27th Annual Wisconsin Crisis Intervention Conference
September 21-22, 2023
Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Health and Human Services, See Stevens Point Offerings

Thursday and Friday, September 21-22, 2023
Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI                      


Click on the program guide to view.​


To provide education on best practices in a culturally aware format that leads to superior quality mental healthcare services that benefits individuals, providers, and communities.

Goals and Learning Objectives 

Participants will learn ways to improve relationships between the mental health community and the community at large.

  • Increase knowledge of available resources and skill development.
  • Reduce stigma associated with mental health through education. 

Participants will enhance skills associated with improving the quality of life for people living with mental health issues.

  • Learn ways to increase service utilization. 
  • Increase awareness around issues surrounding suicide, non-suicide self-injury, substance use, homelessness, and/or violence and victimization. 
  • Expand awareness of issues surrounding communities at higher risk or with reduced access to services. 

Participants will increase overall safety during crisis situations. 
  • Improve de-escalation and crisis assessment/intervention techniques. 
  • Increase education around mobile crisis services, crisis bed options, and access to these services. 

​Who Should Attend

Consumers and family members, administrators, front-line workers, and community professionals involved in crisis intervention, including Court Personnel, Emergency Services Personnel and Faculty Personnel,  Hospital Personnel, Jail Personnel, Law Enforcement, Mental Health Professionals,  Nursing Professionals, Mental Health, Jail and School Nurses, School Administrators,  Social Workers, and Substance Abuse Professionals​.

​Registration Information​

$275 | Individual 

$255 | ​Group Fee (6 or More)

​$125 | Virtual

If you are paying by check, please fill out the paper registration form​

Registration Deadlines:

In-Person: September 14, 2023

Virtual: September 22, 2023

Facilitating ADA supports is important to UWSP. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least four weeks in advance of the conference. Please contact UWSP Continuing Education at uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu.  ​

Click on the grey drop-down menu ​below for the 2023 Conference Agenda​​​. ​

CONFERENCE: Thursday, September 21, 2023

 8-10:00 am | Opening and Keynote

These sessions will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Opening Remarks 

​Presenters: ​William Hutter, PsyD, LMFT​

                     Kirsten Johnson, MPH, Secretary-Designee, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison, Wis.​

The Delicate Art of Uncovering Suicidal Ideation: The Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (the CASE Approach)

Presenter: ​Shawn Christopher Shea, MD, Director, Training Institute for Suicide Assessment & Clinical Interviewing (TISA)

In this keynote Dr. Shea describes an innovative interviewing strategy for eliciting suicidal ideation: the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (the CASE Approach). He provides an in-depth presentation of how to use the CASE Approach to weave seven interviewing techniques - designed to increase validity - into a fluid interview strategy for uncovering suicidal desire, intent, ideation, planning and actions. An emphasis is placed on how to use the CASE Approach to uncover a particularly high-risk client’s initially withheld method of choice for suicide as is often the case in emergency assessments. The nuances of the strategy are demonstrated using a compelling videotape showing a patient who presents with complex suicidal ideation.​

Learning Objectives:

  1. Be able to describe the inherent difficulties of uncovering the truth about a client’s suicidal intent in an emergency assessment as described in the Equation of Suicidal Intent and then apply these principles in clinical practice. 2) Understand the role of seven specific interviewing techniques (Shame Attenuation, Normalization, the Behavioral Incident, Gentle Assumption, Denial of the Specific, the Catch-All Question, and Symptom Amplification) for improving the validity of elicited suicidal ideation while decreasing errors of omission and optimizing engagement. 3) Understand the theory and be able to flexibly utilize elements of the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (the CASE Approach) to sensitively and rapidly uncover suicidal ideation, planning, actions, and intent in a hectic emergenc​y clinical setting.

  2. ​​​​Understand the role of seven specific interviewing techniques (Shame Attenuation, Normalization, the Behavioral Incident, Gentle Assumption, Denial of the Specific, the Catch-All Question, and Symptom Amplification) for improving the validity of elicited suicidal ideation while decreasing errors of omission and optimizing engagement. ​

  3. Understand the theory and be able to flexibly utilize elements of the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (the CASE Approach) to sensitively and rapidly uncover suicidal ideation, planning, actions, and intent in a hectic emergency clinical setting.​​

 10-11:30 am | Breakout Sessions 1-7

​1) Rapidly and Sensitively Engaging Clients with Difficulties Personality Disorders in a Crisis Evaluation

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenter: Shawn Christopher Shea, MD, Director, Training Institute for Suicide Assessment ​& Clinical Interviewing (TISA)

In this workshop Dr. Shea brings to life the practical use of psychodynamic approaches such as Object Relations and Self Psychology to help clinicians rapidly and effectively engage clients with Borderline and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorders as they may present in emergency departments and on crisis calls. He compellingly transforms the complex concepts of theorists such as Otto Kernberg and Heinz Kohut into a contemporary framework that provides today’s clinicians - not only with an enhanced understanding of the intense pain of these clients - but with immediately practical interviewing techniques and strategies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Be able to describe and recognize the complex psychodynamic and interpersonal factors which can prove to be particularly problematic for engagement in emergency room assessments with clients coping with borderline and/or narcissistic process.

  2. Be able to utilize the principles of Object Relations (Kernberg) and Self Psychology (Kohut) to quickly spot serious psychopathology such as borderline, narcissistic, and antisocial process as it presents in emergency departments and during crisis calls.

