SAS 2024
Cultivating Resilience, Preventing Suicide
in Teller County

Image with the words 2024 we bend so we don't break suicide awareness and resilience symposium March 1 2024 Woodland Park Community Church Save the Date Teller County Mental Health Alliance

The second annual suicide awareness and resilience symposium will be held on March 1, 2024
in Woodland Park. 

Through expert speakers, local stories of triumph, and
interactive sessions, we invite you to be part of a movement
that grows resilience, breaks down stigma, and promotes
a future filled with hope.


This event is free and open to the public but registration
is required. Click the button below to reserve your spot!

Breakout Sessions

This year, SAS 2024 will have opportunities to connect and engage with breakout sessions of your choosing. From expressive art to the science of trauma, choose from a variety of breakouts that best fit your interests and needs. You will walk away with tools that you can work into your personal relationships and your work.

2024 Topics

The Conversations We are Not Having
8:30-9:20 am

This keynote presentation will leave you thinking about the things you would like to be talking about and hopefully, inspire you to do so.

Cass Walton, BS
Suicide Prevention Advocate

Building Resilience from the Ground Up: Zero-5 Years Old
9:30-10:20 am

Participants will be able to describe the three essential building blocks of resilience in children and explain how resilience is built in the first five years of life.

Judy Bayley, MS Child Development and Family Relations

Recognizing the Impact of Stress & Trauma
9:30-10:20 am

Spend time learning about the symptoms and impact of differing experiences of stress and trauma, including secondary traumatic stress (aka vicarious trauma). Attendees will also learn a new way to think about stress and trauma on the body, called the Stress Injury Continuum, and how to recognize mental health experiences as physical injuries on the body.
Learning Objective: List the symptoms and impact of differing experiences of stress and trauma.

Nicole Weis, MA, LPC, LAC

Beyond Toughness: Redefining Masculinity through Mental Health and Gun Safety
10:30-11:20 am

This session will address the vital nexus of men's mental health, responsible gun ownership, and community mobilization. We'll tackle the stigma surrounding men's mental health, emphasize safe storage practices and firearm handling, and discuss tailored suicide prevention strategies. Attendees will leave empowered to protect themselves and their communities through proactive engagement and collaboration.

Matthew Wetenkamp
Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training
10:30-11:20 am

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.

Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

Alan Katzen, LCSW, LPH

Springing Forward from Trauma: Seeds for Growth & Transformation
11:30 am-12:00 pm

Motivational speaker, Joyce Aubrey will examine changes in attitudes towards sexual violence. Influences cited will include false memory syndrome debunked by current brain research, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome expanded to Complex PTSD, ACE’s indicators leading to Trauma Informed Care, and MeToo movement’s contribution to societal awareness.
Audience members will be prepared to describe the basic steps in Post Traumatic Growth.

Joyce Aubrey, Finding Our Voices

Coping with Anxiety
1:10-2:00 pm

In this interactive, personalized workshop, Kirsten uses "now-work" (activities you will complete during our time together) to explore your own signs and symptoms of anxiety. By the end of the workshop, you'll have a better idea of how to identify your anxiety, what's causing it, and how to better manage it. Bring a pen! Learning Objective: Apply emotional language and knowledge of yourself to better understand how anxiety impacts you and how to better manage it.

Kirsten Wulfsberg, LPC
CSU Extension

Embracing the Awkward: Let's Talk About It
1:10-2:00 pm

Mike Donahue, Value Up

Human Trafficking Prevention: Identification & Reporting
2:10-3:00 pm

1. What is Human Trafficking?
2. How do I identify Human Trafficking?
3. How does knowledge about Human Trafficking prevent suicide
4. I suspect Human Trafficking-now what?
5. How can I make my community safer?
Learning Objective: Learn signs of human trafficking, how to report it and prevent it. You will be able to apply those skills to keep you and your community safe.

Beth Ritchie, Executive Director & Founder
Bringing Our Valley Hope

Connecting in Crisis: A Local Story
2:10-3:00 pm

In this breakout session, we'll delve into the lived experiences of a local community member and a paramedic, shedding light on their unique perspectives and stories of resilience in times of crisis. Through their narratives, participants will gain valuable insights into the challenges faced by individuals on the frontlines and within communities during emergencies.

Aimee Kahl, Community Member
Ryan Brown, Captain Community Paramedic

The Importance of Caring Contacts in Your Circle
9:30-10:20 am

Participants will be able to explain why caring contacts are so important and will be motivated to start building their own circle!

Robin Shawe, LPC, LAC

Zero Suicide Coordinator, UCHealth

Sustaining Hope: Faith-Based Approaches to Suicide Prevention
9:30-10:20 am

Discuss the importance of and how to integrate suicide prevention into faith communities.

