2024 Annual Statewide OCEACT Conference

2024 OCEACT Conference

“Creating Welcoming Spaces”

June 10th, 2024: Half-Day Leadership Retreat

June 11th – 12th, 2024: General Conference

ACT Leadership Session Speakers

Steffannie Roaché, MS, LPC


Steffannie Roaché, MS LPC, serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice and trainer at Trauma Informed Oregon, based at Portland State University. Steffannie’s primary focus encompasses workforce wellness, advancing equity and inclusion through enhanced representation, power-sharing within systems, and advocating for resources that facilitate healing within communities affected by historical and racialized forms of trauma. With over two decades of experience, Steffannie has delivered training events focused on resilience, trauma-informed care, and culturally centered practices. Steffannie has dedicated almost a decade to counseling, both in group settings and private practice.

Session Summary - Crafting Healing and Growth Practices: A Trauma Informed Approach to Leadership

This session will provide supervisors with an understanding of trauma-informed practices that enhance resilience and well-being in the workplace for those who supervise and manage others.. Through interactive discussions and practical strategies, supervisors will learn how to recognize signs of stress and compassion fatigue, implement self-care and community care, and steps towards creating a supportive environment for their teams.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Equip supervisors with an understanding of trauma-informed practices to enhance resilience and well-being for both themselves and their teams.
  2. Develop supervisors’ abilities to identify signs of stress and compassion fatigue in the workplace and explore effective self-care and community care strategies.
  3. Provide supervisors with practical steps and strategies to cultivate a supportive and nurturing environment that promotes the mental health and overall well-being of their team members.


General Conference Speakers

Lydia Bartholow, DNP,


Lydia Bartholow, DNP, PMHNP, CARN-AP, FIAAN is a doctorally prepared psychiatric nurse practitioner with a specialty in addiction medicine and trauma-informed care. She is the associate medical director of an emergency department that specializes in psychiatric and substance use related crises in Portland, Oregon and is on faculty at Oregon Health and Science University, as well as the University California San Francisco where she teaches in the psychiatric nurse practitioner program. She speaks nationally on topics such as co-occurring disorders, harm reduction and systemic improvements in substance use disorder care. She focuses all parts of her practice on radical public health, harm reduction and anti-oppression work. Lydia lives in Oregon on unceded Chinook, Kathlamet, Clackamas and Kalapuya land.

Session Summary - The Silent Killer: How stigma prevents health, healing and harm reduction

Research shows that stigma is one of the primary barriers to accessing recovery

services for people who use substances. This talk identifies what we know

about stigma and how it impacts people who uses substances, most specifically within health care.  We will review the three types of stigma that patients are likely to experience, how the media informs stigma, and how race and class modify impact of stigma. We will place special emphasis on how stigma is a barrier to evidence based medical care for people with substance use disorders, as well as actional steps we can all take to decrease stigma and improve health outcomes for vulnerable Oregonians.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify how stigma creates barriers to evidence based medical care for substance use disorders
  2. Review how the media influences stigma for everyone, including health care providers
  3. Define harm reduction and explore how stigma acts as a barrier to harm reduction interventions

Dr. John Rennick


Home town:  El Paso, Texas

Undergraduate Education:  U. of Arizona:  B.S. Biological Sciences

Medical School:  U. of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio – MD degree

Internship (Rotating):  Hennepin County Medical Center hospital, Minneapolis, MN

Psychiatric Residency:  U. of Texas Health Science Center & Affiliated Hospitals– San Antonio

Practice history:

Family Practice 1975-1978 (National Health Service Corps, Spring City, TN; and, private practice, El Paso, Texas)

General Psychiatry 1978-current (private practice, community mental health, military (ARMY) psychiatry, VA and academic psychiatry)


Fellow, American Academy of Family Physicians

Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association

Co-Founder:  Mesilla Valley Hospital – 115 bed Psychiatric specialty hospital, Las Cruces, NM

US Army Medical Corps, MAJ, retired

Senior Foreign Service Officer, retired, US State Department

Current position:  Psychiatrist – Options for Southern Oregon

Session Summary - Practical Psycho-Pharmocology in the Real World

Utilizing case examples and clinical information about Bipolar Mania and Schizophrenia, we will be exploring the identification of these disorders and their biological underpinnings in order to provide the rationale for the assertive use of psychopharmacological medications – specifically anti-psychotic medications and mood stabilizers – to treat patients who are acutely psychotic, and for long-term maintenance and prevention of relapse.

