St. George Orthodox Church, 3204 Ridgewood Rd., Fairlawn, OH 44333
September 29, 2023; 8AM-4:30PM


Conference Handouts


Mind the Gap: Bridging MH and BH Needs with Solutions 

Suicide Prevention & Postvention Within the Geriatric Population

Starting our day at the annual Fall Conference with Shannon Ortiz from Light after Loss.

"We spend a lot of time on suicide prevention so that people don't feel a loss of purpose in their lives. But, we're still at a place where it happens. Postvention is not a new term. Suicide loss survivors are at risk to go on to take their own lives. How you respond will directly determine if you have another suicide in the community."


Creating Pathways in Access to Mental Health Care for Older Adults

Our second session of the day with Carmella Hill of Coleman Professional Services .

"The thing with social determinants of health and mental health is that stigma impacts the degree in which people pursue mental health services. Their perspective is impactful. When they walk through the door, we have to acknowledge that they are showing up. If they don't show up, they don't make progress towards their goals."


Suicide and Overdose Prevention in Older Adults

The first half of our first afternoon presentation welcomes the return of Elena Aslanides-Kandis from Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition and Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery . We are pleased to also welcome Audrey Sylvester from Massillon City Health Department .

"Suicide is always multidimensional, but the positive side of that is that there are lots of opportunities for intervention."
"It can be difficult to identify the underlying reasons for conditions and symptoms in older adults, which is why your work can help in overdose prevention."


Living Well with Dementia, MH & BH

Our last session of the day is a powerhouse duo. First, Barb White:

"When we write the story of dementia, it makes good heart-sense, community-sense, business-sense. I think it's a social justice movement... It's a call for the end of the stigma and for resources that make living well with dementia possible."

The second component of our closing presentation comes from Kathleen Bryson of Medical Mutual.

"Mental health is a challenging but manageable condition. You can still live well with mental health conditions... We need to be able to recognize and treat mental, neurological, and substance use disorders in older adults. There currently is no cure for dementia but so much can be done to support and improve the lives of those living with dementia and their families and caregivers."


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