trauma and grief needs of the students and staff. Additionally, key elements of a long-term sustainable recovery plan will be discussed. 

This presentation will highlight how Newtown established a long-term recovery and resiliency program which included multi-tiered interventions to address the numerous trauma and grief needs of its students and staff.

The presenter will highlight some of the different mental health challenges reported by students and which intervention strategies appeared most beneficial. She will present outcomes from the individualized and group based work (CBITS/BounceBack). She will also share how they have had to collaborate across the school district to be trauma-informed and some of the strategies that were used to enhance these practices (recovery members attending team meetings, assisting in parent and teacher communications). In these past 4 years, there have been many lessons learned that will be shared in order to improve our abilities to respond more effectively to those traumatized and bereaved by mass violence.

Designed for all educators: teachers, administrators, counselors, school psychologists, social workers, other support personnel and community providers.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify immediate, short-term and longer term traumatic effects of the event and strategies to support the long-term needs of the school community.
  2. Identify the key partnerships in long-term recovery including community partners, parents, staff and students.
  3. Recognize the impact on school staff and helping professionals including the need to address vicarious trauma and self-care.
  4. Describe lessons learned and how these lessons should shape future responses to mass violence.
  5. Explore several lessons learned and how these lessons could shape future responses to mass violence.
  6. Identify steps to take to create a sustainable recovery including identifying key partnerships in long term recovery.

Stress Mitigation: Management and leadership roles in promoting organizational resilience
Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO, Greenleaf Integrative

Anyone who oversees staff tasked with helping, healing and protecting functions will know how dealing with stress tends to take a back seat to “getting the job done.” But what about situations in which minimum standards of getting the job done are not acceptable? 

Organizational resilience depends on three concrete competencies that then contribute to both wellbeing and high performance. This workshop is for active managers and leaders who wish to take steps to mitigate stress upstream before it gets to be toxic stress.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish the roles of self-care, staff care, and stress mitigation.
  2. Apply the three competencies for resiliency to a case study.
  3. Develop a sample stress mitigation plan for one’s organizational culture.

Child-Focused Psychological First Aid 
Steve Moskowitz, MSW, NYS OMH, 
Jennifer Smith, Save the Children

The harm disasters cause isn’t limited to physical damage – they also can create stress and trauma in all who are impacted. For children, this stress and trauma can present itself in distinctive ways and therefore may require a unique response from helping professionals. One popular intervention, Psychological First Aid (PFA), is particularly useful for responding to disasters involving children and their caregivers.

Participants will be able to:

1. Identify the elements of PFA.
2. Understand how to respond in a developmentally appropriate manner to children who have experienced a disaster or traumatic event.
3. Communicate effective ways for caregivers to support their children after traumatic experiences.
4. Understand when to refer children to a qualified professional.

Creative Approaches to Engaging Children in Trauma Processing
Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA

Trauma and disaster are complex, multidimensional phenomena that impact children’s sense of safety, connection, bodily integrity, and self-efficacy.  In the workshop, clinicians will engage in thinking, practicing, and experiencing creative approaches to working with young people following mass trauma events.  Topics will include identifying points for intervention, providing developmentally responsive forms for trauma processing, promoting self-regulation, and fostering complex narratives.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify two markers of trauma that indicate potential points of intervention.
  2. Learn three play, arts, or body-based techniques to be used with children exposed to trauma and disaster.
  3. Articulate two therapist interventions for facilitating an oscillation between experience and reflection in working-through.
  4. Cite two reasons why the promotion of self-regulatory capacities is essential to treatment outcomes.

Communicating Effectively with Victims and Families: A Workshop for Emergency Response Professionals
Gil Reyes, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist

This workshop will focus on developing Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, and Habits that help ensure compassionate, sensitive, respectful, and functionally effective communication with victims and their families. Participants will also learn a step-by-step approach to developing a continuous supportive relationship with trauma survivors as situations evolve across time. Substantial time and effort will also be directed at strengthening the best practices of emergency professionals and their agencies for coping with emotional and psychological impacts of exposure to traumatic situations, the anguish of survivors, and the occasionally severe reactions of the affected communities. Concrete issues addressed include death notification, the ongoing process of supporting victims and families through family assistance centers, psychological first aid, and recovery-oriented counseling.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how fear, shock, anger, guilt, and other emotional reactions affect perception and communication in emergencies, so that they can anticipate, assess, and respond effectively to the needs and capacities of victims and families faced with traumatic loss.
  2. Develop their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits for sensitively and respectfully conveying genuine compassion and effectively communicating about difficult information with victims and their families.
  3. Practice a step-by-step approach to death notification that helps to minimize secondary distress, promote greater satisfaction among survivors with how these duties are performed, ensure the utmost professional effectiveness, and develop supportive relationships with trauma survivors that are durable and adaptive as situations evolve across time.

