On Saturday April 26th 2014, Virtual Ability will be holding their 2014 Mental Heath Symposium, which I’ve been helping to promote via this blog.
With 24 hours remaining, before the event kicks-off on the 26th, this will be my final pre-event update.
The symposium, which this year has the theme “Quality of Life” will be held at the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability island, with presentations running from 07:00 SLT through until 16:00 SLT on Saturday April 26th. Attendance is free, and anyone wishing to attend will be extended a warm welcome.
Here’s a round-up of the speakers and their presentations, courtesy of Virtual Ability.
07:00: Dr. Hillary Bogner, MD – Insights from Research: Depression Among Older Adults
Dr. Bogner is both is both a researcher and a practicing physician focusing on family medicine. During her presentation, she will discuss current and emerging research about depression among older adults, offering insight into identification, diagnosis, and management of this significant mental health issue. She will also explore how biopsycho-ecology can illuminate our understanding of depression and healthcare, and seek to answer questions such as how might healthcare processes be redesigned to reflect the specific principles identified in this research, and how might changes in practice have significant impact at the patient, clinician, and systemic levels?
Dr. Bogner currently serves as an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and as an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians. Her experiences and expertise as a clinician, researcher, and educator, as well as her success as a peer-reviewed published researcher, offer a rich background for her presentation.
08:30: Teresa Goddard – Employment Equality Through Accommodation and Self-Advocacy
Teresa Goddard will discuss workplace accommodations and methods for advocating for oneself and others using the protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Ms. Goddard will explain the stages of the accommodation process and will provide tips for navigating important steps, including making or recognising a request, exploring options, and obtaining medical documentation in support of requests.
A Senior Consultant from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) at West Virginia University, Goddard fields questions from employees and employers regarding their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and assists in identifying accommodation solutions for employees with disabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and a master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from West Virginia University’s College of Human Resources and Education. Her professional experience includes work as an Educational Speech-Language Pathologist and as an English as a Foreign Language instructor in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, where in addition to classroom teaching, she led continuing education workshops on collaborative instructional techniques and cross-cultural understanding. Her research interests include assistive technology and cross-cultural perspectives on disability services.
10:00: Dr. Nicolas Rüsch – Well-being Among Persons at Risk of Psychosis: The Role of Self-Labeling, Shame, and Stigma Stress
Dr. Rüsch is a consultant psychiatrist and Professor of Public Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry II, University of Ulm, Germany. He received his clinical training in Freiburg, Germany, and Rome, Italy, and spent two years working with Prof. Patrick W. Corrigan on mental illness stigma research in Chicago.
In his presentation, Dr. Rüsch will share insights from his recent research, which focuses on young people at risk of psychosis who may label themselves and may be labeled by others as mentally ill due to early signs of the disorder or due to interventions.
Until now, empirical data on the link between labeling, stigma and well-being in this group were lacking. Dr. Rüsch’s research assessed self-labeling, stigma variables, well-being and psychiatric symptoms among 172 young people at risk of psychosis in Switzerland. Results suggest that perceived public stigma, shame about having a mental illness and self-labeling are associated with increased stigma-related stress and with reduced well-being, independent of age, gender, psychiatric comorbidity and symptom levels. In addition to clinical early intervention programs, the research suggests a need for strategies to address the shame and stigma associated with at-risk states and early psychosis.
11:30: Dick Dillon – Super-good: Why People Serious About Addiction Recovery can become “Weller than Well”
The CEO of Innovaision, LLC, Dick Dillion has been in the mental health field for over 30 years in a variety of clinical, management and administrative positions. He was the co-founder of the Substance Abuse Services Department of a large Missouri hospital and developed that project to be one of the premier medically based programmes in a multi-state area.
His alter-ego, avatar Coughran Mayo, has spent more than seven years actively involved in Second Life, working for the NonProfit Commons initiative and building and hosting the Preferred Family HC region. He has made numerous presentations and been interviewed on Metanomics, Rockcliffe University’s “Inside The Avatar Studio” program and other in-world news and issues programs. Innovaision LCC is dedicated to helping nonprofits realize the potential of using virtual worlds and other technologies and assisting behavioral health organizations to leverage their abilities using innovation and social and digital technologies.
In his presentation, he will offer information and ideas on how addiction recovery can offer a “super-good” outcome.
Continue reading “Virtual Ability: Quality of Life speakers and presentations”