Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium 2012

I received a message today from Alice Krueger (SL:Gentle Heron) at Virtual Ability Inc, about an upcoming symposium. Save April 28 as the date – there’s an amazing array of speakers and topics. You can read the schedule below or check out Virtual Ability’s blog.

The full details:

Our society too often takes mental health for granted and too frequently stigmatizes people with mental health issues. The Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium 2012, on Saturday, April 28, offers a variety of perspectives for thinking positively about mental health.

Presentations will take place at various locations in Second Life.  The full schedule is posted below, and at www.virtualability.org/symposium2012.

Alice Krueger, president of Virtual Ability, Inc., notes, “A symposium is a formal meeting where individual presentations are followed by discussion. We intend these sessions to encourage audience participation with the presenters and especially with the content the presenters share. Mental health is too important a topic to ignore.”

SCHEDULE, PRESENTERS AND TOPICS

 

COGNITIVE REHABILITATION

PRESENTER: Dr. Tina Garcia

Saturday April 28, 2012, 8:00 am PDT

 

“VODKA AND SALIVA” FROM PAUL BROKS’INTO THE SILENT LAND

READER: Alice Krueger (Second Life Avatar: Gentle Heron)

Saturday April 28, 2012, 9:00 am PDT

Health & Wellness Pavilion, Healthinfo Island, Second Life

Gentle Heron will read aloud (with text) a chapter from Paul Broks’ book Into the Silent Land. This essay explores the nature of self-understanding. We will discuss the viewpoints presented, and think about how we view ourselves as individuals unique among all of humanity.

Author Information: Broks is a consultant in neuropsychology at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK. He was a runner-up for the Wellcome Trust Science Prize, and writes about his work as a neuropsychologist in magazines and newspapers as well as this book of essays.

Presented simultaneously in voice and text.

 

PATHWAYS TO MENTAL HEALTH

PRESENTER: Frank Hannah (Second Life Avatar: Frederick Hansome)

Saturday April 28, 2012, 10:00 am PDT

Blue Orchid Cabana, Virtual Ability Island, Second Life

This lecture introduces a concept of mental health that will probably be new to you. You will be able to use it to develop a rock-solid self concept, learn to make wise choices, accomplish more and improve your relationships.  This approach to optimum mental health helps prevent the mental and physical problems that may otherwise occur. Handicaps don’t count here: everyone can develop optimum mental health!

Presenter Bio:  Frank Hannah (SL avatar: Frederick Hansome) is a retired mental health counselor with over 20 years clinical experience in private practice. He holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Nova University (now NovaSoutheastern).

In SL, as the alt “Plato Greybeard”, Hannah moderated a philosophical discussion group for about 2 1/2 years at Plato’s Academy. He closed the Academy to use his SL time to promote mental health. Please visit his website: www.PathwaysToMentalHealth.com.

Presented simultaneously in voice and text.

 

WHY VIRTUAL COUNSELING SHOULD BE VIEWED AS ADVANCED TELEMEDICINE

(Keynote Presentation)

PRESENTER:  Dick Dillon (Second Life Avatar: Coughran Mayo)

Saturday April 28, 2012, 11:00 am PDT

The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island, Second Life

We will discuss a variety of ways in which the characteristics of virtual world platforms, when used in the service of counseling, are not only as good as “real life,” but usually better.

Among the issues to be reviewed are “24/7 durability,” role plays and scene changes, and “I am my Avatar and my Avatar is me – or NOT”

Presenter Bio:  Dick Dillon has been in the mental health field for over 30 years in a variety of management and administrative positions. He recently left his position as Senior VP of Planning and Development for Preferred Family Healthcare to open his own consultation firm, Innovaision, LLC – dedicated to helping nonprofits realize the potential of using virtual worlds and other technologies.  Through his SL avatar, Coughran Mayo, Dillon has spent over 5 years actively involved in Second Life, working for the NonProfit Commons initiative and building and hosting the Preferred Family HC sim. He has made numerous presentations and been interviewed on Metanomics,  Rockcliffe University’s “Inside The Avatar Studio” program and other inworld news and issues programs.