  3. Be able to flexibly and creatively utilize a variety of specific interviewing techniques from the fields of Object Relations and Self Psychology - such as the complementary shift - to rapidly engage clients with borderline and/or narcissistic process as well as de-escalate client anger if it should arise during the interview.​

2) When Mental Health Crises and Domestic Violence Crises Collide

Presenter: Jennifer Paine, Juris Doctorate. Executive Diretor, Women and Children's Horizons of Kenohsa, Wisconsin

This session will focus on DV victims who also have mental health diagnoses - why they are more susceptible to DV, how to locate resources for them, how to troubleshoot the DV crisis during their mental health crisis, where to locate advocates to work with, and navigating the web of a DV/MH crisis collision to minimize the likelihood of re-victimization and maximize the likelihood of prosecution. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Identify community resources for DV victims. 

  2. ​​Learn "the signs" of a DV ​victim, which can often​​​​​ go unidentified as a part of an overlapping mental health diagnosis. 

  3. Develop a road​​map for ensuring victim safety, working with an advocate and assisting the client with shelter, relocation, additional support and/or prosecution.​

3) CPS/CPPS/Recovery Coach Boundaries and Ethics Part 1

​Presenter: Alyce Knowlton-Jablonski, ACPS, NCPST, NCRCT, NCWFT, NCSGFT

Peer providers are being utilized in many different settings and face many challenges to their adherance to ethical standards of evidence based peer support within crisis systems, agencies and individual practices. In these sessions, CPS/CPPS /RC will develop a deeper understanding of the importance of boundaries and how they assist in adherence to state mandated ethics in their practices and will practice advocacy skills needed to address ethical diilemas they might encounter within those systems, agencies and in their professional practices.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to define and understand the importance of boundaries.

  2. Participants will review and understand the underpinnings of WI State mandated ethics. 

  3. ​Participants will leave better prepared to address ethical dilemas in their professional practice.​

4) Session Cancelled

This session has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

5) Meet You Where You Are At: Helping Military and First Responders Address Their Own Mental Health

Presenter: Abby Huntley, PhD, LPC-SAS, ICS, CCTP

The burnout, suicide, and stress rates of military, veterans, and first responders has increased over the past 5 years. This population and their families are at great risk of the consequences of poor mental health due to trauma, stress, and burnout. Traditional approaches have proven less effective creating a need for a catered approach to services and supports. Explore the barriers to treatment. Understand the unique challenges and concerns of this population. Take away tools and ideas to improve or expand your practice to support those who are helping us and our communities every day. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Identify the unique barriers and needs of military, first responders, and their families.

  2. Learn about methods and interventions that have proven to best support this population.

  3. Leave with tools and interventions to apply to this population.​

6) Wiconsin Community Service's Effective Implementation of Peer Specialists in Crisis Work

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenters: Michelle Laga, LPC, CPS, MSAT, Clinician at Wisconsin Community Services in Milwaukee Wisconsin

                     Startina White, CPS, RC Program Coordinator for Community-based peer support programs at Wisconsin Community Services in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Wisconsin Community Services manages and implements crisis assessment, linkage and stabilization services for clients enrolled in four different programs within the department of Community-based Peer Specialist Programs. The Presenters will outline these programs, provide quantitative and qualitative data that will demonstrate the effectiveness of peer support in crisis work. The Presenters will also include how peer support can be implemented in your area. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Gain knowledge of the implementation and effectiveness of peer specialist programs at WCS.

  2. Understand how and why peer specialists are effective in crisis work.

  3. Be inspired to implement peer specialists in their own community-based crisis programs. ​

7) Crisis Intervention: Providing Temporary but Immediate Relief in Emergency Situations

Presenter: Sharon Cyrus-Savary, Clinical Director

The rate of mental health challenges is significant and has increased over recent years requiring that a whole person approach is required. This presentation will review historical foundation to crisis intervention as well as well as the mixture of psychological modalities, psychoanalytic, existential, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems theories from which crisis theory is drawn. People in crisis often have complex needs that require a multidimensional approach. Methods that promote engaging the individual in crisis will be presented. Facilitator will use case examples to illustrate this model.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the historical foundation of crisis iintervention.

  2. Discuss psychoanalytic, existential, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems theories contribution to Crisis Intervention.

  3. Discuss cultural, ethical and professional Issues.​

 12:15-1:15 pm | Afternoon Keynote

​Beyond Self Care: A Revolutionary Approach for Preventing Burnout

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenter: Leah Harris, M.A. 

Self-care is essential if we are to truly center the people we support. But self-care is not, in and of itself, enough to prevent burnout. Leah will introduce an alternative approach to worker burnout and vicarious trauma, using a social-justice framework developed by social worker Vikki Reynolds and her peer-led team. Using a combination of video, discussion, and reflective exercises, this keynote explores the vital importance of collective care and solidarity to nourish our hope, keep us aligned with our ethics, and nurture sustainability across the lifespan. 

Learning Objectives:​

  1. Discuss the function of self-care as it relates to burnout.

  2. Describe the limitations of self-care in preventing burnout.

  3. Name concrete strategies for collective care.​

 1:30-3:00 pm | Breakout Session 8-14

8) The Exclusive World of Psychosis: Uncovering Subtle and Dangerous Psychotic Process

This session will only be offered in-person. 

Presenter: Shawn Christopher Shea, MD, Director, Training Institute for Suicide Assessment& Clinical Interviewing (TISA)

This workshop examines the world of psychosis by demonstrating a variety of specific interviewing techniques to help ferret out the presence of active psychotic process. Dr. Shea also focuses in detail, via videos of actual patients, upon various methods for spotting dangerous psychotic process including suicide, homicide, and self-mutilation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Be able to ferret out the earliest signs of impending psychosis or relapse, while providing a better understanding of the exquisite pain created by psychotic processes.

