Speaker and former NFL player Gaelin Elmore.

ALTON - Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, will co-host, along with Illinois First Judicial Circuit, Heritage Behavioral Health and Kane County System of Care, the no-cost “The Belonging Need: Part 2” webinar on February 21 from 9-11 a.m. CT featuring advocate, speaker and former NFL player Gaelin Elmore. CEUs will be available.

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“The Belonging Need: Part 2” is geared toward youth-serving professionals, however everyone is welcome to attend.

The purpose of this webinar is to develop intentional implementation of belonging, specifically:

  • Why belonging is equally strategic implementation and cultural commitment
  • Stories of already successful implementation
  • Specific strategies for implementation

Belonging is a vital component of human flourishing. However, youth who have experienced traumatic and adverse situations often lack a sense of belonging, which can hinder their relationships, development, and their future.

Elmore believes that the only thing that was more powerful and long lasting than the trauma that he experienced was the belonging that he encountered. After a childhood filled with trauma, abuse, neglect, and homelessness, Gaelin believed that his issues would be solved if he became successful. From college football to signing an NFL contract, Gaelin was driven, even comforted, by this assumption.

It wasn't until Gaelin achieved what he thought was "success" (making it to the NFL), that he finally realized he had been wrong all along. And so, Gaelin retired as a rookie to begin his journey of self-love, self-discovery, and belonging.

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That journey has led Gaelin here today, and to stages all across the country, aiming to inspire, encourage, and equip others, to erase the belonging gap plaguing youth with adverse childhood experiences. Gaelin lives in Eden Prairie, MN, where he gets to experience the purest form of belonging, as a husband to his wife, Micaela, and a dad to their two daughters, Laniah and Tatum.

CEUs are being applied for through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR – counseling / social work) and the Illinois Certification Board.

“Centerstone’s Building Compassionate Communities (BCC) program is thrilled to partner with the Illinois First Judicial Circuit, Heritage Behavioral Health and Kane County System of Care to bring in Gaelin to work his time, talent and treasure with our region to tell his inspiring story,” said Dr. David Mills, Centerstone BCC grant coordinator.

This webinar is a part of “The Belonging Need” training series, which includes:

  • “The Belonging Need: Part 1” – January 24 from 9-11 a.m. CT via Zoom
  • “The Belonging Need: Part 2” – February 21 from 9-11 a.m. CT via Zoom
  • In-person “A Trauma-Informed Courts and Community Symposium: Creating a Culture of Belonging” – March 21 from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center featuring Gaelin Elmore as the keynote speaker presented by Illinois First Judicial Circuit Chief Judge William J. Thurston, Access to Justice Improvement Grant, Williamson County Presiding Judge Stephen R. Green, and Centerstone
  • “The Belonging Need and Deficit for Youth Navigating Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” – March 26 from 5:30-7 p.m. CT via Zoom

To register or for more information, visit Centerstone.org/events.

About Centerstone

Centerstone is a nonprofit health system specializing in mental health and substance use disorder treatments for people of all ages. Services are available in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, school-based services, telehealth, and an inpatient hospital. Centerstone also offers specialized programs available nationwide for the military community, as well as services for children, including therapeutic foster care. Centerstone’s Institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging the best evidence-based practices for use across our communities. Centerstone’s Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of delivering care that changes people’s lives. Learn more by visiting Centerstone.org.

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