Map of city with people and trees. Text says, Positive Change Virtual Conference. 2023 Rebuilding Connection: Creating Resilience. March 22 & 23, 2023.

Positive Change Virtual Conference
Day 1 — March 22

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8:00am – 8:30am
Pre-Show & Opening Remarks

8:30am – 9:30am
Opening Keynote Speaker

Building Resilience through Connection by Dana Milakovic, PsyD, NCD
Research continues to highlight the importance of connections for development and maintaining mental wellness and increasing resiliency. But what is resiliency? How do we use adult-to-adult and adult-to-youth connections to support development of resilience? How do we build relationships with youth who are reluctant to connect? This session will focus on how creating a community of caring and belonging can support youth and adult connections to increase mental well-being.  

Header says, NETWORKING

9:30:am – 10:00am
Take a break, network with our sponsors and other attendees through the Webex event app, and enjoy local treats from your event Snack Box!

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10:00am – 11:00am
Wired for Resilience: Applying Neuroscience to Support Social Connections
by Leah Mundy-Maher, MSW, LSW
Social support has long been established to be a primary factor in how young people access their resilience. Research has increasingly shown that neuroscience and brain function can also be applied in our understanding of resilience and risk. These components work together, along with other factors, to bring about resilience. This workshop will explore the basics of neuroscientific theories related to adversity and resilience, how resilience can be enhanced through effective early intervention, and practical applications for school Student Assistance Program (SAP) teams.

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10:00am – 11:00am
The Importance of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics to Increase Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment
by Andrea Reca, LPC, CAADC
In 2020, 12,080 York County residents and 8,821 Lancaster County residents had a substance use disorder, and 5,331 Pennsylvanians died from a drug overdose. Immediate access to holistic patient-centered care is imperative to harm reduction and long-term recovery. However, barriers, like social determinants of health needs and limited provider availability, prevent people from getting the help they need.

The Specialized Treatment and Recovery Team (START), a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), is dedicated to providing SUD treatment services to those who need it most. This proposed presentation will discuss the efficacy of CCBHCs in treating substance use disorders in adults with complex needs. It will also address how CCBHCs can effect changes in sentencing guidelines for justice-involved individuals with severe co-occurring disorders. As a result, attendees will have an increased awareness of CCBHCs and their positive impact on the community.


10:00am – 11:00am
What Comes Before Fight, Flight and Freeze? So Much!
by Wynne Kinder, MEd
Nervous system regulation, relationships, and resilience skills shape our ability to manage stress, grow/thrive, and handle change. We’ll explore the science behind nervous system activation (FFF), trauma, stress, and sense of safety as well as find a means of creating ease through choice, mindful practices, and connection strategies. Participants will:

  • Be introduced to the science behind nervous system activation and dysregulation;
  • Explore strategies for supporting our own as well as others’ regulation;
  • Try out attention & awareness practices that can be integrated into our lives and interactions;
  • Generate a batch of relevant go-to strategies that are learnable, practicable, and sustainable.

Header says, NETWORKING

11:00am – 11:15am
Take a break, network with our sponsors and other attendees through the Webex conference app, and enjoy local treats from your event Snack Box!

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11:15am – 12:15pm
Supporting our Youth: Building Resilience & Promoting Healing with School-Based Interventions by Nicole Platz, MS
Recent results from the 2021 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) data reflect that youth mental health concerns are on the rise. The COVID-19 pandemic caused individuals of all ages to experience uncertainty, social isolation and abrupt loss taking an emotional, social, and psychological toll on young people, especially. This session will explore evidence-based programs that are implemented in the school setting to address mental health issues for youth to build resilience and promote healing. School representatives and program facilitators will share their experience with programs that improved their student outcomes, as well as how school-based interventions taught students how to effectively manage stress, reduced barriers to mental health supports, and fostered resilience.

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11:15am – 12:15pm
The Intersection of Mental Health, Co-occuring, and Substance Use Disorders
by Eric Rodriguez, MSW, LSW, CAADC
This interactive workshop will give the participant the tools to best understand and navigate substance use treatment and recovery with consideration of mental health and co-occurring disorders. Participants will be given information on best practices when working with individuals with an identified substance use disorder and how to address additional mental health challenges. Identification of common mental health and co-occurring, including behavioral obsession and compulsion will be addressed. We will look at the current research important at identifying the need to do comprehensive care in the treatment of substance use disorders. We will finish in discussion around the building of connections and how resiliency and substance use disorders are an interconnected part of change.

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11:15am – 12:15pm
Language Matters: Talking to Youth about Problem Gambling & Gaming by Stephanie Diez-Morel, PhD, LCSW, MCAP, IGDC, BACC

Today, more people have access to, and are participating in, gaming and gambling activities than ever before. Those who often progress from leisure to problematic gaming or gambling get to a point where several areas of their lives are impacted in a negative way. Knowing how these behaviors can convert from leisure to problematic is key to helping prevent this from occurring.

In this presentation, participants will learn current research and how it can be applied to developing targeted prevention programming. Knowing what makes someone at risk of developing problematic behaviors is key for effective targeted prevention efforts. Thus research-based information will highlight known risk factors and social constructs for those who have problematic and convergent gaming and gambling behaviors.


12:15pm – 12:30pm

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