FBI Victim Services Division: Helping Victims of Mass Violence
Tiffany Short, MSW, LCSW, Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBI Victim Services Division’s (VSD) mission is to ensure that victims of crimes investigated by the FBI receive the information and assistance they are entitled to by federal law, help them cope with the impact of the crime and effectively participate in the criminal justice process. Since 2007 the FBI has been deploying a multi-disciplinary team to provide victim assistance immediately after an incident of Mass Violence.

Participants be able to:

1. Describe victim assistance lessons learned from the 2007 Virginia Tech School Shooting to the February 15, 2019 mass shooting in Aurora, IL.
2. Describe FBI VSD’S response and resources.
3. Understand common challenges when responding to child/adolescent victims.

Speaker Bios

Gil Reyes, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist

Gil Reyes, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist whose work addresses a broad range of traumatic experiences and community responses to crises. His publications include serving as lead editor of both the Encyclopedia of Psychological Trauma (Wiley; 2008) and the four-volume Handbook of International Disaster Psychology (Praeger, 2005). He has responded to numerous disasters of varying kinds including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and consulted on various projects with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, War Trauma Foundation, and World Vision International, as well as the American Red Cross and the Kenyan Red Cross.

Dr. Reyes is also an Affiliate Member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and emphasizes the importance of attachment and social support in understanding developmental trauma and how best to promote resilience to adversities of all kinds and at all ages and stages of development. He has provided training and consultation to a varied of colleges and schools, as well as other community agencies and organization, in providing immediate psychological first aid and ongoing psychological support services for trauma survivors, as well as for first responders and all other professional and volunteers exposed to potentially traumatic situations.

Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO, Greenleaf Integrative

Siddharth is a physician and public health scientist who seeks to change the way we regard our society’s helpers, protectors, and healers -- people and organizations who operate in demanding and traumatic environments. His early pursuit of improving systems of wellbeing led him to become one of the few physicians dedicated to the civil society response to mass events, including 9/11, the Indian Ocean tsunami, Gulf Coast hurricanes, Kashmir earthquake, and other terror attacks. Greenleaf grew out of his consulting to governments, health care organizations, NGOs, and the private sector in the areas of chronic high stress, brain health, trauma resiliency, strategic communications, and leadership effectiveness. He now leads a staff of thirty in consultations to U.S. federal agencies and the judicial branch.

Dr. Shah received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Rice University and completed his M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine. After one year of specialized training at the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry, he went to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for advanced training in Preventive and Behavioral Medicine and a Masters in Public Health. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where they enjoy “biking picnics,” singing out loud and playing hide-and-go-seek. He is also a fair-weather triathlete, yoga buff, and reliable rebounder in basketball.

Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA

Dr. Haen has been working clinically with people impacted by interpersonal, developmental, and familial trauma for 20 years. He provides acute crisis intervention following acts of violence and atrocity and co-chairs the American Group Psychotherapy Association’s Community Outreach Task Force, which offers trauma response interventions in diverse communities. Dr. Haen is a graduate adjunct faculty member at NYU and Lesley University. He has published widely, and his most recent book, co-edited with Nancy Boyd Webb, is Creative Arts-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents. He has a full-time private practice in White Plains where he treats children, adolescents, adults, and families, and is co-founder and training director of the Kint Institute, which provides a post-Masters certificate program in the arts and trauma treatment.

Cathy Kennedy-Paine, MS, National Association of School Psychologists

Cathy is the Lead for the National Association of School Psychologist’s National Crisis Response Team. She has worked as a crisis responder and crisis trainer since 1991 and she helped direct her district’s response and multi-year recovery efforts following a mass high school shooting in 1998. For the past 20 years Cathy has served as a responder and consultant to other school districts that have experienced school violence or other major crises. 

Cathy is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Oregon, served on advisory boards for the Oregon Center for School Safety and the National Resource Center for Safe Schools; and has published numerous articles related to school safety and crisis response.  Cathy was an invited panelist at the White House School Safety Conference in Washington, DC attended by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. She presented at a Congressional Briefing in Washington DC titled “Rethinking School Safety: Schools and Communities Working Together.” Cathy retired from the Springfield School District in Springfield, Oregon where she served as a school psychologist, special programs administrator, and district crisis response team leader.

Steven N. Moskowitz, MSW, New York State Office of Mental Health

Steve Moskowitz, MSW, is the Director of the Bureau of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the New York State Office of Mental Health, a position obtained following an assignment as the Director of the Project Recovery, a statewide FEMA-Crisis Counseling Program. In the years since, he has guided mental health responses to numerous natural disasters including Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, provided technical assistance to communities following mass casualty events, and provided training to the cadre of Disaster Mental Health Responders statewide.

Steve’s career arc has included stints in clinical services to youth and families, not-for-profit agency administration, family mediation and most recently disaster mental health and emergency management. As one result of this non-traditional path, Steve has acquired a deep appreciation for the challenges of making human services work as effectively in the field as claimed in the grant application.

