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2023

Speakers

SPREAD HOPE

END THE STIGMA

CONNECTION

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Emcees

Ryan Marsden 

 

Ryan Marsden currently serves as the Executive Director for the Recovery Café Fort Wayne and is the President of Rise Recovery, a local men’s residential treatment provider.

 

Ryan is a native of Fort Wayne and is a person in long term recovery from Opiate Use Disorder and a survivor of childhood sexual trauma/abuse.

 

In addition, Ryan is certified as a Recovery Coach and Addictions Consultant and has received training in Medically Assisted Treatment, Peer Supervision, and Mental Health First Aid, and is a trainer for peers in the state of Indiana. 

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Aisha Diss

Aisha Diss has been married for 12 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, children and granddaughters. She also enjoys music, collecting, and scary movies.

Aisha holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a minor in Psychology. Aisha is a person in long-term recovery from opioid use disorder and justice involvement. With her lived experience, Aisha obtained certifications as a level II Addiction Peer Recovery Coach with mental health and forensic support enhancements, in addition to holding certifications as a level II Alcohol & Drug Addiction Consultant, and as a Supervisor of Peer Recovery. Aisha was recently recognized as the 2023 Peer Recovery Coach of the Year

Aisha founded the nonprofit organization, project.ME, that offers low-barrier peer recovery coaching and harm reduction support in Northeast Indiana. She uses her passion to support others and her knowledge that recovery is possible to extend her mission to the community.

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Speakers

Speakers

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Alice Jordan-Miles, MS Ed

  • Director, Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute

  • Statewide Suicide Prevention Specialist

“Mental Health is Real; Make it Your Friend”

Alice received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Indiana University (IU) Bloomington. Alice currently wears numerous hats at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW) and in life: Faculty in the Department of Human Services with an intentional focus on advising and mentoring first-generation minority students; Director of the Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute; Project Director of the Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition (ISPC); Director of Bienestar Sin Fronteras (Wellness Without Borders); Director of the Indiana Statewide LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Teams Network; Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Committee with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS); and past chair of the Indiana State Suicide Prevention Advisory Council. Alice is a state suicide prevention specialist where she travels the state to provide trainings and consultation in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, Mental Health First Aid, and Cultural Competency and Mental Health; and a master trainer for the QPR (Question Persuade Refer) Institute.

 

Her current position provides leadership statewide and beyond state lines on concerns related to behavioral health. Her responsibilities include professional trainings for public and private school districts, colleges/universities, faith communities, and the United States judicial system. Alice provides presentations, resources and trainings in suicide prevention and intervention to groups, organizations and communities to increase awareness of the importance of mental wellness, and to eliminate the stigma towards help-seeking behaviors. As the Director of ISPC, she coordinates monthly statewide meetings and provides resources and technical assistance to Hoosiers across Indiana. Additionally, Alice leads the implementation of the first-ever statewide Indiana LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team Network that provides outreach and support to survivors of suicide loss in their communities. More importantly, Alice has worked tirelessly to help make suicide prevention efforts more culturally competent through spearheading two initiatives: suicide prevention and intervention in the African American and Latino communities, where she promotes and encourages wellness and resilience through various cultural lenses.

 

Alice is very committed to her family, faith and community. Born and raised in Fort Wayne, her community involvement includes over 30 years of mentoring and advising youth from at-risk communities where she founded the HOT (Hoosiers of Tomorrow) Mentoring Program. Because of her impactful work with youth and her endless efforts in saving lives in Indiana, Alice was awarded the highest recognition bestowed on an alumnus – the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award (DASA). Alice has also received the John Ulmer award for her significant service to first-generation students at PFW. Moreover, her past awards include Latina Woman of Influence, 21 Alive Women in Leadership, YWCA Women of Distinction, IU Alumni President’s Award, Welcoming Fort Wayne Diversity Award, and her latest award - Latinos Count Amiga of the Year Award. Her current involvements include President of IU’s Latino Alumni Association and working as an IU Groups Recommender. Her community involvement further includes a board position with the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Fort Wayne Girlz ROCK. Lastly, Alice has been recognized as one of Fort Wayne’s top 50 connectors!

 

According to Alice, her greatest accomplishments are her three amazing children: Ross, Emilia, and Gabrielle, and three beautiful granddaughters: Audrina, Sophia, and Myla. In her spare time, she enjoys attending outdoor concerts, reading, and gardening.

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Kathy Curtis

"Healing Through Writing"

Kathy Curtis is an author and creative coach who has spent over 30 years designing writing programs to address the emotions of grief, illness, and many other life challenges. Her writing programs have been offered through hospitals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and international online publishers.


Kathy discovered the healing power of writing for herself when she was a teenager going through a difficult situation. Since then she has spent her life studying how and why it is that writing has the power to change your life. She has never met a group that didn’t benefit from writing, no matter what their situation or challenge.

 

In addition to her programs, Kathy has written several books for herself and on behalf of others. Her own memoir, "Invisible Ink,” is written in letters to and from her mother after her death from cancer. She turned the letter-writing she did to soothe her soul into a program that has helped people all over the world do the same.  

