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Mid-America PTTC has partnered with the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity to bring you four unique podcast episodes in recognition of Pride Month 2024. We hope this learning modality is a breath of fresh air among a world of webinars. We encourage listeners to use this resource as a way to work away from the desk. Listen to these conversations while enjoying a good view, going on a walk, or any other way you are enjoying the summer weather and pride month.   Episode 1: Why Focus on LGBTQ+ People? In this episode, our guest Angela Weeks, talks about disparities affecting LGBTQ+ people, the coming-out process, social hardships faced by the community, and resilience. Release Date: June 6th Visit the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for Related Resources   Episode 2: Supporting LGBTQ+ Older Adults & Understanding Historical Trauma In this episode our guest, Dr. Larry Bryant, discusses the historical trauma that LGBTQ+ older adults have endured. Dr. Bryant shares his personal journey of loss, resilience, and triumph. Release Date: June 13th Visit the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for Related Resources   Episode 3: We have to Support Families of LGBTQ+ People In this episode our guest is Vida Khavar, who discussed family support, real stories of family journeys, and strategies for reaching out. Release Date: June 20th Visit the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for Related Resources   Episode 4: What is Gender Affirming Care? In this episode our guests are Elliott Hinkle and Ashley Austin, who discuss gender affirming care, the importance of being supportive, and suggest resources for engaging in meaningful discussions. Release Date: June 26th Visit the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for Related Resources
Published: May 21, 2024
Nathan Wray a Prevention Coordinator for the Roane County Anti-drug Coalition in Tennessee. He’s also a highly sought after motivational speaker whose life story is nothing short of inspirational. Nathan speaks from the perspective of lived experience, in hopes of empowering youth, and his story is a powerful testament to the human spirit's resilience. Nathan’s message combines his passion for change with a sense of humor that connects with the audience to make a lasting impact. In his spare time, he hangs out with his four kids and his beautiful life. Website: Instagram: Facebook:
Published: April 29, 2024
I am not a photographer by education or formal training. I often describe myself as an “accidental photographer” since most of what I know is self-taught - born out of a pure love of the outdoors and the beauty of creation. My journey into photography began near the end of my career as a federal drug prosecutor where I supervised the Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force – a group of agents, analysts and prosecutors who investigated and prosecuted high-level drug trafficking organizations. During that time, I was an eyewitness to some of the darkest aspects of society. Although my legal career was exciting and challenging, the investigation of these cases put me in direct contact with all forms of greed, addiction, violence, abuse and neglect of children, and the loss of dignity, health, freedom, and even life itself. Without recognizing it, all of those things weighed on my heart, mind and soul in ways that I couldn’t imagine at the time. It took a mid-life crisis to bring me into the world of serious photography when I realized that decades of exposure to the darkest side of humanity had impacted my ability to recognize many of life’s simple pleasures. Up to that point in my life, my wife and I had experienced blessings that are found in a blur of family activities – ballgames, school, church, Scouts, camping, hiking, birthdays, holidays, and occasional vacations. But as our children left home to attend college and raise families of their own, I found myself working longer hours and enjoying life less. After our last child left for college, I reached a turning point with the realization that I needed a hobby, something that would help me focus my attention on more positive thoughts and experiences. My choice at the time was an inexpensive film camera. Although I initially lacked the skills necessary to successfully capture a beautiful image, the simple act of looking through the lens of a camera allowed me to re-discover everything that is wonderful in life – a world full of amazing people, beautiful landscapes, fascinating creatures, and boundless opportunities and adventures. Through the lens of a camera, I rediscovered a sense of joy that I recognized as a gift from childhood when the world was full of wonder and awe. Now, many years later, I am blessed with opportunities to speak and train at local, state, regional and national conferences on a variety of subjects relating to the law, law enforcement, drug education, building strong communities, protecting and nurturing children, and photography. Because of my law enforcement background, many of my presentations require me to describe the grim realities of bad choices that negatively impact children, families and communities, but these opportunities also allow me to provide positive messages and solutions that can overcome feelings of hopelessness, pain, surrender, and despair. This is especially important in working directly with youth (ranging from those who are severely “at risk” to kids who seem blessed with every opportunity in life). At both ends of this spectrum I find that young people are eager to be “seen” AND heard by adults, and when given the right information and encouragement, they become eager to serve AND to lead. Increasingly, my youth workshops include teaching about photography and the great outdoors. My best days involve a photography/nature workshop followed by an outdoor excursion with a busload of kids. The combination of my professional background and love of photography allows me to share real life experiences that provide a stark contrast between choices that bring misery and pain with choices that can lead to a fulfilling and joyful life. By sharing these images, my purpose is to encourage others to make good choices and live happy and healthy lives. By tapping into the sense of wonder we all experienced as little children, we can all rediscover a world that is infinitely more satisfying than anything offered by a popular culture that often leads people in the wrong direction. One of my favorite photographers, Galen Rowell once said: “You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either.” I hope that you enjoy each sunrise and sunset as you journey through a wonderful life. Website: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook:  
Published: April 18, 2024
Rodney Wambeam, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Scientist at the Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC) of the University of Wyoming (UW). He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at UW. Dr. Wambeam completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska in 1999 and served as policy advisor to Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson. He was Director of the Evaluation Research Department at the Nebraska Council to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse before moving home to Wyoming in 2002. At WYSAC, Dr. Wambeam and his team conduct numerous substance abuse prevention and treatment research projects in many states including Arkansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming. He currently leads the Federal Prevention Block Grant, State Opioid Response Grant, and National Opioid Litigation evaluations in Arkansas, as well as leading the Opioid/Fentanyl Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan in Wyoming. He has presented more than 50 keynotes across the country on substance abuse prevention with millennials and on the history of alcohol in America. His book “The Community Needs Assessment Workbook” from Oxford University Press came out in 2015. Email: [email protected] Website: Book: The Community Needs Assessment Workbook
Published: April 4, 2024
Kris Gabrielsen is the co-director of the Great Lakes Prevention Technology Transfer Center. She has worked in the substance misuse prevention field for over 30 years. Kris was the Associate Director of the Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT), co-authored the first Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Training curriculum, and co-authored the textbook, Substance Abuse Prevention: The Intersection of Science and Practice. As a consultant, she has worked with states and communities across the nation to bridge the gap between research and practice, assisting prevention professionals in maximizing their effectiveness. Web site: Website: Website: Facebook: LinkedIn: The funder of this project, along with all other products of the Mid-America PTTC is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although funded by SAMHSA, the content of this recording does not necessarily reflect the views of SAMHSA. Many factors influence a person’s chance of developing a mental and/or substance use disorder. Effective prevention focuses on reducing those risk factors, and strengthening protective factors, that are most closely related to the problem being addressed. The Social Development Research Group is a recognized leader in the field of prevention. Their work is guided by the belief that many common behavior, health, and social problems can be prevented. They have studied the causes of these problems in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and their research has enriched lives, influenced policy, and strengthened communities across the United States and around the world.
Published: March 21, 2024
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