  2. Be able to utilize interviewing techniques for spotting delusional mood, delusional perception, and the life-cycle of a psychosis.

  3. Be able to describe and uncover the specific types of psychotic processes that can lead to suicide, violence, and self-mutilation (including command hallucinations, feelings of alien control, psychotic hyper-religiosity, and paranoia).​​

9) Authentic Conversations About the Transgender Experience: Keep Us Alive

​Presenter: Elijah Nicholas, DBA, MBA, MAET, MSOL

The purpose of Authentic Conversations Training is two fold: 1. To address the increasing suicide rate amongst the transgender population. 2. To provide a safe environment for discussions that lead to authentic trans employee inclusion, genuine welcoming of all employees, and understanding/empathizing with differences within the organization.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Understand the differences between Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation and why this understanding is critical to developing inclusive, affirming, and welcoming strategic policies.

  2. Understand how leadership teams in collaboration with human resource professionals can navigate pronoun usage / discussion in the workplace so all employees are included and acknowledged using their preferred language.

  3. Understand how knowledge of gender identity and proper pronoun usage decreases stigma and therefore saves lives.​

10) Natural Support Caregivers Navigating Crisis and Crisis Services for Their Loved Ones

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

​​Presenters: Nicole Ravens, CPS, Statewide Coordinator for Peer Recovery Centers, Independent Living Resources, La Crosse, WI. Co-Chair for the Wisconsin Independent Living Network Mental Health and Substance Use Committee.

                     Sadie Nelson, CPS, Independent Living Coordinator, Independent Living Resources

How do we navigate crisis services as a parent or caregivers? Are you the most appropriate person to be handling the crisis situation? If not you, then who? How can crisis responders better support natural caregivers during times of crisis, especially when it's their child or parent in need of help? There are no "days off" when you are the natural support for someone in need. We can and should do better supporting the supporters. In this workshop participants will learn how to help clients and their families navigate crisis services, before, during and after a crisis situation. Participants will help to develop a natural support flow chart or checklist to use with caregivers. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Learn about crisis response from the caregiver perspective.

  2. Develop skills to quickly assess the needs of the "noncrisis" participant.

  3. Help develop a flow chart to use as a resource for families in crisis.​

11) The Dignity of Risk: Honoring Your Rights During Challenging Situations

​Presenters: Jason Berdyck, BS Technology Education - UW Stout

                     Amanda Tavs, Certified Social Worker Lakeland Care Inc. - Behavioral Health Supervisor

                     Tania Reindl, Crisis Prevention Support Specialist

                     Eric Johnson, Behavioral Health Specialist

You have the right to do something that may seem ‘risky’ to others, as long as you understand the risks involved and choose to participate. We take risks every day, often times unknowingly. This may be as simple as not wearing a hat in winter or continuing to enjoy your whiskey of choice after dinner. This session will cover how we define dignity of risk and balance duty of care in the care planning process; the role our system plays in the decision making process (Guardians, APS, DOJ, Caregivers, Family, MCO); and how personal experiences can bias decision making and how to acknowledge possible bias in our professional experiences and relationships. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​​Understand how personal experiences may impact our relationships and decisions.

  2. Understand the Dignity of Risk verses The Duty of Care.

  3. Will have the opportunity to discuss high-risk situations, their outcomes and the challenges surrounding them.​

12) Connect the Dots in the Deaf Community

Presenter: Denise Johnson, BSW

This workshop will provide the attendees with an opportunity to learn linguistic minority population that is often underserved. The presenter have over 30 years of experience in working with people who are Deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing.  The presenter have a lived experience, stories and information that will help workshop attendees perform critical self-reflection and awareness by recognizing the challenges between the professionals and the consumer dynamics.

Learning Objecives:

  1. Exposed to different language and communication challenges among this population.

  2. Learn what prevent this group from receiving SUD/MH services.

  3. Find ways to collaboration and enhance between Deaf and hearing services.​

13) Imagine If... We Included Parents in Youth Crisis

Presenters: Michelle Uetz, M.Ed., CPPS, Owner/Director, Rocky Hill Parent Peer Specialists, River Falls, WI

                     Michelle Terrana B.S., CPPS, Rocky Hill Parent Peer Specialists, River Falls, WI​

                     Yvette Wilmot

                     Christine Crowley

Often, when youth are in crisis parents feel blamed, shamed, isolated, and ignored. Mental illness and substance use affects the entire family and services, including crisis services, need to include the entire family.  When a youth is in crisis it is important to get a parent perspective, and meet parent and sibling needs while meeting the needs of the youth in crisis. One way to do this is to include a Certified Parent Peer Specialist (CPPS) on the Crisis Team to support the parents and family.  This session will provide information about how a CPPS could be part of a Crisis Team for youth, and other ways to support parents and families during youth crisis. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the role a CPPS could have on a youth crisis team.

  2. Describe ways to support parents during youth crisis.

  3. Explain the reason it is important to include parent support in youth crisis response.​

14) The Dementia Dilemma

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenters: Joy Schmidt, BSW, Dane County Human Services

                   Beth Freeman, MSW, Dane County Human Services

This will be a solution-based discussion about how Dane County has worked towards resolving the challenges that have come following the Helen E.F. decision. We will share what we have learned and what we plan to do to try to better serve our citizens who are living with dementia. From the continuum of crisis to the coalitions that help us communicate better, what have we done? What can we do better? 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Learn about de-escalation in dementia care.

