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Behavioral Health Friday Forums

Avera’s Friday Forums is an educational series specially designed to educate Nurses, Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers, and other disciplines who work with children and adolescent youth. The sessions are offered once a month, free of charge, via Zoom (an online videoconferencing platform). Continuing Education Hours are attainable and free of charge.

Current Forum Schedule

All forums will be held the fourth Friday of the month from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., with a few exceptions. Forums can be attended via an online video meeting. A location at Avera Behavioral Health Center and a location at Avera eCARE will be available for those wanting to join the online session in person. The location of the presenters will vary but participants may join the meeting from either location or online regardless of the presenter's location.

To register to receive the link for the online Zoom meeting, view the Current Forum Schedule, and to receive communication on future presentations, please register within the Avera CE Portal (available to all, not just Avera employees).

For any questions regarding Friday Forums, please contact Abbie Seliski at abbie.seliski@avera.org or 605-322-5391.

Upcoming Friday Forums:

Topic: 211 University

  • When: Friday, September 27th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: Betsy Schuster joins us from the Helpline Center
  • Goal: To provide a ‘how to’ on incorporating the vast amount of resources available through the Helpline Center website:

    • How to effectively search for resources

    • How to translate resources

    • How to use other tools available to assist individuals.

Topic: Mental Health Awareness and Crisis Support

  • When: Friday, October 25th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: Jana Sprenger joins us from the South Dakota DSS Division of Behavioral Health

Topic: Emotional Recognition and Regulation – How We Help Our Students Succeed

  • When: Friday, November 15th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: Nikki Eining joins us from Avera Behavioral in Brookings

Topic: QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)

  • When: Friday, December 13th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: Sheri Nelson joins us from the Helpline Center

Topic: TBD

  • When: Friday, January 31st from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: TBD

Topic: Identifying Trauma in Children and Creating a Culture of Healing

  • When: Friday, February 28th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: Mark Weber joins us from Lighting a New Way

Topic: TBD

  • When: Friday, March 27th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: TBD

Topic: TBD

  • When: Friday, April 24th from 2:00-3:00 PM.
  • Speaker: TBD

Archived Friday Forums

September 28, 2018

  • “Avera Behavioral Health Services Assessment Process”
  • Laura Grayson, LPC, MS, Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Counselor, Avera BHS

October 26, 2018

  • “CPS Role, Defining Child Abuse & Neglect, Reporting Abuse & Neglect”
  • Brodrick Stolsmark, BS, Sociology & Human Services Supervisor, Child Protection Services

November 16, 2018

  • “Adverse Childhood Experiences Study”
  • Teresa Thie, LSW, Education & Public Awareness Specialist, Children’s Home Society

December 14, 2018

  • “Understanding Grief and Trauma in Children”
  • Mary Weber, MS, LPC, LMFT, Lighting a New Way

February 8 - 2019 (rescheduled from January 25)

  • “Building Resiliency in Our Youth, The Power of Relationships”
  • Nikki Eining, CSW-PIP, MSW, QMHP, Avera Behavioral Health Services, Brookings, SD

February 22, 2019

  • “Integrating Refugee & Immigrant Families: Challenges & Resources”
  • Christy Nicolaisen, Executive Director, Multi-Cultural Center
  • “A New Norm” - A book reading by Tom Roberts, author (in Collaboration with Avera and Children’s Home Society)

March 29, 2019

  • “Suicide Prevention & Challenges in the Native American Community”
  • Tori Standing Cloud, BA, Avera Behavioral Health Services Child & Adolescent Program

April 26, 2019

  • “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder”
  • Brendan Brodersen, DO, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Avera University Psychiatry Assoc.

October 27, 2017

  • “Addressing Emotional Needs of Children on the Autism Spectrum”
  • Julia Alzoubaidi, PhD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

November 17, 2017

  • “The Power of Play: How Play can Support Wanted Behaviors”
  • Nikki Eining, MSW, CSW, QMHP, Avera Behavioral Health Outpatient Services, Brookings

December 15, 2017

  • “Internet Crimes Against Children”
  • Detective Jason Holbeck, Internet Crimes Against Children, Sioux Falls Police Department

January 26, 2018

  • “Turning the Corner on Teen Suicide”
  • Colleen Weber, RN-BC, Child/Adolescent Manager, Avera Behavioral Health Center and Natasha Sundet, RN-BC, Clinical Nurse Educator, Avera Behavioral Health Center

February 9, 2018

  • “Aggression in Children”
  • Sarah Flynn, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

March 23, 2018

  • “School Refusal”
  • Matthew Wittry, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

April 20, 2018

  • “Cultural Focus & Mental Health in the Native American Community”
  • Serene Thin Elk, MA, LPC, QMHP, ACT, Southeastern Behavioral Health

September 23, 2016

  • “Recognizing and Responding to Suspected Child Abuse”
  • Michele Whalen-Ridings, BS, Family & Consumer Sciences, DSS Division of Child Protection, Lead Family Services Specialist