Recent efforts to building program that truly meets assessed needs have included working on revisions to the curricula used in New York State for training for both responders and the public on the psychological impact of trauma and disaster and cooperative efforts at bridging gaps between the public and mental health sectors in the application of mental health support following critical events. In addition to his role with OMH, Steve is a member of the Advisory Board to the SUNY New Paltz, Institute for Disaster Mental Health and has been active in assisting in the creation of a national peer group of disaster mental health responders and now serves as the Co-chair of the Multi-State Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium.

Tiffany Short, MSW, LCSW, Child Victim Program Coordinator, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Victim Assistance Division, Child Victim Services Unit

Tiffany Short has 20 years of professional experience working violent crimes against children. Ms. Short currently serves the FBI as a subject matter expert on child and adolescent victimization as a Child Victim Program Coordinator. Ms. Short is embedded at the FBI’s Violent Crimes against Children Section where leading professionals from a variety of disciplines develop policy and guidance, provide expert consultation, and execute large scale and major operations for child victims of violent crimes. As an FBI instructor and adjunct faculty member, Ms. Short provides professional presentations on child victimization globally to national and community leaders. Ms. Short was selected as a key presenter on a multi-disciplinary team used to instruct over 30 law enforcement partners in Canada prior to the first joint international operation to recover minor victims of sex trafficking. Her work overseas has since extended to Thailand, Ghana, Qatar, Bahrain, Malta, England, Ethiopia, Austria and Croatia.

Prior to serving in a leadership capacity at FBI Headquarters, Ms. Short was an FBI Victim Specialist for 9 years, providing direct services to federal victims of crimes including; Indian Country physical/sexual abuse, domestic violence, homicide, adult and child kidnapping, adult and child sex and labor trafficking, victims of sexual abuse images, and victims/witnesses of mass casualties incidents. Ms. Short has been recognized for her leadership in the field of victim assistance in human trafficking and her work in Indian Country.

Previous to the FBI Ms. Short was a Medical Social Worker on the Child Abuse Evaluation Team for Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ms. Short has a Bachelor’s of Art in Social Work from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and a Masters of Clinical Social Work from Texas State University. Ms. Short is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Texas. 

Marisa B. Nowitz, MSW, LKCSW-S, Baylor College of Medicine

Marisa B. Nowitz, MSW, LCSW-S, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Supervisor in the state of Texas experienced in counseling bereaved and traumatized youth. Marisa has over seventeen years of clinical experience, as well as expertise in program planning and professional training for mental health clinicians, health care providers, and educators in the areas of children’s coping, self-care, secondary traumatic stress, trauma and grief. Marisa has extensive experience working with children and families who have experienced mass violence at school, as well as those who have experienced other types of trauma and/or loss.

At the Texas Children’s Hospital Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center, Marisa serves as Clinical Supervisor within the City of Santa Fe Resiliency Center, where she provides evidence-based assessment and intervention to the community of Santa Fe, TX following the tragic school shooting in May 2018. Marisa completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.

Christine Montgomery, LCSW, Clifford Beers Clinic

Christine Montgomery, LCSW, is Vice President of Community and School Based Services at the Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven, CT. She has worked at Clifford Beers for 24 years and has been leading the crisis, school and community based services for the past 15 years. As part of her role, Ms. Montgomery is involved in multiple projects that are aimed at educating clinical and non-clinical community members about complex trauma and toxic stress and promoting trauma informed practices to increase resilience. On 12/14/12, the day of the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Ms. Montgomery identified a small team from Clifford Beers to be part of the statewide efforts to provide immediate on-site support to the Newtown community. Since 2012, Ms. Montgomery has supervised the Clinic’s Sandy Hook Recovery and Support team. She has consulted with multiple school and communities to aid in their response to similar tragedies. 

Clifford Beers Clinic and Ms. Montgomery have been affiliate members of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Ms. Montgomery is a member of the Connecticut Division for the Northeast Coalition of NCTSN Terrorism and Disaster Coalition for Child and Family Resilience. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Social Work at Southern CT State University. She has provided numerous trainings on crisis intervention, the impact of trauma, vicarious trauma and self-care.

Continuing Education Credits 

Our conference has been approved for 5 Social Work Continuing Education hours through a partnership with University at Albany School of Social Welfare. University at Albany, School of Social Welfare is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0011.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor will also receive 5 Continuing Education hours through a partnership with UAlbany School of Social Welfare and School of Education. University at Albany, School of Social Welfare & School of Education, Continuing Education Program is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0039.

CEUS will be provided at no cost to the participants. 


Sponsorship Opportunities 

We have an estimated audience of 400-500 diverse professionals from the fields of emergency response, mental health, health and beyond. Any organization interested in sponsoring this event should contact Rebecca Rodriguez at rodrigur@newpaltz.edu 


Visiting New Paltz

The conference will be held in the Lecture Center Building of the SUNY New Paltz campus. Parking information, including a visitor parking pass, will be delivered via email before the event. View the SUNY New Paltz Visitors's Guide to get more information on directions, area hotels and local attractions. 

Campus Map: https://www.newpaltz.edu/map/