David Galvan,Trainer/Director of Innovation & Development, Soul Shop Movement

Finding Light in the Darkness: A Survivor's Story
9:30-10:20 am

The story of one woman who overcame hopelessness by learning how to change her narrative and finding her path to healing.

Shirley Logan
Human, victim, veteran, survivor, artist, student, teacher, Reiki Master

Growing Resilience as a Family
10:30-11:20 am

How do you foster resilience within your own family? Learn key skills in resilience and how to foster healthy, helping conversations and resilience-based activities within your family network to enhance communication and buffer against current and future stress.
Learning Objective: Discuss key resilience strategies that can be incorporated as a family.

Lauren Shaw, Psy.D., GRIT Program Manager
Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience

Faces and Voices of Recovery: A Panel Discussion
10:30-11:20 am

Rosita Camargo
Frank Montesano

Dominique Knowles

What's On Your Mind
10:30-11:20 am

A Partner Presentation for Youth was created by Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership, NAMI of Colorado Springs, and Diversus Health. The objective is to reduce stigma, provide self-regulation strategies, and normalize help seeking.
Learning Objective: Help the community understand what this resource is and how to access it.

Maria Cortes
Isabella Serna
Emily Brady
Bianca Melancon, BS

We Are Here: Stories of Queer Connection & Resilience
1:10-2:00 pm

Reverend Mallory Everhart (moderator)
Erin O' Connell
Sara Lee
Shirley Logan

Overcoming Compassion Fatigue and Burnout
1:10-2:00 pm

Learn about the symptoms and experiences of compassion fatigue and burnout, common experiences of secondary traumatic stress. Attendees will learn how to recognize symptoms and risk factors in self and others, and pathways to overcoming compassion fatigue and burnout while fostering resilience skills.

Learning Objective: Describe the symptoms and impact of compassion fatigue and burnout and gain resilience skills in combatting these experiences.

Lauren Shaw, Psy.D., GRIT Program Manager
Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience

The Art of Sharing My Story: A Panel Discussion
1:10-2:00 pm

Research reveals that keeping trauma secret intensifies its long-term negative effect. Learn from survivors of intimate violation different ways of safely sharing traumatic stories and witness how their stories expand as their healing progresses.

Finding Our Voices

Transformation Through Expressive Art
2:10-3:00 pm

Experience, hands-on, the healing and reflective nature of expressive art. No art experience required, materials will be supplied.

Joyce Aubrey
Speaker, Author, Artist

Creating Safety in the Community
2:10-3:00 pm

While suicide risk is scary, there are strategies we can take to keep individuals living with suicide risk safe.
Learning Objective: You will leave this presentation understanding how to create a network of support with a focus on increasing protective factors.

Caitlyn Caviness, MA, LPC

Fast-Track Healing: The Impact of Innovative Therapy Combinations
3:10-3:30 pm

Dive into the future of mental health treatment with a presentation that unveils the groundbreaking synergy of ketamine infusion therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and intensive psychotherapy. Discover how these cutting-edge interventions are revolutionizing the recovery process, offering rapid and lasting relief for individuals grappling with TBI, PTSD, and depression.
Learning Objective: Elevate your care strategies with the integration of transformative therapeutic technologies.

Sam Peterson, MBA
Director of Veteran Programs, Altior Health

SAS 2024 is free and open to the public. Complimentary food and resources will be provided. However, due to limited space, 
registration is required. Click the button below to reserve your spot.

For additional questions or accommodation requests, contact Ashlee Shields at

2024 Sponsors

Advocate Sponsor

Partner Sponsors

Supporter Sponsors

2024 Planning Team

Janet Stoddard                                                                              Dedicated Community Member

Dr. Ann Rush                                                                                        Status Code 4, Inc.

Ashlee Shields                                                                                Suicide Prevention, TCMHA

Chelsea Wages, MFTC                                                                      ITSCO, LLC

Michelle Wolff                                                                                      Teller County Department of Public Health & Environment

Kathy Sparnins                                                                                  Voices of Grief

Olivia Hernandez                                                                                UCCS BSW student intern, TCMHA

Megan Billesbach                                                                          Colorado Community Health Alliance

Roberta Renfro                                                                                  Diversus Health

Kirsten Wulfsberg                                                                              BH Regional Specialist, CSU Extension

About the Mental Health Alliance

The Teller County Mental Health Alliance (TCMHA) is a multi-organization collaborative supporting the behavioral health needs of the community.

TCMHA began in 2018 as a grassroots effort in response to growing community concerns about behavioral health in the community.

By pooling individual resources and establishing a shared agenda, The Alliance orchestrates a coordinated set of actions to foster a resilient and healthy community.

We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to TCMHA with non-emergency  comments or questions.

Contact Teller County Mental Health Alliance

Please use the form below if you have any questions or comments for The Alliance. We look forward to hearing from you! You will receive a response within 2 business days.

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