Strafford County Addiction Summit

Addiction Summit Schedule

Wednesday January 26th & Thursday January 27th, 2022

Click here for a downloadable version of the agenda

Click here for downloadable list of presenter contact information

Keynote Speakers & Panels:

  • Scott Schuler: Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health
  • Kerry Nolte & Adriane Apicelli: Implementing a Harm Reduction Approach to Reduce the Consequences of Drug Use for New Hampshire Residents
  • Panel: Successful Strategies for Outreach and Engagement with Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
    • Christopher Kozak, Community Partners
    • Jennifer O'Higgins, NH DHHS
    • Nadine Lamontagne, Unite Us
    • Vanessa Healy, Granite United Way, 211
  • Panel: Coordinating Care in NH: Helping Make Connections Easier
    • D.D Travers
    • Olivia Angood-Hardy
    • Sharon Vertigans

2022 Summit Workshop Session Descriptions

Click here for a downloadable list of our workshop descriptions

Brain Injury & Substance Use Disorder: Understanding the Connection
Presenters: Lisa Hayward, Ph.D.  NH Department of Education: Office of Social Emotional Wellness and Robin Schell, Chair Brain Injury Association, NH, APR, Fellow PRSA Senior Counsel Partner, Jackson Jackson & Wagner

Learning Objectives:
-Recognize the intersection of SUD and brain injury;
-Explain the impact of opioid overdose on the brain;
-Access resources for the prevention of SUD and brain injury

Target Audiences: Educators, Educational Counselors, Educational Administration K – higher ed

Description: When an opioid overdose occurs, and the brain is deprived of oxygen for 3 minutes or more, there is a high likelihood that a brain injury, which can range from mild cognitive impairment to a complete loss of brain function, will occur.

The Brain Injury Association of NH created the SUD/Brain Injury and Mental Health Interagency task force three years ago to help raise awareness and address this issue with medical care providers, families of overdose patients and youth who may not realize the life-changing repercussions from taking drugs.  In this panel discussion, we will hear about training efforts, pilot programs and information sources for those trying to prevent substance misuse, and those dealing with the fallout issue of brain injury from the opioid epidemic in our state.

Substance Use and Mental Health in LGBTQ+ Youth

Presenter: Alissa Cannon (she/her), BS, CPS Executive Director, NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network

Learning Objectives: Attendees will learn about and understand risk and protective factors that are specific to LGBTQ+ youth. Attendees will spend time self- and group-reflecting on strategies that can be implemented to intentionally include and support LGBTQ+ youth in their own curriculum and prevention resources. They will also be provided with a copy of the PTTC and SAMHSA approved resource.

Target Audience: Anyone who provides prevention resources and support within community-based organizations or schools would benefit from this workshop.

Description: According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, LGBTQ+ identifying high school students in New Hampshire experience trauma and substance use at a much higher rate than their non-identifying peers. This workshop was developed to assist adult allies, prevention specialists, and educators to identify risk factors associated with increased youth substance use and mental health issues among LGBTQ+ youth, then empower them to create intentionally inclusive resources for this at-risk community.

During the PTTC Fellowship, Alissa created a self-guided and reflective tool that is inclusive of evidence-based practices, risk and protective factors and coping skills specific to LGBTQ+ youth for educators and community-based organizations to utilize when developing and evaluating their own curriculum and informational products, to ensure they are being intentional with their inclusion and support of LGBTQIA+ youth.

Preventing Substance Use Disorders by Mitigating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Presenters: Dr. Larry McCullough, Executive Director, Pinetree Institute and Mark Lefebvre, Director of Community Engagement, Pinetree Institute

Learning Objectives:
- Understand Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) and their impact on adult resiliency
- Identify ways to build PCEs in your community
- Introduction to the Community Coordinated Response model as an approach to mitigate SUD

Target Audience: Anyone interested in addressing ACEs and building resiliency in their community

Description: Exciting new research by Dr. Christina Bethel has documented the seven types of Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) that can help boost adult resilience. The more positive experiences that individuals reported, the more likely they were to report few or no issues of adult mental health challenges. Further research in Washington State has found that boosting a child’s engagement in the community reduces the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs ) at every level.

