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“Living in the Now:  Moving from Anxiety and Depression to Recovery and Peace”

An annual conference to help those journeying with people with mental illness

Friday, August 26
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In Person at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
Registration Cost: $40 (lunch included)
IL CEUs (for mental health professionals): $35 (additional fee)

Illinois Continuing Education Units Offered for Attendance

Statistic given regarding the President’s budget for mental health: Two out of five adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression, the White House wrote, as the country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages. Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately undertreated as their burden of mental illness has continued to rise.

For more information, contact 618-394-6281 or email

 PRESENTER: Dr. Luis Giuffra

Morning Presentation #1: “Depression! Now What? – The Latest Treatments”

Major Depression is a chronic condition that is one of the most common causes of disability worldwide. Fortunately, there have been significant advances in the way it can be treated. There are a number of newer medications (like ketamine and neurosteroids) as well as neuromodulation techniques (like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation [TMS] and Vagus Nerve Stimulation [VNS]) that help us improve the health of our depressed patients. In addition, there are robust psychosocial interventions that are essential for recovery and also help depressed patients stay in remission. This talk will provide an overview of Major Depression and its treatment.

Dr. Luis Giuffra is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Washington University. He has received several awards, including fellowships from the McArthur Foundation (for research in Major Depression) and the UK Mental Health Foundation (for research in Alzheimer’s Disease). In 2011, he received the Mortimer Goodman award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Dr. Giuffra has been recognized by his peers as one of the “Best Doctors in America” for the past several years. Giuffra specializes in psychopharmacology and has a special interest in Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Anxiety Disorders.

Morning Presentation #2: “Moving from Anxiety and Depression: Resilience and Beyond”
In this presentation, Dr. Marcie Phillis will discuss how we can move from anxiety and depression to resilience and beyond. Anxiety and depression, aside from their clinical diagnoses, can become social set points. These social set points serve as markers, both for the person experiencing the mental health issues, and those around them. The afflicted person will employ various coping mechanisms: Some healthy, some not, in the quest to regain stability. Eventually, individuals who employ healthy coping mechanisms, and avoid maladaptive ones, begin the journey to resilience and beyond. Through 11 years of interviews conducted with resilient trauma survivors, Dr. Phillis has created a collection of resilient behaviors and documented how these trauma survivors became resilient thrivers. She will unpack some of these methods of resilience and discuss their common threads.
Learning Objectives:
1. Attendees will recognize how anxiety and depression can become set points.
2. Recognize and identify types of coping mechanisms persons experiencing anxiety and depression may use – healthy and not.
3. Retain information pertaining to the transformation from anxious and depressed to resilient.
4. Apply what they have learned in their own lives and/or apply to programmatic elements in their organizations to promote resilience.
5. Teach others the skills of resilience.

Marcie Phillis, PhD is the Community Relations Coordinator responsible for Rosecrance Mental Health and Substance Treatment in central Illinois. She has more than 24 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector. Marcie earned her PhD in sociology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, a Master’s degree in in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York City, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Saint Louis University. Her dissertation and 11 years of research focuses on resilience strategies of trauma survivors. She is deeply committed to addressing social determinants of health in her community. She gives trainings in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed care to schools and community groups. In her spare time, Marcie enjoys painting, hiking and volunteering with Books to Prisoners.

Afternoon Presentations: “Connecting to Values as Self-care” and “Developing Inner Listening Skills”
The term self-care continues to gain momentum as we all recognize the weights we carry, but, for many of us, this term is vague and simply feels like we have to add things to an already full schedule. One way to reduce this feeling of addition is to start developing a relationship with yourself that is always in a state of self-care. Values allow us to maintain self-awareness, keep us pointed toward authenticity, and help us structure meaning around our daily lives. In these talks we will look at some of the warning signs of burnout and toxic stress, patterns that cause us to neglect ourselves, and strategies to connect to our values in ways that are truly reflective of who we are at our core.

Chaz Franke has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from McKendree University, and a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Saint Louis University (SLU). Chaz received his clinical license in 2009.
Chaz is a therapist and clinical supervisor for Light Source, a small group practice in Belleville, Illinois. Chaz is also adjunct faculty in the Saint Louis University MSW program.
Chaz has been practicing therapy full time since 2007. Since the beginning of his career as a therapist, Chaz has worked with trauma and its long reaching effects. This area of concentration has included extensive work with all ages and all walks of life. Chaz specializes in self-compassion and integrating Eastern thought and philosophy into the therapeutic process. Chaz has presented on topics including, but not limited to, Trauma, Wisdom and Self-Compassion, Mindfulness, Self-Care, Transference and Countertransference, and Early Intervention and Listening Skills. Chaz provides both clinical and reflective supervision to clinicians across many settings to help further their ability to find their voice in the field and maintain engagement in their work.

For more information, contact 618-394-6281 or email

2022 Sponsors
Chestnut Health Systems
Madison County Mental Health Board
NAMI Southwestern Illinois
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – Victorious Missionaries
St. Clair County Mental Health Board

2022 Exhibitors
Call for Help
Comprehensive Behavioral Health
Madison County Mental Health Board
Pasta’s Purpose:  Dog-assisted Wellness Solutions
Victorious Missionaries and many more

When Mental Illness Hits Home Brochure
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