Connecting Heart to Heart

The time is here yet again—join us in Elkhart Lake for the Annual Conference 2016, Connecting Heart to Heart! Not only do we get to spend our time at the charming and premier Osthoff Resort, but we have an impressive lineup of speakers and workshops for you this year. We know, we say that every year, but we really mean it! And we are eternally grateful to all the speakers that volunteer their time to present their expertise and knowledge to out attendees. Come one, come all, because this year’s conference can appeal to any audience—consumers and family members, mental health providers and leaders, social workers and clinicians—to allow all these people to learn under one roof, side by side.

Keynote Speakers

Friday, April 29: Scott Webb, the State's Trauma-Informed Care Coordinator, is a trauma survivor who has worked in the behavioral health field for 30 years. Prior to his working at the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, he worked for a national employee assistance firm managing a national book of business providing as part of his duties, onsite trauma response services across the United States. He holds a Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is a licensed clinical social worker.

TIC: Trauma-Informed Care, Trauma-Informed Connection: Trauma-informed care is an intervention and organizational approach that focuses on how trauma may affect an individual’s life and their response to receiving behavioral health services. This presentation will explore trauma and its prevalence in society. We will review the adverse childhood experiences study and how the five values of trauma-informed care drive connection and can be applied in both mental health and substance use services.

Saturday, April 30: Alice A. Holstein, Ed.D., lost her career as an organization consultant to the ravages of bipolar mood disorder. She lived on the streets periodically and had many hospitalizations and untold losses. She holds a doctorate in Organization Development from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a United States Air Force veteran ex-Intelligence officer who was the first woman sent to run a bomb wing level intelligence shop. Later she was the first woman sent overseas as a briefing officer to B-52 pilots flying Vietnam missions. At age 65 she returned to work as a Peer Support Specialist at the La Crosse VA mental health clinic. She is the author of A TOUGH GRACE: MENTAL ILLNESS AS A SPIRITUAL PATH which proposes a revolutionary way to view the heroic battles that people with mental illness fight.

TOUGH GRACE: Mental Illness As A Spiritual Path: Tough Grace is Alice's personal story of her battle with and recovery from bipolar mood disorder plus what she did to get well and how she reframed the traumatic experiences. This redefinition included seeing suffering as a purifying experience, understanding it as the path of a hero's journey and discovering the hidden gifts beneath the trauma.


Friday Evening Entertainment (free and open to the public):

Join us in welcoming Viroqua Playback Theatre! Playback Theatre is an improvisational storytelling form where audience stories are 'played back' on the spot by an ensemble of actors and musicians. Playback honors individual experience while it celebrates our universal experience--that connects us heart to heart. 


CIT & CIP Advanced Training:

On Friday, April 29, we will host an advanced CIT & CIP training that will focus on youth mental health crises. Please note that this track is ONLY for officers and personnel who have previously gone through a CIT or CIP training. Individuals interested in attending this track must pre-register.


Student Leadership Track:

On Saturday, April 30, this track for students between the ages of 15-26 will feature an Honest, Open and Proud (HOP) training. HOP is a program that believes in the power of personal story to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and empowers you to draft your own personal story. Our hope is that this track will equip students will the skills they need to make a difference in their community, life and the lives of their peers as an empowered young adult.


More conference information