  2. Learn about who is experiencing the crisis.

  3. Learn about the macro vs. micro approach to solving this issue.​

 3:30-5 pm | Breakout Session 15-22

15) Wisconsin's Initiative to Expand Provider Preparedness and Response to Refugee and Immigrant Crisis Needs

Presenter: Sebasteian Ssepmijja, PhD

                   Savitri Tsering

This workshop recognizes the motivation and inspiration of Providers in Health care, Mental Health, Education, Social Service, Safety, and Community Wellbeing to improve the care for refugee and immigrant clients. The Refugee Mental Health Initiative on Capacity Building (ReMHI-CB) is the State of Wisconsin's effort to meet this need.​

Learning Objectives: 

  1. ​Participants will learn about the capacity building efforts developed by the presenters and how to engage with available programming and consultation services.

  2. Participants will learn how to apply the guidelines in Crisis Now and the national guidelines for crisis care, in addition to implementing a best practice tool kit designed for service provision with refugee, immigrant, and other vulnerable populations.

  3. Participants will hear testimonials from ethnic community organization leaders, as well as people with lived experience, sharing their testimonials on interfacing with crisis emergency services.​

16) Stigma and Mental Health in Rural Communities

Presenter: William Hutter, PsyD, LMFT

This workshop will discuss the role of stigma in rural communities and the role it plays in help seeking behaviors.  Various communities often overlooked will reviewed, including; but not limited to, the Latinx community, LGBTQ+, and the farming community. Additionally, a review of how stigma and services often differ depending on gender and age.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Enhance awareness of how stigma impacts specific communities living in rural areas.

  2. Approaches and best practices to use when working with rural communities.

  3. Learn potential strategies for reducing this stigma and increasing help seeking behaviors. ​

17) CPS/CPPS/Recovery Coach Boundaries and Ethics Part 2

Presenter: Alyce Knowlton-Jablonski, ACPS, NCPST, NCRCT, NCWFT, NCSGFT

Peer providers are being utilized in many different settings and face many challenges to their adherance to ethical standards of evidence based peer support within crisis systems, agencies and individual practices. In these sessions, CPS/CPPS /RC will develop a deeper understanding of the importance of boundaries and how they assist in adherence to state mandated ethics in their practices and will practice advocacy skills needed to address ethical diilemas they might encounter within those systems, agencies and in their professional practices.

Learning Objective:

  1. ​Participants will be able to define and understand the importance of boundaries.

  2. Participants will review and understand the underpinnings of WI State mandated ethics.

  3. Participants will leave better prepared to address ethical dilemas in their professional practice.​

18) The Psychological Flexibility Model as a Framework for Crisis Intervention Training

Presenter: Drew Martel, Chief Clinical and Training Officer @ Foundation 2 Crisis Services, Licensed Independent Social Worker (Iowa - LCSW equivalent), Site Surveyor - American Association on Suicidology​

Crisis Services Providers often utilize an eclectic mix of theoretical and philosophical components when training staff in crisis intervention.The Psychological Flexibility Model is a core component of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Protocols (Hayes, 1982), and has been modified to fit a variety of unique populations and services. Participants will be introduced to the Psychological Flexibility Model based crisis intervention training developed by Foundation 2. Case conceptualization examples, and specific interventions will be demonstrated in this session. Relevancy: Research shows that employees who feel competent in their work are more satisfied and thus more likely to stay in their job. Additionally, sans a few models (Robert's 7 stage, "3C") there are very few concrete models of crisis intervention, and even less that provide tangible skill sets and case conceptualization examples.​

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Identify a framework for training crisis staff.

  2. Outline necessary components (topics, duration, standards) of a crisis intervention training.

  3. Recognize how to integrate the Psychological Flexibility Model into Crisis Intervention Training​

19) Taking Care of Our Own

Presenter: Chris Prochut, Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention Trainer

Starting with a discussion of suicide and depression warning signs, we examine the paradigm shift taking place within law enforcement and others in the "helping community" in which it is becoming increasingly OK to ask for help. Addressed are the topics of stigma, the “suck it up” attitude, the "I'm Fine" façade, and the myth that seeking help is a sign of weakness all culminating with one simple solution; TALK!​

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Understand how Stigma is a barrier to seeking help.

  2. Receive information on specific resources designed for First Responders to seek help.

  3. Recognize Suicide and Depression warning signs. ​

20) Improving the Crisis Continuum and Outcomes for Youth in Wisconsin

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenters: Elizabeth Rudy, Youth Crisis Coordinator

                     Kim Propp, Crisis Services Manager Jefferson County

                     Sam Seefeld, Crisis Program Supervisor LaCrosse County

                     Cheryl Millard, LCSW

                     Diana Williams

This workshop will inform the audience of the challenges youth in Wisconsin face including data regarding youth mental health. We will discuss efforts being made to improve the crisis continuum for youth in Wisconsin and how it relates to the crisis now model (someone to talk to, someone to respond, somewhere to go). In collaboration with the regions selected for the Collaborative Crisis Intervention Services for Youth grant, we will inform the audience on what is available in each region for youth in crisis including the use of warm lines, access into the crisis system, and mobile and in home crisis intervention. We will also present on the Youth Crisis stabilization facilities including an overview of DHS 50 and information regarding the YCSFs in Wausau, Milwaukee and Ashland. We will discuss how these efforts have improved outcomes for youth in crisis in Wisconsin and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain better understanding of the crisis now model, specific for youth.