Presented in voice, with text transcription.

 

COUNSELOR EDUCATION IN SECOND LIFE

PRESENTERS: Dr. Debra London and Dr. Marty Jencius

Saturday April 28, 2012, Noon PDT

 

THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF PTSD

PRESENTER:  Anya Ibor

Saturday April 28, 2012, 1:00 pm PDT

The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island, Second Life

The brain is an amazing organ. Injuries such as those which are associated with PTSD may never heal. But the brain is “plastic,” which means the functions damaged by the brain injury can be relearned by other parts of the brain.

Presenter Bio:  Anya Ibor is the Founder and Executive Director of Fearless Nation PTSD Support, a 501c3 NonProfit Organization dedicated to providing free public education, support and advocacy for the understanding of PTSD. Since 2009 Fearless Nation has provided a virtual therapeutic support group.

Presented in voice, with text transcription.

 

MENTAL HEALTH AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PEER SUPPORT

PRESENTER:  MermaidSue Bailey

Saturday April 28, 2012, 3:00 pm PDT

Yellow Hibiscus Cabana, Virtual Ability Island, Second Life

MermaidSue Bailey will lead a discussion on the importance of peer support to good mental health.

Presenter Bio:  MermaidSue Bailey is facilitator of the self-help group “When Life Goes Out of Control,” which is in its second year now and becoming a useful weekly fixture for its increasing group of members, all of whom either have a disability themselves or a family disability which impacts on daily life.  In RL, Sue works as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in the United Kingdom, in private practice and within the hospice movement. She has two teenage daughters and is a school governor.   In theory she doesn’t bring her professional life into Second Life, but experience in group therapy, as well as being a woman with a disability, gives her useful skills in facilitating more informal groups in virtual settings – but very much as a member of the group also in need of support from other people with disabilities.

Presented in text, with voice transcription.

 

MENTAL HEALTH ISN’T ALL MENTAL

PRESENTER: Roberto Salvatierra (Second Life Avatar: Roberto Salubrius)

Saturday April 28, 2012, 4:00 pm PDT

The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island, Second Life

Roberto was diagnosed with agoraphobia. He was unable to continue medical school, and became confined to his home. He will tell about his experiences, and what he learned about his health.

Presenter Bio:  Roberto Salvatierra, (SL avatar Roberto Salubrius), was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1975. He had a bilingual education, and since an early age he worked with computers. At age 19, he started having panic attacks, until it evolved to agoraphobia by the time he was 24. He went to Medical School, where he got a minor on medical sciences and was going for his degree as Medical Doctor until his agoraphobia caught up with him, short of finishing Medical School. Since then he has been working on Second Life as a full time programmer for his own company, Techno Kitty Development, and for co-owned animation company Medhue Animations. In his free time he does a lot of medical research, especially on Mental Health, Cardiology, Endocrinology and Dysautonomias.

Presented in text, with voice transcription.

 

MENTAL HEALTH AND MINORITY COMMUNITIES

PRESENTER:  DyVerse Jeffery-Steele

Saturday April 28, 2012, 5:00 pm PDT

Yellow Hibiscus Cabana, Virtual Ability Island, Second Life

April is (US) National Minority Health Month. Minority communities face unique problems related to mental health.

Living in poverty has the most measurable effects on the rates of mental illness. Minorities are overrepresented among the lowest socioeconomic groups, and thus have higher rates of mental illness than do non-Hispanic whites. Racism and discrimination cause increased levels of stress, which can adversely affect mental health.

Presenter Bio:  DyVerse Jeffery-Steele is a peer support leader for chronic illness and the issues that arise from illness.  He has been a peer support leader in Second Life and in real life for HIV/AIDS and diabetes, and the mental health issues that come with those diseases.  A strong supporter and user of social media and virtual worlds for health support and education, DyVerse has an office on Health Commons island.

Presented simultaneously in voice and text.

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