WEST FRANKFORT – Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, will host a free, virtual Creating Compassionate Communities (CCC) two-day training May 11 from 9-11 a.m. and May 19 from 9-noon. CEUs are available.

The training is an annual co-heart training event. The overarching goal of CCC is to encourage participants to become more aware of the impact of burnout, compassion fatigue, and trauma by providing training that will ultimately give participants the tools they need to feel re-energized, supported, and knowledgeable to thrive not only professionally but also personally. This is achieved through CCC’s five main objectives: create a safe place to discuss barriers in a support group-like session; share additional resources; increase self-wellness by being open about burnout and compassion fatigue; re-energize participants to ultimately regain a sense of purpose in social services; and increase empathy and compassion towards others and ourselves.

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Objectives of the training include:

  • Introduction to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Understanding secondary trauma
  • Identifying the difference between sympathy, empathy and compassion
  • Learning new self-care strategies
  • How to implement and maintain self-care

One presenter in the training will be Brittney Hale, the Program Assistant for Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. Brittney received her Masters of Social Work from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, where she was also a fellow within the Trauma Based Behavioral Health Fellowship. Brittney has previously worked in direct service in various capacities such as at Choate Mental Health and Development Center, Brehm Preparatory School, and as an outpatient therapist at Arrowleaf - where she was also the Youth Programs Coordinator and supervised the Youth Department. In her current capacity at Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, she has delivered hundreds of hours of training and prevention education to community partners, providers and other stakeholders on topics such as childhood trauma, domestic violence, child sexual abuse prevention, poverty and trauma, and secondary trauma. She is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Happiest Baby on the Block instructor, and Darkness to Light instructor. She helped create and establish the Creating Compassionate Communities initiative, which is geared towards addressing secondary trauma and combatting the symptomology of that with compassion. Brittney is also the Prevent Child Abuse Illinois Program Coordinator for the Effects of Domestic Violence on Children, and chairs other committees within the community such as the Positive Youth Development Action Committee in Franklin and Williamson County and the Southern 7 Child Abuse Prevention Coalition.

This training has 5 hours of continuing education approved for IL LCPC / LPC, IL LCSW / LSW, and IL Nursing (LPN, RN, APN) under IDFPR Professional Counselor CE License No. 197.000263 and IDFPR Nurse CE Sponsor License No. 236.000184.

To register, visit http://bit.ly/CCC051121 for May 11 event and http://bit.ly/CCC051921 for May 19 event. For more information, contact Zachary Schumacher at Zachary.Schumacher@centerstone.org.

This training is sponsored by the Centerstone’s Building Compassionate Communities (BCC) program.

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Building Compassionate Communities help families and communities with everything that goes into being a family while focusing on strengthening resilience, improving access to healthcare, and enhancing the overall mental health service array.

“BCC serves anyone who is a part of a child’s life,” said Schumacher. “The program’s focus is improving the lives of children and their families, but the impact is felt by every person in their lives – other nearby family members, teachers, coaches, counselors and so on.

BCC works with non-profits, school districts, healthcare systems and other community partners to focus on improving the lives of children and families. BCC supports the Family Services program at Centerstone. Family Services provides telehealth, at-home, office or in-school services. Family Services counselors help families with:

  • Mental health screenings
  • Mental health services for youth and families members
  • Juvenile justice system navigation
  • Special education and individualized education plan (IEP) help
  • Reducing stereotypes and stigma related to mental health
  • Preventative care
  • Access to care
  • Immediate and long-term needs for families of children impacted by mental health
  • Peer provided services
  • Support groups
  • Parent education groups

“When a family isn’t functioning well for whatever reason, children are deeply affected. Some families have broken pieces that Centerstone wishes to help put back together. Together we can find what’s missing and make your family feel whole again,” said Schumacher. “Additionally, Southern Illinois has seen a rise in poverty over time. This comes with challenges to accessing nutrition, mental health help and basic self-care. As poverty increases, the quality of these items decreases. We’re working with community partners to increase the quality of life for children and families in these communities, which will in turn improve this part of the state.”

BCC supports communities, children, and families who live in Franklin, Jackson, Perry and Williamson counties. The Family Services program primarily works with local schools to provide mental health services to children with Medicaid.

There are multiple ways to get started with the Family Services program at Centerstone:

  • Families can take the initiative and call 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123). When you call, make sure you know what school district your student is in attendance and your insurance information. You don’t have to know exactly what kind of help you need to receive it – once you’re connected, our staff will guide you through the process.
  • Schools can recommend families. Every partner school has a referral process through which they can refer a family directly to a counselor. From here, a program coordinator will help the family and begin services.
  • Outside agencies, such as hospitals, can get a family connected to Family Services. The process is similar to that for families: the agency will call 1-877-HOPE123 and begin the initial screening there.

For more information, visit Centerstone.org/bcc or contact us today at 1-877-HOPE123.

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