Successful strategies to address ACEs are not just another new program or initiative. Communities are fostering a change in mindset and culture, focusing on what happened to individuals and finding ways to engage them with compassion. This change in mindset requires significant community education and opportunities for dialogue to reduce adversity and increase positive experiences. The City of Portsmouth applied these principles with the “Coordinated Response to SUD” initiative, which has achieved tangible results within the Portsmouth community. The program addressed 5 priority areas including recovery housing, access to services, community education, employment, and coordination of services. The success of the Portsmouth initiative has buoyed an expansion of this approach to the broader NH Seacoast community including Hampton, Exeter and Seabrook.

This presentation will summarize the correlation of SUD and other negative outcomes to ACES, and introduce the Community Coordinated Response model as an approach to mitigate SUD in the Seacoast region.

The Granite Y- Resilience Building through Character Development

Presenters: Katie Soule, Association Director of Childcare and Day Camp Services, Granite YMCA Lead Resilience Trainer, Granite YMCA and Kim Harty, Director of Strategies and Partnerships, Granite YMCA, Stacy Neville, Executive Director at the YMCA of Greater Londonderry, Granite YMCA

Learning Objectives:
-Participants will be able to define Character Development as a vehicle for resiliency skill building in youth and adults.
-Participants will identify positive activities and actions to implement in programs and relationships that foster community and resilience.

Target Audiences:
-Anyone wondering about how protective factors and positive childhood experiences happen in practice.
-Anyone feeling frustrated by “the way things are done” and who may be looking for another perspective or approach to the hard problems under the umbrellas of prevention, harm reduction and social determinants of health.

Description: The Granite YMCA association is made up of 6 branches and 2 overnight summer camps, serving over 35,000 individuals across New Hampshire each year. During this presentation, participants will be introduced to the Granite Y’s Building Resiliency initiative and will get a real-time update of resiliency activities and actions happening across the Granite Y’s service area. The presentation will also provide an overview of the YMCA’s Character Development Learning Institute, which is a program that can be described as a vehicle for resilience skill-building for both youth and adults.

In a world where many are asking if their actions toward resilience (for themselves and with others) matters, this presentation aims to illustrate how daily actions, behaviors and mindsets make a difference in the lives of youth and adults. The Granite Y is a large youth-serving organization in New Hampshire, so the ties to youth resiliency may seem obvious or logical. In focusing, additionally, on building these skills in our staff, members and families, the Building Resiliency initiative empowers people with the skills and tools to make choices that support the life they want. We meet people where they are and help them build a strong foundation to achieve their goals. Above all, we invite people to become a part of something bigger than themselves- the Y movement and the community it creates.

Our work comes from an understanding of ACEs, the Social Determinants of Health and the fact that children need to be engaged with caring and competent adults. We also know that people thrive in community, with a network of support.  This presentation matters because it provides hope, considers the direct-care service level individuals and is transferrable to many topics across the Summit’s areas of focus.

NH’s MTSS-B Framework: Addressing Substance Misuse in Schools through a Tiered Prevention Approach

Presenters: Katherine Leswing, M.A., M.A.T. MTSS-B Regional Consultant, Office of Social and Emotional Wellness, NH DOE and Molly White, M.Ed, MTSS-B Regional Consultant, Office of Social Emotional Wellness, NH DOE

Learning Objectives:
-Increase knowledge and understanding of NH’s tiered prevention framework, a multi-tiered system of support for behavioral health and wellness (MTSS-B)
-Explore how to assess fit and feasibility of school-based substance misuse prevention and treatment practices, using a nationally recognized implementation tool within the MTSS-B framework.
-Increase awareness of recent advances in technical assistance efforts to support high-quality implementation of the MTSS-B framework in NH school districts.

Target Audiences: Youth-serving mental health professionals.

Description: NH’s MTSS-B framework is a comprehensive system of social, emotional, and behavioral supports to promote student wellness and improve engagement in learning. In this session, participants will be introduced to the framework and learn how NH MTSS-B can support substance misuse prevention and treatment programming. Participants will explore a nationally-recognized tool to help assess fit and feasibility of school-based programs to address substance misuse. The presentation will highlight recent advances in technical assistance efforts to support high-quality implementation of the MTSS-B framework in NH school districts. At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to apply learning to their own practices and ask questions of the presenters.