  2. Learn more about the Collaborative Crisis Intervention Services for Youth grant and how that funding is improving the crisis continuum for youth in wisconsin.

  3. Develop a better understanding of DHS 50 and learn more about youth crisis stabilization facilities.​​

21) Lessons Learned from a Wisconsin-based Community Co-Responder Team

Presenters: Sara Kohlbeck, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Director of the Division of Suicide Prevention, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

                   Sarah Bassing-Sutton, Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator, NEW Mental Health Connection, Appleton, WI

Law enforcement are often the first responders in a mental health or suicide crisis, but it has been widely recognized that this model may not be ideal for a variety of reasons, including potential escalation of the situation and further distress and potential harm for the individual in crisis. Other models, including a co-responder model which involves the pairing of a law enforcement officer with a trained mental health provider at the time of the immediate crisis response, have been proposed and implemented across the country. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of these co-responder models from the perspective of individual-level outcomes as well as outcomes related to cost effectiveness. Additionally, co-responder models vary widely in their implementation, making evaluation of their effectiveness difficult. The aim of this project is to pilot a co-responder model in one urban law enforcement agency in Wisconsin and to evaluate the various outcomes of this pilot. This pilot was developed in response to an increase in calls to law enforcement for mental health and suicide crisis within the community of focus and was implemented based on community-level evidence and input. This session will share data and lessons learned from this pilot work as well as plans for growth of this work.

Learning Objective:

  1. ​Understand how a co-responder team functions in a mental health or suicide crisis.

  2. Detail the implementation of the Community Co-Responder Team in the Fox Valley.

  3. Explore future steps for the work of the Community Co-Responder Team.​

22) Holding on With Letting Go: Navigating Grief and Loss in Our Work

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenter: Leah Harris, M.A. 

We are collectively facing loss on a magnitude beyond precedent. In this interactive workshop, Leah will introduce ideas around grief, loss, and burnout drawn from the social-justice inspired framework of Vikki Reynolds and her peer-led team. We’ll look at why discerning between tragic death and dignified death is so important to our sustainability in these times. And we’ll explore the “Holding on with Letting Go” process, a meaningful way of metabolizing the losses we face in our lives and work.

​Learning Objective:

  1. ​Differentiate between tragic death and death with dignity.

  2. Discuss how grief, loss, and burnout are connected.

  3. Describe what it means to “hold on with letting go” in our work.

​​CONFERENCE: Friday, September 22, 2023

 8:30-10 am | Breakout Sessions 23-29

23) Youth Mental Health Crisis Resources Created with Lived Experts

Presenter: Andrea Turtenwald, M.A., Family Relations Coordinator, Wisconsin Office of Children'​s Mental Health

                   Nekita (Nick) Kr​isko, Wisconsin Office of Children'​s Mental Health

                   Shimika Harris, Wisconsin Office of Children's Mental Health Lived Experience Partner ​​

                   Kate Goedtel-Bennett, DSW, LCSW

The Wisconsin Office of Children's Mental Health has published a variety of resources for children, young adults, and parents to support their emotional well-being. In this session, learn about the Mental Health ​Crisis Card and the Handling a Mental Health Crisis handout, two resources created by people with lived experience and mental health clinicians. After an overview of the tools, engage in a flexible group conversation with some of the resource creators to identify how to implement and share the information with families across Wisconsin.

Learning Objectives:​

  1. ​Understand the purpose of the Mental Health Crisis Card and consider it's application in their daily life.

  2. Understand the purpose of the Handling a Mental Health Crisis handout and consider it's application in their daily life.

  3. Reflect on what additional resources or information could be useful in their community.​

24) Somatic Decompression for Crisis and Trauma Workers

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenter: Cassandra (Cassie) Walker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)

Working in Crisis and Trauma care is emotionally and physically taxing. Many times, we are not aware of how disconnected we are from ourselves after work. This session is experiential and will provide information about stress, compassion fatigue, and burnout while guiding participants through somatic mindfulness techniques and meditations, including modifications for different abilities and comfort levels.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Participants will learn at least 3 ways they can quickly check in with themselves

  2. Participants will be able to define ‘compassion fatigue’, ‘burn out’ and ‘vicarious trauma’

  3. Participants will be more able to identify their somatic reactions.

25) "Why is This Happening to Me?" Crisis and Meaning Making

Presenter: Vic Welle, Peer Support Trainer

Experiences labeled as crisis can happen due to many factors. Often crisis is only seen as a “behavioral health” issue needing a medicalized or psychiatric intervention. But what else might need to be addressed? What other frameworks might help a person understand and make meaning of their crisis? This workshop will introduce concepts and techniques from spirituality, trauma-informed approaches, and peer support models such as the Hearing Voices Network and Intentional Peer Support. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Identify the medical model (disease model) of distress and how it impacts crisis response.

  2. Explore other frameworks outside of the medical model for understanding and making meaning from crisis.

  3. Learn how peer support approaches can be utilized in developing more culturally responsive, trauma informed approach to crisis.

26) Effective Application of Behavioral Principles in Crisis Situations

Presenter: Lesley Chapin - Psy.D., Board Certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy by the Linehan Board of Certification, Vice President and Executive Director of the Pauquette Center for Psychological Services

Ongoing experience of crisis can be one of the most demoralizing aspects of life for clients. Similarly, responding to perpetual crisis and little or not tangible progress to reduce it is one of the leading contributors to clinician burnout and frustration. Understanding and framing client crisis in terms of behavioral principles of reinforcement, shaping, punishment and extinction can be a helpful way to approach crisis situations in order to coach and shape more effective behavior and reduce likelihood of ongoing or future crisis. Within this session, clinicians will learn basics of behavioral principles as well as a consideration for formulating robust behavioral management plans. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Be able to define reinforcement.

