Founder of Exploitation 2 Empowerment, Consultant, Public Speaker and Survivor Leader

Uniquely Me: A Sex Trafficking Survivor’s Journey

COVID 19 Safety Policy: MHA of Greater Dallas will continue to monitor and follow all CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety and protocols. The safety of our attendees, sponsors, and event staff is of the utmost importance, and we will ensure that the 2022 Conference is conducted safely for everyone attending.


(12:55 – 4:30 P.M.)
Sally Dover, M.A. PH, M.A. Ed.
Impact and Evaluation Manager, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Ethical Story Telling

The stories we tell about social impact shape the communities we live in. Join us for an interactive workshop exploring the ways social impact storytelling (though well intended) can unintentionally perpetuate power imbalances. We will practice constituent-centered, asset-focused storytelling skills to improve our work.

Brittany Kelly, Mental Health First Aid Certified Trainer and Safe Conversations® Trained Leader

Mental Health and Wellness Program Manager, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Ethical Story Telling, Co-Presenter

Layla Z. Scott, PhD, LMFT-S

The Gray Series: Ethical Considerations for Treating Minors

Ethical dilemmas are more often nuanced and gray rather than black and white. The goal of this workshop is to take a non-legalistic approach to exploring ethics and to prompt critical evaluation of personal and professional boundaries, particularly when treating minors and families.

Sharla Carpenter, MS, LMFT-S, CDWF

Ethical Story Telling, Co-Presenter





KEYNOTE (8:30 A.M. – 10 A.M.)


SESSION ONE (10:15 A.M. – 11:45 A.M.)
Mona Kafeel, Executive Director, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation

Leading Mental Health Through Cultural Lens

Persons must feel comfortable & understood by their mental health professional for a therapeutic relationship to be effective. Professionals incorporating trauma informed and culturally specific approaches influence the treatment and significantly improves outcomes. It is essential for culture to be part of the conversation as we discuss mental health in youth.

Vanessa Simpson, LCSW-S
Behavioral Health Care Manager, Children’s Health

Adolescent Binge Eating Disorder

This workshop will discuss the prevalence of Binge Eating Disorder among adolescents, common signs and symptoms, and treatment modalities.

Landy Blackmore, CTRS
Director of Business Developement, Hickory Trail Hospital

Delivering PeaceLove Mental Health Art Curriculum to Adolescents

PeaceLove equips front line professionals with an incredible mental health art curriculum to deliver to their prospective populations. Landy Blackmore will walk participants through one workshop as well as explain the process for becoming a PeaceLove Creator in order to deliver the program to your adolescent populations.

Melissa Zawisza, LCSW-S
Reilly Counseling, PLLC

Self Harm: What You Need to Know

Self Harm has been identified for some time now and can be intimidating. Let’s increase your knowledge about the topic. In the presentation, we’ll look at the history of self-harm and current trends. We’ll discuss the dynamics of self-harm. We’ll focus on identifying different interventions for your clients and their support systems.

Vanessa Baum, MPH
Director of Prevention Education, The Family Place

Meeting the Needs of LGBTQ+ Youth in Child Welfare

LGBTQ+ youth in the child welfare system are at increased risk of adverse experiences such as abuse, mental health issues, andsuicide. This workshop will discuss common misconceptions about LGBTQ+ youth and families and equip youth-servingprofessionals with the skills to support LGBTQ+ youth, particularly gender-minority youth, in the system.

Andrea Skaliks, LPC-S, NCC
Senior Bilingual Crisis Counselor, Parkland Health and Hospital System

Barriers Immigrant Youth Face When Disclosing Abuse

This workshop will provide a safe space for participants to learn current barriers immigrant families face through discussion, aninteractive experience. Participants will leave with knowledge of clinical interventions and resources for adolescents and families.

Sheyla Camacho, Public Health Educator
Parkland Health and Hospital System

Barriers Immigrant Youth Face When Disclosing Abuse



Drew Dutton, LPC-S, LCDC
Clinical Operations Officer, Phoenix House Texas

Neuroscience of Addiction and Innovative Approaches

This workshop will detail the neuroscience of adolescent addiction and the current challenges and barriers to effective treatment. The workshop will discuss a variety of innovate approaches and modalities for counseling addictions, including accurate empathy, positive psychology, solution focused counseling, client-centered approaches, and cybernetics/systems theory.

Susanna Huffman, LPC, LCDC, NCC
Director of Outpatient Services, Phoenix House Texas

Neuroscience of Addiction and Innovative Approaches



(10:15 A.M. – 11:45 A.M.)
Ardenna Downing, LPC
Licensed Mental Health Clinician, Dallas Independent School District

Trauma in Urban Communities: Ecological and Psychological Considerations to Facilitate Healing and Support for Youth

This segment aims to foster awareness in considering the culture of urban settings as it relates to trauma responses in youth. The audience will gain an understanding of how community systems impact and reinforce trauma symptom development. Therapeutic interventions to help youth utilize their environment and strengths will be explored.

