CHADRON – Chadron State College’s Social Work 435 Class will host its annual conference Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the CSC Student Center Ballroom. The theme of the conference is “Suicide: Starting the Conversation.” Registration is not required for the free conference and lunch will be provided. To learn more, contact Maaryn Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of the conference is to create awareness and help educate members of the region about challenges related to depression and suicide, according to Jessy Bale, a student in the class. A number of speakers are scheduled for the conference, as well as a documentary film and a panel discussion.
Alliance residents Mark and Shardel Nelson will speak about their experiences since their daughter, Kaelia Shae, ended her life in 2017. The Nelsons have continued her 2017 platform from the Miss Alliance and Miss Nebraska pageants, “Stomping the Stigma: Creating Conversations about Mental Illness.”
Amy Carnahan, a service coordinator at Western Community Health Resources, will share her experience as a suicide loss survivor and information about suicide prevention and awareness. She is a CSC graduate, a certified Peer Support and Wellness Specialist and a founding member of the first Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors team in the Nebraska Panhandle.
Dennis Gillan will speak about work to reverse current trends in completed suicides and reduce the stigma associated with mental health care. He is certified by the Question Persuade Refer Institute. Gillan will also tell how he dealt with the suicide of both his younger and older brother.
Another speaker is Heather Williams, a mental health and suicide prevention advocate who works in an Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders program. She is on the board of the Eastern Missouri Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and co-creator of listeningsaveslives.net.
“Suicide: The Ripple Effect” is a documentary film that highlights the journey of Kevin Hines, who at age 19, attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Hines is a mental health advocate, motivational speaker and author.
Tim Lordino, Chadron Police Chief, will speak from his experience including assignments with the WING Drug Task Force, the Scotts Bluff County SWAT Team and as a forensic child interviewer. Lordino is a member of the Nebraska State Crime Stoppers Board and an executive member of the Nebraska Police Chief’s Association.
The panel discussion will allow conference attendees to ask questions of panel members Chadron Public Schools Superintendent Caroline Winchester, Carnahan, Gillan, Williams, and Lordino.
8-8:10 a.m. Presentation of the Colors and National Anthem
8:10-8:30 a.m. Welcome by Caroline Winchester and a SW 435 Class Member
8:30-9:30 a.m. Mark and Shardel Nelson
9:30-10 a.m. Amy Carnahan
10-11:30 a.m. Dennis Gillan
11:30-11:45 a.m. Wall Activity (Start Lunch Line)
11:45-12:15 p.m. Lunch
12:15-12:20 p.m. CSC President Randy Rhine
12:20-1:15 p.m. Heather Williams
1:15-1:30 p.m. Break
1:30-3 p.m. Kevin Hines’ documentary film
3-3:20 p.m. Tim Lordino
3:20-3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Panel Discussion
4 p.m. Retiring of the Colors
—CSC College Relations