October 14, 2016

  • “Understanding the Effects of Grief and Trauma in Children”
  • Mary Weber, MS, LPC, LMFT, Lighting a New Way

November 18, 2016

  • “Understanding Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder”
  • Renuka Velisetty, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

December 16, 2016

  • “DSM-V: Diagnostic Overview”
  • Matthew Wittry, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

January 27, 2017

  • “Problem Solving Skills and Self-Motivation Techniques”
  • Alauldeen Ali, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

February 24, 2017

  • “Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Research-Based Treatment Interventions”
  • Wallace Jackmon, Ph.D, LCSW-PIP, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

March 24, 2017

  • “The Power of Play: How Play Can Support Wanted Behaviors in the Home Throughout High School”
  • Nikki Eining, MSW, CSW, QMHP, Avera Behavioral Health Outpatient Services

April 21, 2017

  • “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Working with Children and Adolescents”
  • Alauldeen Ali, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates
  • January 15, 2016
    Topic: Understanding Conduct Disorder
    Speakers: Alauldeen Ali, Medical Resident, Psychiatry, Avera University Psychiatry Associates
  • February 19, 2016
    Topic: The Silent Epidemic: Sleep Disorders and Sleep Problems in Children
    Speaker: William Bryce Gammeter, MD, Adolescent Medicine, Avera University Psychiatry Assoc.
  • March 18, 2016
    Topic: ADHD: Current State of the Evidence
    Speaker: Thomas R. Shaffer, PhD, Psychologist/Neuropsychologist, Avera BHS Outpatient Services

  • April 22, 2016
    Topic: Zero Suicide Initiative
    Speakers: Colleen Weber, RN, Nurse Manager Child/Adolescent Programs, Avera Behavioral Health
    Janet Kittams-Lalley, MA, LPC, Executive Director, HelpLine Center

  • September 25, 2015
    Topic: Current Drug Trends / Gangs
    Speaker: Robert Draeger, BA, Sioux Falls Police Department/Lincoln Sr. High Resource Officer
  • October 23, 2015
    Topic: Making Sense of Threat Evaluations
    Speaker: JC Chambers, EdD, LP, LMFT, CCDCIII, Stronghold Counseling Services, Inc.
  • November 13, 2015
    Topic: Medication Management and Children
    Speaker: Ann Verma, Medical Resident, Child Psychiatry, Avera University Psychiatry Associates
  • December 11, 2015
    Topic: Language-Based Learning Disorders
    Speaker: Jane Heinemeyer, MA, CCC/SLP, Instructor, Department of Communication Services and Disorders, University of South Dakota
  • September 26, 2014
    Topic: Engaging Multi-problem Families & Dealing with the Conflicted Child
    Speaker: Todd Herrboldt, MSW, CSW, PIP, QMHP, Family Service, Inc.
  • October 24, 2014
    Topic: The Effects of Poverty & Homelessness on Youth
    Speaker: Stacy Tieszen, Coordinator, Minnehaha County Homeless Advisory Board
  • November 21, 2014
    Topic: Human Trafficking & at Risk Youth
    Speaker: Kevin Koliner, Chief, Appellate & Human Rights Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota
  • December 12, 2014
    Topic: Mobilizing the Community in Matters of Public Policy & Addressing Children’s Needs
    Speaker: Greg Boris, Ed.D, Senior Policy & Program Specialist & Interim Director, South Dakota Voices for Children
  • February 27, 2015
    Topic: Understanding Attachment Issues
    Speaker: Lisa Stellinga, MS, QMHP, LPC-MH, CCDCIII, Lighting A New Way Counseling Services
  • March 27, 2015
    Topic: Panel Discussion
    Speakers: Suicide Prevention Task Force

2013 - 2014

  • February 28, 2014
  • Topic: Techniques/Interventions for Coping with Specific Issues
    Speaker: Shane Hamilton, CSW-PIP, Avera Behavioral Health Outpatient Services
  • January 24, 2014
    Topic: Compassion Fatigue
    Speaker: Patricia Lindemann, MS, LPC, Avera Behavioral Health Outpatient Services
  • December 13, 2013
    Topic: Identifying & Working with Children with Sexualized Behaviors
    Speaker: Clint Sperle, MA, LPC-MH, Great Plains Psychological Services
  • November 22, 2013
    Topic: Sleep Problems & Sleep Disorders in Children & Adolescents
    Speaker: Dr. Bryce Gammeter, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates
  • November 1, 2013
    Topic: When Children Refuse School: Prescriptive Treatment
    Part 1 (Flynn) | Part 2 (Greguson)
    Speaker: Dr. Lezlee Greguson, Ph.D., Avera Midwest Psychiatric Medicine, and Dr. Sarah Flynn, MD, Avera University Psychiatry Associates

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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