We will look at the consequences – both behaviorally and neurologically – of under-treated or untreated psychoses and bipolar conditions.

Finally, we will discuss the best approaches to psychopharmacological management, including choice of the most effective medications (not all anti-psychotics are equal), recognition and management of common side-effects, and shared knowledge and decision-making with ACT team members, our patients and their caretakers.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Be able to identify the critical diagnostic features of Bipolar Mania and Schizophrenia
  2. Gain an understanding of the treatment imperatives for Bipolar Mania and Schizophrenia, including acute management and long-term prevention priorities
  3. Be able to distinguish between highly effective and less effective pharmacological approaches, with an emphasis on efficacy and patient acceptance
  4. Through shared knowledge and decision-making, develop a fully collaborative approach with ACT team members, our patients and their caretakers for informed choice, better compliance, and early identification of potential complications – all leading to long-term success.

Nirmala Dhar, LCSW

Session Summary - Are We Ready? The Behavioral Health Needs of Older Adults

Did you know that suicide deaths are highest for older adults , specifically older men?  That most older adults who died by suicide saw their primary care provider one month before  dying by suicide?  Binge drinking is one of the fastest growing trends for older adults?  Fear of falling after a fall is a common anxiety disorder after a fall? Hearing loss is a risk factor for depression and dementia? People with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia are at an increased risk of developing dementia?  One in ten older adults are victims of elder- abuse?

This presentation will provide an exploration of  mental health in older adults, including: :

  • demographic shifts and prevalence of mental health issues,
  • clinical focus and principles of best practice,
  • knowledge of assessment /screening tools, and
  • evidence based best practices.

We will also explore the unique needs of aging adults with serious mental illness and home and community- based services  and how an ACT team can promote age friendly healthcare  using the 4M’s Framework.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Demographic shifts and prevalence of mental health issues
  2. Principles of best practice
  3. Knowledge of assessment & screening tools
  4. Evidence- based best practices.

Steffannie Roaché, MS, LPC


Steffannie Roaché, MS LPC, serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice and trainer at Trauma Informed Oregon, based at Portland State University. Steffannie’s primary focus encompasses workforce wellness, advancing equity and inclusion through enhanced representation, power-sharing within systems, and advocating for resources that facilitate healing within communities affected by historical and racialized forms of trauma. With over two decades of experience, Steffannie has delivered training events focused on resilience, trauma-informed care, and culturally centered practices. Steffannie has dedicated almost a decade to counseling, both in group settings and private practice.

Session Summary - Embracing Equity, A Discussion on Trauma-Informed Approaches for Inclusive Workspaces

Together participants will explore the heart of trauma-informed practices that support healing-centered and culturally just workplaces. In this breakout session we’ll discuss the importance of inclusive environments,  discover the how-to’s of navigating trauma-related hurdles, and introduce some actionable, real-world steps to create workplaces that are trauma informed and culturally just.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand some foundational principles of trauma-informed practices and how they contribute to healing-centered and culturally just workplaces.
  2. Learn initial strategies for  inclusive environments and navigate trauma-related challenges within the workplace effectively.
  3. Identify actionable steps towards creating a trauma-informed, culturally just workplace .