Don Hooton Jr.
President, Taylor Hooton Foundation

Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs: A Hidden Epidemic

With over 7% of the population of high school students admitting to using anabolic steroids, our presentation will provide acomprehensive overview of what these drugs are, where they come from, who is using, what are the primary influencing factors andthe side effects and risk of using these drugs.

Michael Flores, LPC
Director at Brighter Possibilities Family Counseling

Tug of War: Amplify Resiliency in Adolescents Navigating a High-Conflict Divorce

Gain a better grasp of the dynamics that exist for children of high-conflict divorce. We will learn how children naturallyattempt to fill the gaps that exist in the split family. We will learn the most up-to-date and effective therapeutic strategies to help theadolescent navigate the uncontrollable.

Anna Arwine, LPC 
Group Executive Director at Connections Wellness Group

Side Effects of the High Achiever

Side Effects of the High Achiever will focus on adolescents who seemingly, have it all together yet struggle to cope. High achievers can be the ideal student, athlete, and child but often are their own worst critic and have unreasonable expectations of who they should be and/or should be doing.

Renata Nero, Ph. D.
Clinical Psychologist, Ashley Jadine Foundation

The Impact of Covid-19 on Suicidal Behavior

This workshop addresses findings that there is an increase in suicidal ideation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The combined impact of social injustice and an economic downturn may have disproportionately impacted the mental wellbeing of marginalized groups. Strategies for assessing and identifying those at risk for suicidal behavior will be provided.

Cheryl Duncan, BSN, RN, CVRN
Ashley Jadine Foundation

The Impact of Covid-19 on Suicidal Behavior



Hilda McClure, LPC-Associate, Supervised by Lori Vann, LPC-S
Clinician & Instructor, Canneta Center of Healing and Empowerment

Intergenerational Cultural Dissonance

What do you do when your Hispanic adolescent client sitting in front of you chooses not to hold on to their parent’s cultural values? Learn how intergenerational cultural dissonance impacts Hispanic families and how to help families work through their cultural conflicts.


(2:45 P.M. – 4:15 P.M.)
Jenna Quinn, MA
Founder, Reveal to Heal International

I What I Wish You Knew: A Survivors Perspective on Grooming and Prevention

In many cases of child sexual abuse, the perpetrator strategically grooms the victim and those around the victim. Attendees will view clips from The It’s Not Just Jenna Documentary. A combination of video, research, and personal testimony will be utilized to illustrate the stages of grooming and its effects. 

Alex Ford
Outreach and Education Manager, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center

Technology Sucks: An Examiniation of Digital Abuse and Internet Safety

Technology plays a role in a various amount of today’s issues including revenge porn, distribution of unsolicited photos and videos (many of which contain minors that are unable to give consent), and online grooming. Join this workshop to learn how to protect children on the internet and offline.

Kerri Newman, LMFT
Program Director, Journey of Hope Grief Support Center

Will I Always Feel This Way? A Guide To Helping with Teen Grief

We will provide professionals with information and interventions to help them feel empowered to support teens who are grieving. We will include a bereavement overview with an emphasis on companioning teens through their grief journey and supporting their grief responses.  

Bryna Talamantez, LMFT
Program Manager, Journey of Hope Grief Support Center

Will I Always Feel This Way? A Guide To Helping with Teen Grief



John McAndrew, Music Assisted Therapy
Cumberland Heights

Music and Brain Recovery

Brittany Williams, LPC, NCC, CSC, LCDC-Intern
Restorative Justice School Based Mental Health Counselor, KIPP TX: DFW

Triggers and Trauma: Gaining the Understanding

The Triggers and Trauma workshop will provide participants with tangible tools to improve their work. Specifically, participants willhave the opportunity to identify their own triggers and coping skills utilized. Additionally, participants will explore common triggersadolescents experience and identify coping skills and resources to assist with adolescents trigger management.

Courtney Riggs, LPC
Restorative Justice School Based Mental Health Counselor, KIPP TX: DFW

Triggers and Trauma: Gaining the Understanding



Jose Lopez, PhD
School Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor

Paying for the Sins of my Father. Adolescent Trauma: an Immigrant Story

The program will explore complex topics such as the immigrant experience, traumatic events, intergenerational trauma, and the impact that these event shape a individual and they view the world. Real world examples and how interventions can be actively implemented in order to address the complexities of the issue.

Alice Vasquez, LPC-S, PhD
Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor

Paying for the Sins of my Father. Adolescent Trauma: An Immigrant Story