Pasco-Hernando Community College 2nd Annual Symposium: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Pasco-Hernando Community College held its second annual symposium this winter, with this year’s topic focusing on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Over 150 students, medical professionals, mental health providers, survivors and loved ones, law enforcement officers and members of the community attended the successful event on Friday, February 25, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the Brooksville campus.  The event was sponsored by the Pasco-Hernando Community College North Campus Psychology Club and Psi Beta chapter, along with BayCare Behavioral Health Services and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Hernando chapter. 

The symposium featured more than 15 guest speakers who discussed the causes, signs and symptoms of PTSD, as well as treatment options and how to overcome this devastating condition.  The keynote speaker was Michele Rosenthal, survivor turned go-to expert on the subjects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, self-empowered healing, and accomplishing change from deep within.  Ms. Rosenthal is the author of BEFORE THE WORLD INTRUDED: A Memoir of Trauma, Survival, Identity & The Pursuit of Joy, to be released in 2011.  Ms. Rosenthal’s web site is http://healmyptsd.com/ .  Breakout sessions were held throughout the day with presentations from BayCare, NAMI-Hernando, Veteran Affairs, Dr. Mike Dubi, HPH Hospice, Critical Incident Stress Management trainers, and others. 

Registration, lunch and refreshments for the symposium were offered at no cost to attendees who were asked to bring donations of hygiene items to be included in “personal bags” for children between the ages of 10 through 17 staying at New Beginnings, a youth shelter.  The shelter, operated by Youth Family Alternatives, is open to youth who are runaway or homeless or youth in need of a short- term out of home respite placement for any reason.   The shelter also takes in youth who are in need of an emergency shelter placement due to abuse and/or neglect and for youth in foster care who have experienced a disruption in their foster placement.

Planning is already underway for next year’s symposium, which will likely focus on Childhood Development Disorders.

By Kathleen Hughes De Sousa, Ph.D.

Southeast Regional VP of Psi Beta

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