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updated: 8/19/2017 12:04 AM

CASA Kane County to host 'A Generation In Crisis' conference

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  • Mark A. Reinecke

    Mark A. Reinecke

  • Allison Johnsen

    Allison Johnsen

Submitted by CASA Kane County

CASA Kane County's annual fall educational conference will focus on "A Generation In Crisis: Youth Mental Illness" from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, in the St. Charles Ballroom at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St. in St. Charles.

Attendees include CASA/GAL volunteers and staff along with community partners which includes educators, nonprofits, counselors, law enforcement, health care, judicial, legal, and social service groups to receive a quality educational conference that is close to home.

This year's event will feature multiple experts from Northwestern Medicine in the field of youth mental health.

• Mark A. Reinecke, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Chief, Division of Psychology Northwestern University, will speak on "Youth Depression: Trends, Treatment & Prevention." Depression among youth places individuals at risk for academic, social, and vocational difficulties, anxiety and recurrent mood disorders during adulthood, alcohol and substance abuse, and suicide. The World Health Organization now ranks depression as the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide (surpassing heart disease and cancer). In this presentation, factors that place youth at risk for suicide will be discussed and the audience will be provided with evidence-based approaches to assessment and treatment.

• Cassandra Kisiel, Ph.D., principal investigator and director of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions, will speak on "Understanding the Impact of Complex Trauma on Youth and Families." As the primary developer of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) and a trauma consultant for DCFS for over 20 years, Kisiel will provide an overview of complex trauma, including diagnostic and clinical issues and share effective trauma-informed practices and strategies for multidisciplinary providers and systems serving children impacted by complex trauma.

• Allison G. Johnsen, manager of behavioral health at Northwestern Medicine at Central DuPage Hospital, is a licensed clinical professional counselor, and board certified coach. She will speak on "Vicarious Trauma: Protecting Yourself." Vicarious trauma, also called compassion fatigue, may become a result of the chronic stress resulting from the caregiving work one chooses to do. Repeated exposure to another person's trauma and painful situation, especially if one has had a similar experience at one point in one's own life, can take its toll. But, it is possible to practice healthy, ongoing self-care while successfully continuing to care for others. Johnsen will discuss practical ways of preventing, recognizing and reversing compassion fatigue.

Also featuring a legal panel on "How the Justice System Interacts with Youth Who Have Mental Illness" with Presiding Judge Donald C. Hudson, Second District Appellate Court; Judge Clint Hull, 16th Judicial Circuit Court Judge; Donald Kramer, Kane County State's Attorney's Office; Lark Cowart, Kane County State's Attorney's Office; and Lyndsay A. Markley, Law office of Lyndsay A. Markley, Ltd.

It will begin with registration and a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by the conference at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided at 11:45 a.m.

Cost is $120 general admission, $80 for nonprofits, government, education or other CASA programs, and $40 for CASA Kane County CASA/GAL volunteers. Price includes all-day conference with continental breakfast and lunch.

Your registration fee for the conference is nonrefundable.

If you cannot attend, your registration can be transferred to another attendee or the amount paid will become a donation to CASA Kane County and the abused and neglected children they serve.

For those attending, 6 CEU, CPDU, EI and MCLE credits are available. To ensure you receive credit, please contact Debra Cook at (630) 444-3106 or prior to the conference.

To register, visit

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