Tim Dreby, M.Ed., LMFT


Tim Dreby is a psychotherapist in private practice and the award-winning author of a memoir about surviving a schizophrenia diagnosis. He has been employed in Oakland, CA over the last twenty-two years at Alameda Health System in the Department of Outpatient Psychiatry. In 2008, he wrote a curriculum and started running professional groups that explored stories associated with “psychosis.” Since that time he has amassed a great deal of training material. In 2014-2015 he authored an Innovations Grant that trained peer facilitators to use their story in outreaching to others. In 2015 he released Fighting for Freedom in America: Memoir of a “Schizophrenia” and Mainstream Cultural Delusions which won multiple awards in multiple contests. He runs a blog on his website and has been published among other places on Mad in America, The Mighty, and Asylum Magazine. He is currently in 2024 running a 16-20 hour training for professionals, family members and survivors to help participants be able to explore and heal madness by sharing stories.

Session Summary - A Recovery Story That Challenges Implicit Assumptions of California Care Courts in 2024

Seven years into my career as a mental health counselor, I became embroiled in the drug war politics at a section 8 housing complex. I descended into madness and was hospitalized in a state hospital. Many people gave up on me and presumed that I would never return to my career in mental health counseling. Being hospitalized in a state hospital itself can be very traumatic, but I was able to return to taking medication and to my career. Once I finally returned to work in mental health, I obtained my license and I started working off a curriculum I wrote encouraging clients to share the details of their madness in group therapy. I started this practice by sharing my own story which I will share during this presentation. Sixteen years later I have developed a system of care that I share with the public in a 16-20 hour training I offer online. My story and the training challenges the contention that was recently passed in CA that will appoint judges to mandate treatment and housing to people who share a similar diagnostic history as I have. My story will challenge the idea that mandatory treatment and housing will decrease the housing crisis we are experiencing. Instead I will propose the idea that we might train social workers and counselors to better understand psychosis so that they can interact with clients who need to tell their story and heal from their challenges.

 Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to identity three challenges faced in hospitals, housing projects and other last resort housing opportunities that will be expanded under care court.
  2. Attendees will be able to identify three things I focused on when I started running special messages groups at Highland Hospital.


Session Summary - Introduction to the Journey Through Madness Workshop

In introducing the Journey Through Madness Workshop we start by considering the medical model definition of psychosis, the actual prognostic data, and the current problem of homelessness. We then evaluate the current system of care and how it teaches message receivers to suppress their symptoms so they don’t lose their rights, freedom or get forced into staying in the very expensive psychiatric hospital. Then we explore the rationale for dividing up people who experience psychosis by labels and separating them versus uniting them and treating them like an oppressed culture. Finally we look at the history of the special messages group and how we started to work on deconstructing psychosis and recreating a new definition with solvable components. I present eight jargonized concepts that better define aspects of “psychosis” and eight solution constructs that can help direct interventions. With these jargonized definitions and solutions come the structure of the training. Finally, I look at the problem specific dynamics of the current Evidence Based Practice models and how they address specific problems by better defining those problems and argue that the issue of psychosis deserves this attention.

We will run through an abbreviated version of the first part of the training that is entitled joining. I will provide a sample of what special messages are and consider how these experiences can lead people to perceive more complex realities than mainstream consensus-reality ones. Then we look at the resulting process of sleuthing or trying to make meaning of what has been experienced. Sleuthing is something that often happens and preoccupies the mind. A solution that can intermittently set some limits on the making-meaning process involves engaging in mastery tasks that help distract a message receiver and slow down the sleuthing process. Along with these mastery tasks comes coaching on how to support a message receiver in doing as many of these mastery tasks as they can to optimize their time and get away from the distress or excitement associated with the experiences. Finally, we look at divergent view that result from the sleuthing process and how instead of telling us that they aren’t true, which is not always the case, how we can work to better understand them and study ways that they are or might be true so that the supporter can validate the survivor so that they don’t feel crazy. Indeed we will explore how better studying conspiracy realities can help a supporter better understand what a message receiver thinks. Finally we will explore how uncovering  the specific message experience via communication actually build relationship and helps a message receiver be mindful of their experiences so that they may be able to let go of the experience so it doesn’t stay with them and fill them with problematic ruminations and emotions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to identify at least two reasons why the mainstream system of care results in poor prognostic data and low levels of recovery
  2. Attendees will be able to describe at least three different kinds of special messages that message receivers experience.
  3. Attendees will be able to make a case for why it is extremely important to validate a message receiver’s divergent view and be curious about ways that they may be true.