  2. Be able to explain shaping.

  3. Explain an extinction or behavioral burst.​

27) Who Cares About the Caregiver?

Presenters: Michael Berge, BS, ADN, Nurse Clinician 2, Nursing Instructor, Winnebago Mental Health Institute

                     Mary Beth Hendrickson, M.S., CCC-SLP

                     Penny L. Boileau, PhD

Promoting the mental well-being of our frontline health workers to foster a strong behavioral health workforce is identified as a top priority for addressing our national mental health crisis. Research has shown that mental health professionals are at an increased risk for caregiver burnout and secondary or vicarious trauma and are furthermore less likely to recognize these symptoms in themselves and/or seek help. This workshop will help participants to learn about ways to identify variables that may be impacting their mental health and focus on ideas to create a safe and inclusive culture to attract and maintain a diverse workforce. This interactive presentation will show participants how the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Winnebago Mental Health Institute, adapted the Safe Person program, first developed by the WISE Initiative for Stigma Elimination, to use a strengths-based approach to increase accessibility of 24/7 peer-to-peer support and connection for caregivers, to increase the quality of care they are able to provide and decrease the stigma surrounding reaching out for support.​

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Learn and identify variables that can impact the quality of care provided by mental health professionals, ranging from burnout to vicarious trauma.

  2. Explore the impact of creating a culture that reduces stigma and acknowledges that reaching out for support is a strength.

  3. Be introduced to and practice evidence-based methods to connect with colleagues and clients in a supportive manner using strength-based approaches, by completing the Safe Person Training and learning the Seven Promises as developed by WISE Initiative for Stigma Elimination.​

28) Gender Informed Treatment with Substance Use Disorders

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenter: William Hutter, PsyD, LMFT

For decades, addiction research only examined drug and alcohol's effect on men as they were the only participants in years of studies. This initial, exclusionary, medical bias reflects some of the particular issues women have faced in addiction. In the 1990s, several U.S. organizations instituted requirements for the inclusion of women as study participants. Since that inclusion, researchers have discovered a number of differences in addiction between various gender identities. This workshop aims to highlight some of those differences.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Better understanding of differences across genders.

  2. How substance usage changes across genders and substances.

  3. Strategies for clinical and non-clinical members.​

29) Northwoods COPE Coalition Building Healthy Connections Where We Live and Work to Break the Walls of Stigma and Reduce Suicides

Presenters: Heidi Pritzl, MSW, LCSW, QPR Master Trainer, Co-lead for the Tri-County COPE Coalition, and Psychotherapist for Aspirus Koller Behavioral Health

                     Adam Nowak, BA, Lakeland Consortium School District Project AWARE-Mental Health Coordinator​​

Heidi and Jordyn will share how their Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Subcommittee for COPE coalition establishes goals and initiatives to prevent suicides and break stigma around mental health each year in Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties.  They will share their current and past workplans, discuss companies they have partnered with to make these initiatives possible, along with connections through media, and community to bring awareness to a topic that has so much taboo.

This session will provide the opportunity for others to share initiatives/strategies they have completed in their community to assist in Wisconsin's goal of zero suicide.  To mirror the theme of the national guidelines for behavioral health crisis tool kit "anyone, anywhere and anytime," we will show you how our team met the person in need where they live, work, and play. These locations include coffee shops, tavern/restaurants, pizza locations, gun shops, etc.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Be able to identify ways to break mental health stigma in their community through county initiatives.

  2. Learn resources and strategies within their state, county, and nationally that can help to prevent a suicide.

  3. Learn the planning process to rolling out a prevention plan/initative within their community and how to gain buy in from other business's and organizations​

 10:30-11:45 am | Closing and Closing Keynote

​Community Solutions for Communities and Individuals in Crisis

This session will be offered virtually and in-person. 

Presenter: Cassandra (Cassie) Walker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)

Suicide and other mental health crises have ben issues across the United States for decades. However, our understandings of trauma, the body and the roles of various community stakeholders has evolved. The rights and agency of people experiences emergencies is also evolving. This talk will discuss why community is vital in preventing and managing crises and how we can improve crisis prevention, response, and care by involving and building communities of care.

Learning Objectives:

  1. ​Audience will be able to critically consider the roles of various stakeholders in crisis prevention, response, and care.

  2. Audience will gain information about crisis care, response, and prevention methods which honor the agency of the persons in crisis.

  3. Audience will be able to name at least 2 ways communities and natural supports can be involved in crisis response, care, or prevention​

​2023 Sponsor and Exhibitor Information

 Become a Conference Sponsor

Get recognized as a key partner in a highly regarded training event for crisis professionals!

Your organization can be a partner in keeping this conference affordable to participants and to maintain its relevance and viability to crisis professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin. Your support will allow the conference to maintain its reputation for top notch keynoters and important professional training topics.

The conference offers four levels of participation. We would also be happy to consider other arrangements you may want to offer.  

 ​Registration is now closed. 

*To be guaranteed inclusion in the printed conference program and have an exhibit table, sponsorships must be secured by Friday, August 25, 2023.