 

A well-known mind/body healer once said, “The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” And in Kathy’s experience, that is what writing does. 

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Brooke Farrington, MSW, LCSW, CEDS-S

"RecoverED: Finding Freedom from an Eating Disorder"

Brooke is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist-Supervisor in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  She is the Founder, CEO, and Chief Clinical Officer of Farrington Specialty Centers, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, compulsive exercise, and body image issues for all genders of all ages providing outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization levels of care.  Prior to opening her practice, Brooke worked at an eating disorder facility where she directed the outpatient and intensive outpatient programs and led dance and movement groups in the residential program.  

 

She speaks frequently in Northeast Indiana as an eating disorder expert and has spoken on the national level.  As well as being a therapist, Brooke also teaches dance.  She is a professional member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED), and the Eating Disorder Task Force of Indiana, sitting on the Membership Committee.  

 

She is chair of iaedp™'s Connection, Outreach, and Mentoring Committee and an iaedp™Approved Supervisor.  She was awarded iaedp™’s Member of the Year in 2016.  She is also a member of the Residential Eating Disorders Consortium (REDC) and is a member of the REDC Standards Committee.

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"Both Sides of the Coin"

Tracy and Whitney Bullion are the mom and daughter that have walked the road of recovery. Tracy is the mom…the former enabler…who has the perspective of what it’s like to love someone through the addiction process.  She helps lead the Mom of an Addict group at Pathway in Fort Wayne on Thursday nights.

 

Whitney is in recovery 2.5 years as of September 10 from addiction to alcohol as well as an eating disorder. She is now helping those trying to stay in recovery!

Tracy & Whitney Bullion

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John Humphries

"Freedom"

John Humphries struggled with addiction for 17 years starting in his teens with alcohol which led to other drugs. An encounter with Christ on April 24, 2012, led John to sobriety and redirected his life’s focus to mentoring and supporting all ages in recovery. He has shared the message of awareness, hope, and the dangers of drugs with schools, colleges, city councils, jails, prisons, recovery groups, churches, and community leaders through forums, keynotes, panel discussions and interviews.

John is accredited and has experience in the following areas:

  • Certified peer support specialist

  • Certified community health care worker

  • Certified in Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)

  • trained in Narcan administration

  • Recovery coach (seeking certification) and mentor with:

    •  Hope House Marion

    • Wabash County Court Services, and

    • Community Opioid REsponse (CORE)

 

He has responded to overdoses at the emergency room, some of which were children as young as 14 years of age. He has seen and felt the devastating effects of addiction on individuals, their families, and their communities firsthand and is passionate about the increasing fentanyl and opioid crises plaguing the country.

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Heather Rodriguez

"Statewide Recovery Efforts and Collaboration through the IRN & Regional Recovery Hubs, "

Heather Rodriguez is Vice President of Mental Health America of Indiana Recovery Advocacy and Programs, Director of the Indiana Recovery Network, and Interim Direct of Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition. Heather is a graduate Indiana Wesleyan University graduate with a bachelor and master’s degree in Social Work, and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Consultant (CADAC) II, and a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach (CAPRC) II. 

Heather has a passion for working with underserved and marginalized populations and loves working with both organizations and individuals throughout the state of Indiana to develop and strengthen recovery ecosystems. Heather helped create and oversees the statewide Regional Recovery Hub program which consists of 21 organizations providing free peer recovery support services to all 92 Indiana counties. 

Heather is a person in sustained recovery and believes that recovery supports are an integral part of an individual's journey to overcome challenges associated with substance use and or mental health concerns and that individuals have a right to choose which pathway of recovery works best for them.

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Crystall Kelly, MS, LMHC

  • President of the Society of Black Mental Health Professionals 

  • Owner, Uniquely You Counseling & Wellness Center, LLC 

"Mental Health Awareness in the Black & Brown Communities"

Crystal is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and owner of her own private practice, Uniquely You Counseling & Wellness Center, LLC. She has a true passion for helping peop le to be the best versions of themselves. Crystal has over 14 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults healing from depression, anxiety, life stressors, and grief.

 

Crystal’s true passion is working with individuals dealing with trauma-related issues. She is trained in Rapid Resolution Therapy in which she helps those who have been impacted by trauma find lasting healing.

Crystal believes in meeting people where they are and she enjoys the therapeutic relationship that is formed with each person in which trust is established and hope is regained.

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"Who's Your Tribe?"

Garrett, CEO and Co-Founder of SafeHaven Freedom Ministries, is peer recovery coach and an Army veteran with lived experience in addiction, PTSD, TBI, mental health struggles, and physical disability. He also has personally lost a teenage son to the fentanyl epidemic. He now fights for the marginalized, specifically focusing on teens and veterans, to help them overcome their struggles, and come alongside them to help them find freedom and faith restored.

Garrett Disinger

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Live Music by Two Eight Band

Two Eight Band" is an Indianapolis based group of musicians and friends who use their music and concerts to empower recovery efforts and faith movements around the world. The band’s line up has changed over the years, ever since Eric and Jillian first started Two Eight in 2005, but their mission remains the same.

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