OCEACT and OSECE Sessions

Certified Personal Medicine Coach Panel with Monica Dechert

Personal Medicine is an evidence-based, person-centered, recovery-oriented practice that has been shown to activate individuals in their self-care and recovery, which leads to more robust health outcomes.  Certified Personal Medicine Coaches (CPMCs) are experts in supporting people as they discover and utilize Personal Medicine in their recovery.

In this breakout session, you are invited to learn about Personal Medicine as a valuable tool for wellness.  You will hear from your colleagues who are current CPMCs about their experiences with Personal Medicine Coaching and the impact of Personal Medicine in their work.  Through engaging and interactive discussion, you will gain insight about the benefits and challenges of utilizing Personal Medicine, and discover strategies to support implementing Personal Medicine in practice.  In addition, you will learn how Personal Medicine can help you, your team, and participants manage life challenges, get well, and stay well.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the basics of what Personal Medicine is, is not, and how it can help people get well and stay well.
  2. Learn how to become a Certified Personal Medicine Coach.
  3. Gain insight about benefits, challenges, and strategies to support implementing Personal Medicine Coaching into your practice.
Health Promotion with Juli Tempeton

During this breakout session, we will discuss how the ACT nurse can promote health education through group and individualized settings, helping lower premature death and medical costs for ACT participants, and improving health outcomes. Teaching strategies and modifications will be introduced to keep participants involved and motivated during groups. During this discussion, we will review the opportunities to support vulnerable SPMI populations with health risk factors and how to navigate the contributing social determinants of health. We will review group options, including health prevention of infectious diseases, health literacy, patient education, harm reduction strategies for substance use disorder, tobacco cessation, and provide preventative health measures.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain knowledge of the core features of APD eligibility for services
  2. Gain understanding of ADL and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) through the APD framework
  3. Learn how to make a successful, person-centered referral to APD
ACT Engagement and Creating Supportive Environments with Asia Gray and Shane Semin

This breakout session will consider the significant impacts of communication and building strong therapeutic relationships to make lasting change to increase feelings of wellbeing and autonomy. The number one factor in positive health outcomes is the relationship with the provider, regardless of modality, or diagnosis – RELATIONSHIP with the provider is what determines positive outcomes. In this session we will consider and practice ways to strengthen therapeutic relationships at every opportunity.

Using a CBT-p framework we will evaluate and consider the factors that can impede or enhance our interventions. We will consider the social determinants of health as a primary driver of health outcomes and apply the learning through case scenarios and discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Applying strategies to support effective communication with individuals experiencing MH challenges
  2. Define elements of communication, the therapeutic relationship, social determinants of health
  3. Increasing awareness of self for effective communication with individuals
  4. Skill building for Empathetic listening, and Riding the fence
  5. Learn to ask the right questions, considering social determinants of health. Do our interventions align with the problem the participant wants help with?
  6. Practice using CBT-p framework to increase engagement and to model cognitive flexibility.
IPS and Peers with Katie Miranda

Peer Support is a growing and integral piece of mental health services. Peers are often overlooked in Supported Employment services, despite research suggesting that Peer-delivered services are more effective than services delivered by a non-Peer provider.

In this session, you are invited to learn more about the intersection of Peer Support and Supported Employment. We will discuss strategies for practicing Supported Employment through the lens of Peer Support. Learn how Peer Support and Supported Employment together support the 8 Dimensions of Wellness to improve outcomes for people accessing mental health services through interactive discussion with your colleagues. Perspectives from Peers, Employment Specialists, and Participants will illuminate the benefits of combing Peer work and Supported Employment in this engaging breakout session.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify strategies for using Peer Support as an effective component of Supported Employment
  2. Understand the commonalities between Supported Employment and Peer Support in connection with the 8 Dimensions of Wellness.
  3. Develop insight around how Peer Support Specialists benefit both the clinical team and the service recipients