 Diamond $3,500 | Platinum $2,500 | Gold $1,750 | Silver $1,000 

Platinum Gold Silver
​Right of first refusal for 2024 conference
Exclusive sponsorship
Logo on digital conference promotions (large)
X (large) X (small) X (small)
Logo/name on conference websites (large)
X (large) X (small) X (small)
Logo/Name on conference brochure and printed program ​4 times
3 times
2 times
1 time
Exhibit space Double Booth
($850 value!)
Single Booth
($425 value!)
Single Booth
($425 value!)
Single Booth
($425 value!)
Verbal recognition during conference ​4 times
3 times
2 times
1 time
*Conference registration(s) ​8 ($1,800 value!)
4 ($900 value!)
2 ($450 value!)
($450 value!)
Slide show recognition at event ​4+ slides
3 slides
2 slides
1 slide

*Once sponsorship is secured, UWSP will follow up with your company representative in late August or early September to determine who will be utilizing the complimentary registration(s). Sponsorships secured on or after Saturday, August 26, 2023, are not guaranteed inclusion in print materials. Sponsorships and booth space may still be available on or after August 26, 2023; however, exhibit space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu for more information.

The Crisis Intervention Conference reserves the right to deny sponsorship, exhibit booth content, and/or donations for any company/organization, or individual it deems unsuitable for the conference. The 27th annual Crisis Intervention Conference and UWSP Continuing Education are not responsible for damages or loss by a vendor during the conference.

Sponsorships are non-refundable.

 Become an Exhibitor

The 27th Annual Crisis Intervention Conference features an Exhibit Hall available to participants before, during, and after the conference. We encourage all vendors to get creative. Helpful information, self-care ideas, promotional offers, etc., are all welcome!

Exhibitor spaces are FULL! ​Registration is now closed. 

Booth Fee includes the following:​

  • *One complimentary registration, including conference content and meals ($275 value!)
  • One 4'x8' skirted table designed for table-top exhibits
  • Access to more than 600 consumers and family members, administrators, front-line workers, and community professionals involved in crisis intervention.

*Once booth space is secured, UWSP will follow up with your company representative in August to determine who will be utilizing the complimentary registration. Exhibitors that register on or after Saturday, August 26, 2023, are not guaranteed inclusion in print materials. Booth space may still be available on or after Saturday, August 26, 2023; however, exhibit space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu for more information. 

The Crisis Intervention Conference reserves the right to deny sponsorship, exhibit booth content, and/or donations for any company/organization, or individual it deems unsuitable for the conference. The 27th annual Crisis Intervention Conference and UWSP Continuing Education are not responsible for damages or loss by a vendor during the conference.

​Exhibit Booths are non-refundable. 

2023 Conference Information

 2023 Speaker Page

Get to know​ the 2023 presenters by visiting the Speaker Page​! ​

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2023 Consumer Scholarships

The 2023 Crisis Intervention Consumer Scholarship Application is now Closed!

Scholarship recipients have been contacted. Please wait until you hear from UWSP on how to register for the conference with your scholarship. 

A limited number of scholarships is available to consumers of crisis intervention services and those that are peer specialists. Scholarships are considered on a first-come, first-served basis if criteria is met. Applicants will need to describe how they will share information obtained at the conference with local and/or statewide consumer groups. Other factors taken into consideration are past conference attendance, Peer Specialist status, and/or previously awarded scholarships.​ Preference is given to those who are both a consumer and a peer specialist. 

Not all applicants will be guaranteed a scholarship. Please wait for UWSP to notify you of your status before registering. Applicants will be notified of their scholarship application status by July 21, 2023. Scholarship recipients will be emailed instructions with additional registration information. 

Scholarship Application Deadline: June 30, 2023. 

​Please contact uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu​ with concerns or questions. 

 Whova: Conference App

​​​​We are excited to again bring you Whova! 

Whova is more than just a conference app for your phone or tablet, it also offers a desktop platform for those attendees that prefer using a laptop or desktop computer. More information will be sent t​​o conference registrants, but if you would like a sneak peek, watch the Whova How-To Guide. More information on how to download the Whova will be emailed to conference attendees. 

The following is just a sample of what you will be able to access through Whova:                                                           Sponsored by:                                                          

  • Session Handouts
  • Session Evaluations
  • Conference Agenda 
  • Session Locations (in-person) and Links (virtual)
  • Presenter Bios
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Exhibitor Information 


Lodging at the Kalahari Resort

A block of rooms is available at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center. Reservations should be made online to avoid excessive wait times and resort fees. Rooms are only available at the reduced rate for Wednesday, September 20, 2023 and Thursday, September 21, 2023. Please reserve your room as soon as possible as the group rate will only be available until Monday, August 21, 2023 or the resort is sold out. 

If you are unable to book a room at the block rate before August 21, 2023, please contact us at uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu​. UWSP Continuing Education, the Conference Planning Team, and WI DHS do not have control over Kalahari policies or room rates once the room block expires or fills to capacity.  

Due to waterpark maintenance, overnight guests that have an arrival or departure date that goes from September 4th to October 27th, will be provided complimentary Tom Foolery passes for all the registered guests in their room. This is in consideration of the slide tower work and all the other projects around here this fall. Day pass and voucher guests will NOT receive TF passes.​

Important Information from the Kalahari

Per their policy, the Kalahari does not accept completed Credit Card Letter of Authorization forms, Tax Exemption forms, nor Purchase Orders at hotel check-in. They have a dedicated team that pre-approves these forms to ensure validity prior to check-in.  These forms should be submitted no later than 7 days prior to check-in via email or fax 608-254-6116.

The Kalahari highly suggests attendees submit these forms at least two weeks in advance of check-in so their team can process them in a timely manner. Failure to follow this procedure may result in full room and tax charges to your personal card, since their Front Desk will not accept these forms at check-in. The Kalahari General Policy Page explains their policies in full detail. 