Research shows that roughly 20% of school-aged youth will experience a mental health challenge, yet less than half of them will receive treatment. Substance misuse contributes to these numbers. According to 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data for New Hampshire, 14.4% of high schoolers reported binge drinking, 20.3% were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property, and 26.1% reported currently using marijuana. Schools are the frontlines for addressing the needs of students, so collaboration with community mental health partners is integral for student success.

NH MTSS-B seeks to integrate mental health supports for students into a tiered prevention framework. Districts who are implementing MTSS-B, use relevant data to evaluate and select appropriate strategies to address students’ needs, including supports to address substance misuse. By using a strategy selection tool to implement interventions, schools can address data-identified needs of the youth they serve.

Champions for Change: An Organizational Approach to Education regarding SUD

Presenters: Kellie Mueller, Assistant Vice President, Behavioral Wentworth-Douglass Hospital; Jen Stout, Clinical Supervisor, The Doorway; and Christine Morris. Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Wentworth Douglass Hospital

Learning Objectives:
- understand the role of engaging staff and providers in educational activities to replace stereotypes surrounding substance use disorder
- be able to strategize approaches at their organization to increase education regarding substance use disorder.

Target audience: Individuals from organizations who are interested in developing a training program for employees to increase education regarding substance use disorders and reduce stigma.

Description: This presentation will consist of information on a year-long effort at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital to improve care for patients with substance use disorder through a cultural change effort.  The hospital used funding from the State of New Hampshire through the Foundation for Healthy Communities to create a Substance Use Response Team (SURT) and institute widespread provider and staff education on the biological nature of SUD and its treatment.  The goal was to eradicate the stigma that often prevents people from seeking treatment; and to increase the comfort and confidence of staff providing care.  The leaders of the effort will discuss their development of educational modules, identification of team members, assessment of staff confidence and comfort, and the successes and challenges of the effort.

The presentation will provide an evidence-based case study on large scale systems change in health care using educational interventions and building a support network of employees.  The stigma that patients with substance use disorder experience is a significant barrier to effective treatment.  Healthcare workers sometimes lack the information they need to feel confident and comfortable providing care to patients with a substance use disorder.  The presentation will provide details on a project model which other organizations might replicate to implement an educational and support initiative in their organization/community.

Building Futures Together: A Training Program for Paraprofessionals Working with Children and Youth Impacted by Substance Use Disorders

Presenter: Macey Muller, MS, MBA– Institute on Disability at UNH

Target Audience: Individuals interested in pursuing or developing a career in the Behavioral Health field. It can also benefit employers looking to enhance their paraprofessionals with valuable training and development within the organization. Our goal is to create awareness based on the need and importance of these paraprofessional jobs and setting a pipeline for career pathways for individuals in the Behavioral Health field.

Description: Building Futures Together is a multi-level training program designed to prepare paraprofessionals in healthcare and school settings to provide specialized enhanced care coordination to youth whose parents are impacted by substance misuse. This presentation will describe both levels of training: 1) detailed content of the didactic instruction, and 2) competencies applied to on-the-job apprenticeships following U.S. Department of Labor guidelines.  The presenters will also discuss the program partnerships.

Using SBIRT in Juvenile Court Diversion: The Importance of Substance Use and Mental Health Screening

Presenters: Alissa Cannon (she/her), BS, CPS, Executive Director, NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network; Diane Casale (she/her), CPS, Program Coordinator, NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network; Nicole Rodler (she/her), BA, CRSW Juvenile Services, Rochester Police Department, Board Chair, NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network

Learning Objectives: Attendees will learn about and understand how the Accredited Juvenile Court Diversion Programs in New Hampshire utilize the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) tool to screen for substance use and mental health in every referred juvenile.

Target Audience: Anyone who is interested in SBIRT, Juvenile Court Diversion, and/or substance use and mental health screening would benefit from this workshop.

Description: New Hampshire is home to upwards of 21 programs that help hold youth accountable for disruptive behavior while ensuring they benefit from education and support services to improve their behavior. Whether housed in police departments, governmental systems or community-based organizations, New Hampshire’s programs share common goals and core values, and are showing program completion rates averaging 86% across the state.

The Network is one of the few statewide systems of juvenile justice in the state of NH, and it is important that the programs align and coordinate with local and other statewide systems. The presenters intend to explain how this alignment is focused.

Programs operate fully independently and are mostly made up of non-profit, community-based organizations who are in need of financial support. In order to support these programs, advocacy and health policy is at the forefront of the Network’s mission. Law enforcement is also legislatively mandated by RSA 169 b:10 to offer juvenile court diversion pre-adjudication. It is important to continue education and awareness how the law impacts juvenile services and the programs.

Juvenile Court Diversion Programs offer the opportunity to provide high-risk, high-need youth with substance use and mental health screening, and apply prevention and/or intervention services on a needed basis in advance of court involvement. Programs generally employ Certified Prevention Specialists, Certified Recovery Support Workers, and other professionals in the prevention, intervention and recovery services fields.

The NH Juvenile Court Diversion Model has been designated as Promising Practice as of 2019, and is currently working with the NH Service to Science program to establish a refined product that we are encouraged will be named an Evidence Based Model.

Fostering and Maintaining Emotional Health

Presenters: Marissa Carlson, MS, CPS, Executive Director, NH Teen Institute; and Maura McGowan, CPS, Program Director, NH Teen Institute

Learning Objectives:
-Be able to define aspects of Emotional Health
-Recognize their “Danger Zones” & how to adjust their coping to keep or move back into their “Healthy Zones”
-Identify ways to nurture their own Emotional Health
-Have tools they can use to support their peers, their clients, and those in their life to manage their Emotional Health

Target Audience: This workshop is appropriate for professionals at any level of experience.

Description: Our Emotional Health Workshop looks beyond acknowledging that we experience emotions to really understanding what Emotional Health is, how the different aspects of Emotional Health impact us, and how we can foster and maintain our Emotional Health.

As we have been experiencing more than normal stressors living through a pandemic, our ability to monitor and manage our Emotional Health has become more important to our own well-being and the relationships we have with those at home and in the workplace.

In addition to being able to help their own Emotional Health this workshop will offer its participants tools that can be brought to all of those they support through their jobs and in their lives.

Trauma and Relief Seeking: Reframing the Substance Use “Gateway”

Presenters: Kerry Nolte, PhD, FNP, Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of New Hampshire; and Adriane Apicelli, MSW, HRETA Project Manager, University of New Hampshire

Learning Objectives:
- be able to apply emerging findings to gain insight on trauma and its relation to substance initiation and escalation

Target Audience: Providers serving people who use drugs (PWUD) and community members

Description: Increasingly within the US and New Hampshire, providers are working to incorporate trauma informed care (TIC) across all disciplines. Through a TIC lens, providers approach all clients with an understanding that most clients’ lives include experiences with trauma and their symptoms are often related. As our understanding of trauma and its relationship to substance use has developed, it is important to recognize that the common “gateway hypothesis” likely moves us away from TIC. The “gateway hypothesis” is a common misconception that inaccurately portrays consumption of a particular substance as causal to progressive use of “harder” substances. While recent research and practice findings render the “gateway hypothesis” unsubstantiated, they have routinely demonstrated that trauma is often associated with the initiation of substances and the escalation of substance use. Clients who use drugs are often further burdened by stigmatizing, traumatic interactions within healthcare systems, in which they have experiences being treated as “less than human” or receive “less freedom than jail”. As we unlearn the non-evidence based “gateway hypothesis,” a deeper understanding of traumatic experiences and their relation to substance use is likely to serve both provider and patient. Often substance use initiation is related to ‘relief seeking’ from pain as well as traumatic events and subsequent symptoms. Providers can more fully explore events preceding substance use initiation or transition to non-prescribed medication with compassionate understanding that substance use may have been the only accessible and available coping tool at that time. Supporting clients in addressing substance use must focus on coping mechanisms and ‘toolbox development’ of a variety of strategies that can be applied when facing stressors.

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