Mental Health Symposium 2016

Virtual Ability’s Mental Health Symposium 2016

“Down But Not Out”

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island

In Second Life

Down But Not Out – what does this mean to you? What would it mean to a professional in the field of mental health? How about for a person with depression? On  June 18th, 2016, at the 2016 Mental Health Symposium, Virtual Ability, Inc. showcased eight individuals who are doing incredible work in their respective walks of life. They represent a broad range of perspectives and approaches to diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. Below is a summary of these distinguished guest presenters, along with links to their slides, and a transcript of their presentation.

Colleen Crary, M.A.Hippocrates Wept: Psychologically Surviving Modern Medicine During A Health CrisisColleen Crary is Anya Ibor in Second Life. A PTSD expert and advocate, Colleen/Anya is a tireless champion for international mental health policy and common sense solutions. Founder and CEO of Fearless Nation PTSD Support, she promotes care for all PTSD sufferers, their families, friends, and clinicians, war veterans, law enforcement personnel, emergency response workers, those traumatized by sexual abuse, child abuse, torture, human trafficking, hostage events and crime, man-made and natural disasters, and physical, psychological, and verbal trauma.Colleen Crary Transcript
Dr. Vanja DuricBrain Mechanism Linking Stress and IllnessDr. Duric is an Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Des Moines University in Iowa (US) where he is doing neurobiology research on brain events that underlie pathophysiology and treatment of mental illnesses, especially major depressive disorder (MDD). His primary focus is investigating the relationship between the inhibition of a major cellular signaling pathway that is involved in neuronal survival and development of depression. Dr. Duric is also interested in brain mechanisms that link depression and other neurological or systemic illnesses, such as chronic pain.Vanja Duric Transcript
Dr. Harold KoenigFaith & Health: Research, Clinical Applications, and ResourcesDr. Koenig is Director, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health and Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center, Georgia, US. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health, Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, People’s Republic of China. Dr. Koenig has published extensively in the fields of mental health, geriatrics, and religion, and his research on religion, health and ethical issues in medicine has been featured in popular journalism. His latest book is Health and Well-being in Islamic Societies. Dr. Koenig has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the benefits of religion and spirituality on public health.Harold Koenig Transcript
Dr. Jerome SarrisLifestyle Medicine and Supplementation for Mental Health and Psychiatric DisordersAs an NHMRC Clinical Senior Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Sarris has a particular interest in anxiety and mood disorder research pertaining to complementary and lifestyle medicine, nutraceuticals, and integrative mental health. Author of numerous publications and recipient of significant research grants, Dr. Sarris advocates for an integrative approach to mental health through evidence-based use of lifestyle modification, psychological techniques, and both complementary and standard pharmacotherapy.Jerome Sarris Transcript
Dr. Tammy FletcherMental Health Outreach in Second Life: Past, Present and FutureTammy Fletcher is Avalon Birke in Second Life, founder of Wellness Island (2006-2011), Second Life’s first sim devoted entirely to mental health resources for residents. As one of the first practitioners to bring mental health resources into Second Life in 2006, Dr. Fletcher has worked to help SL residents become educated consumers, and to bridge to RL services when needed. She founded “Guiding Lights,” a formal program of instruction for peer counselors in Second Life, and established gridwide “SOS” kiosks for residents needing RL emergency referrals anywhere in the world. In her real life, Dr. Fletcher is an author, educator, advocate, and licensed psychotherapist. She maintains an active private practice, where she specializes in treating anxiety and depressive disorders from an integrative perspective. Dr. Fletcher has been featured twice in programs by SL machinimist Draxtor Despres, discussing mental health and advocacy in a virtual environment.Tammy Fletcher Transcript
Rienna RiekoThe ABCs of DBTRienna Rieko has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and worked as a sober companion for a substance abuse treatment facility that specializes in Amino Acid protocols. In her time there, she used Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills with her clients and taught them how to put them into practice. She has used DBT in her own life for ten years and enjoys teaching the skills to everyone she knows because everyone can benefit from learning how to use them.Rienna Rieko Transcript
Louise DibbsThe National Disability Insurance Scheme supporting Australians living with mental health issuesLouise has had a 15 year journey working in the community sector, commencing as a frontline worker, progressing to supervisory roles and finally most recently in senior management. Louise also has several years experience in the corporate/business sector as a Human Resource professional which has embedded a strong customer experience ethos in her work. She has a Master of Arts in Psychology and is a certified trainer and assessor. In the past 3 years Louise has been working for Australia’s House with No Steps in one of the key National Disability Insurance Schemes launch sites, in the Hunter region. Louise has worked with teams to transition approx. 400 participants to the Scheme. Louise’s interests and work passions include Human Rights, organisational change, mentoring/coaching, developing individuals and teams, influencing and leading, and designing systems. Outside of work, Louise enjoys anything active or travel related, with her husband and three teenage daughters.
Lyn AinsworthThe National Disability Insurance Scheme supporting Australians living with mental health issuesMs Lyn Ainsworth, Head of Strategy, Excellence & Innovation at House with No Steps has 18 years executive management experience in the disability sector, including her current role with House with No Steps, one of Australia’s largest disability services non-government organisations. HWNS has been at the forefront of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s response to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability, and extraordinary social reform. Lyn is a lawyer by background and has supported organisational transformation around Human Rights as well as having leadership responsibility for HWNS’ international accreditation with the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL).Lyn Ainsworth / Louise Dibbs Transcript
Andrea ArztUnderstanding the Emotional Aspects of Multiple SclerosisAndrea Arzt, LCSW is Associate Vice President of Clinical Programs and Direct Services for the New York City-Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society (US). She has worked for over 25 years with individuals with chronic illness and disabilities and their families. Her special interest has been in working with people living with neurological diseases and injuries, with a focus for the past 13 years on Multiple Sclerosis. In her current position at the National MS Society, she works closely with health care professionals who treat people with MS, and with MS researchers. She provides trainings on MS and psychosocial and emotional issues for professionals and as well as for people living with MS, and she develops programs for families and caregivers.Andrea Arzt Transcript