Kalahari FAQ
Additional Information about Staying at the Kalahari

 Special Dietary Requests

UWSP Continuing Education works hard to communicate all special meal requests and allergies to the conference venue. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we cannot guarantee all special dietary needs can be met. If you have dietary needs (i.e., low salt, low carb, keto, dairy-free, etc.), you may wish to make alternative meal arrangements.  

 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)

Continuing Education Hours are a measure of participation in continuing education programs. Individuals should consult with their professional association and/or licensing board regarding the applicability of the conference for their profession. It is the individual's responsibility to report CEHs earned to their appropriate credential or licensing board.

The 2023 conference has been approved​ for a total of 9.5​ CEHs by the National Association of Social Workers, Wisconsin Chapter. A link will be provided after the conference for registrants to receive a printable, personalized CEH Certificate of Completion via email.

 Conference Planning Committee

Will Hutter (Co-Chair)
Ashley Williams (Co-Chair)
Liz Bartz
Heidi Disher
Tracy Faust

Alyce Knowlton-Jablonski
Evonne Kundert
Jeff Lewis
Brad Munge
Mary Jo Oliver
Nancy Pierce
Stacy Rohleder
Leah Rolando
​Elizabeth Rudy
Jenna Suleski
Debi Trader
Cartoon Vue​
Thank you for your dedication to the Crisis Intervention learning community!

 Minimum Computer Standards

Participants are responsible for ensuring they have the minimum computer standards for participating in the virtual conference via Zoom.  Zoom works best with Chrome or Firefox. UWSP is not responsible for participant technological issues, including, but not limited to, inadequate bandwidth and/or registrant equipment malfunction. 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2023 Call for Proposals

2023 Crisis Intervention Conference Call for Presenter Proposals

The 2023 Crisis Intervention Conference is scheduled for Thursday-Friday, September 21-22, 2023. It is anticipated that this event will take place in-person at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. Some sessions may be available virtually.The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) and the conference planning committee are accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops.Proposals that demonstrate evidence-based practices, promote strength-based approaches, include the voice of lived experience, address diverse populations, enhance skills, support Crisis Intervention efforts, and energize participants are encouraged. Proposal Deadline is January 12, 2023. Please submit one form per proposal.UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education and Outreach staff and the conference planning committee review all proposals. Selection criteria includes the following: • Demand for the topic. • Presenter(s) experience and qualifications. • Demonstration of diverse perspective or application. • Relevancy (new or advanced level information) and best practices. • Alignment with conference objectives. • History of the topic at the conference, including frequency of similar offerings. • Previous conference evaluation feedback, if applicable. • Preference may be given to proposals on topics that have not been presented at recent conferences. • Alignment with national best practice standards described in Crisis Now and the National Guidelines for Crisis Care – A Best Practice Toolkit.The Crisis Intervention Conference is committed to equity and inclusion. UWSP and the conference planning committee recognize that people come from different contexts and circumstances. This means that on a structural level, some individuals have fewer barriers preventing them from speaking at events like conferences and some individuals have significantly more. These systemic barriers are often a function of racial background, class, gender, and ability. The barriers themselves could be financial, physical, geographical, or social. Each presenter is initially offered the same compensation of complimentary conference registration, a small honorarium, and one night of lodging. Individual requests for additional compensation to alleviate financial barriers are welcome. Indicate your compensation need later in this proposal.

The Call for Proposals Form asks for the following information: • Presenter and Co-Presenter contact information, professional credentials/title, short biography. • 2-3 References who have seen you present or who could speak to the content you would be presenting. • Session Title, Description, 3 Learning Objectives (“Participants will…”). • Additional compensation request? • Answer the question: “How do your personal and professional experiences and formal education connect to this proposal and the conference?” (max. 500 characters) • OPTIONAL demographic questions.

Workshop Proposal Submission button.pngSelected workshop presenters will be notified by email no later than Friday, March 1, 2023.

Email questions to uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2023 Crisis Intervention Conference Call for Presenter Proposals

The proposal Deadline was January 12, 2023. This form is now closed. 

​​Selected workshop presenters will be notified by email no later than Friday, March 1, 2023.

Email questions to uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu.

​​ ​

2023 Conference Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor: 

Granite Hills Hospital_Logo.jpg

Gold Sponsors:


Silver Sponsors:

redi-transports-logo tag.jpg MCHS - SHP Stacked lock-up.jpgRogers Behavioral Health.jpg

This conference would not be possible without our generous conference sponsors! Thank you!

Covid-19 Policy 


At this point, to attend the conference, there is not an official mandate on masking or attendee vaccination status/proof of negative test. The situation remains very fluid and, as such, if protocols should change, we will be certain to inform all conference registrants.Please direct questions or concerns to uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu.

​2023 Cancellation Policy

Per the agreed to terms and conditions, full refunds granted upon receipt of written request to uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu. Request must be received by Friday, September 8, 2023. Cancelling your hotel room does not cancel your conference registration. You will need to contact UWSP Continuing Education at the above address to make the cancellation. Refunds requested between Saturday, September 9, 2023 and Friday, September 15, 2023 will be assessed a $50 processing fee. No refunds will be given on or after Saturday, September 16, 2023. Substitutions can be made at any time, but no shows will be responsible for the full conference fee. Last minute registrations cannot be guaranteed meals or materials.

​​Exhibit booths and Sponsorships are non-refundable.

For questions regarding your registration, please contact UWSP Continuing Education at 715-346-3838 or uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu.