Trauma, Suicide & Addiction in the Berkshires:
What We Can Do



All Credits have been Approved!

Please read through the information on this page for details on our conference. We have also setup a page with some of the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about the conference...for a quick answer to your questions please check there first before calling or emailing. Thank you!


NOTE: Advance registration & payment are required


Thursday, June 1, 2017
7:30 am Registration & Breakfast
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Conference


Jiminy Peak Conference Center
11 Corey Road, Hancock, MA 01237
Download Facility Map


NOTE: Final conference cost is based on whether CEUs are requested.
Registration - No Credits: $30.00 Includes Registration & Meals ONLY
Registration - With Credits: $60.00 Includes Registration, Meals & CEUs

Credits available for any  of the following: Social Work, Nursing, LMFT, LMHC,  Substance Abuse Counselors, Rehabilitation Counselors and Psychology


Conference will fill before registration deadlines - please register early to guarantee a seat. We will lock registration and setup a waiting list once all seats are reserved


Online registration with payment until May 25th (or until conference is full) using a Credit Card, PayPal or Apple Pay. Once you select choice of Credit/No Credit option fill in questions and proceed to shopping cart icon to complete order.


Mail-in Registration with payment is only available until May 15th or until full with a completed registration form (Page 4 of Conference Brochure below) and mail with check:
Check payable to: NAMI-Berkshire County
Mail registration and check:
NAMI-BC, Attn: June Conference, 333 East St. Rm. 417, Pittsfield, MA 01201
More info: (413)443-1666 or email
NOTE: Due to space limitations envelope must be postmarked by May 15th or it cannot be accepted



Trauma, Suicide & Addiction in the Berkshires: What We Can Do
The Berkshires, the Commonwealth and the nation are in the middle of an epidemic of suicide, opioid and alcohol poisoning, and chronic liver disease. Adverse childhood experiences that predispose to these events have been identified and are associated with increased risk of suicide attempts and chronic medical conditions.
Understanding the role of trauma in the generating of suffering leads to greater compassion and trauma-informed approaches to prevention, care, healing, and growth. A robust literature around resilience and mentorship suggest proven strategies that can help both individuals and communities organize to meet challenges of this nature.


8:00 amConference Overview
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to explain the need for a trauma-informed approach to address the rising trends in opioid poisoning and suicide in the Berkshires.
Alex Sabo, MD – Chair & Program Director of Department of Psychiatry, Berkshire Medical Center

8:15 am“Trauma: Epidemiology and Epigenetics as Guides Towards Successful Prevention, Healing, and Growth” (2-hours)
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to:
List 7 adverse childhood experiences associated with increased risk of suicide attempts and chronic medical illness in adulthood; explain how nurturing young in rat models (of human developmental stress) leads to the epigenetic-mediated expression of glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus and why that is important to your mental and physical health; explain why these two “discoveries” will be key drivers for prevention strategies and integrating behavioral health into primary care settings and other community settings; explain how concepts from the resilience, mentoring and yoga-mindfulness literature are starting points for communities to mobilize their helping resources.
Alex Sabo, MD

10:15 amBREAK

10:30 amWORKSHOPS – (1-hour + 50 min) Choose one of the two breakout session:
1 - “Youth Development, Trauma and Suicidal Behavior”
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to explain how adverse childhood experiences impact development, describe the results of a study on resilience-building, and suggest strategies to foster resilience and prevent suicide.
Brenda Butler, MD – Pediatric Psychiatrist, Berkshire Medical Center
2 - “Adult Opioid and Suicide Fatalities: Data, Intervention Strategies, and Restoring Hope”
Part 1-Understanding Suicide Among Working-Age Men - Franklin Cook, MA,CPC
Part 2-Understanding the Addiction/Suicide Connection - Jennifer Michaels, MD
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to: Describe the relationship between substance use, depression, and increased risk for suicide. Recognize the disease model of addiction. Identify current suicide trends, focusing on women. List implications for positive interventions. Discus the high prevalence of suicide among men 25-64, as well as the key contributors for suicide and the key concepts for helping men at risk. Explain the purpose and details for the campaign.
Jennifer Michaels, MD – Asst. Professor of Psychiatry, UMass Medical School
Franklin Cook, MA, CPC – Consultant, Unified Community Solutions

12:20 - 1:20 pmLUNCH

1:20 pm“Fostering Self-Care & a Resilient Approach to Problem Solving” (1-1/2 hours)
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to describe 3 steps in a resilient response to stress; explain 5 practices associated with individuals who have been resilient in facing moderate stress and even severe trauma; give one example each describing how an individual, organization or a community used resilience training, mentoring or yoga-mindfulness to mitigate burnout, compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress.
Alex Sabo, MD
Andrew Gerber, MD, PhD – Medical Director/CEO, Austen Riggs Center

2:50 pmBREAK

3:00 pmPanel Discussion (1-hour)
“Utilizing Community Resources, Peer Support and Lived Experience to Inspire Hope, Healing, and New Growth”

Description: In a period of Q&A, the moderator will explore the challenges and successes of individuals faced with trauma, addiction and loss across the lifetime and will address the efforts to intervene within the overarching generational trauma impacting our community.
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to explain how formal and informal supports can improve the lives of individuals with a traumatic childhood, the recovery of patients in treatment, and the outcome of our community that has suffered trauma.
Moderated by Alex Sabo, MD

4:00 pmConference Summary (30 min)
Objective: At the end of the presentation the participant will be able to explain three practices (resilience practice, mentorship, and yoga-mindfulness) that buffer the impact of trauma to foster healing and recovery, and will be prepared to initiate a trauma-informed dialogue as a response to rising trends in opioid poisoning and suicide in Berkshire County, the Commonwealth, and the nation.
Alex Sabo, MD


UPDATE 5/24/2017: Continuing Ed. Credit approvals:

  • Substance Abuse Counselor (7.0 approved)
  • Rehabilitation Counselor (6.75 approved)
  • Psychology (7.0 approved)
  • Nursing (7.0 approved)
  • LMHC (7.0 approved)
  • Social Work (7.0 approved)
  • LMFT (7.0 approved)

Continuing Education Sponsor: Berkshire AHEC

  • SOCIAL WORK: This program has been approved for 7 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR.  Collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons Schools of Social Work Authorization Number D 72806.
  • NURSING:  This program meets the requirements for 7 nursing contact hours as specified by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing - 244 CMR 5.04.

  • LMFT:  This program was certified by Family Development Associates for 7  continuing education hours for licensed marriage and family therapists, in Massachusetts.

  • LMHC:  Berkshire AHEC and the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention are co-sponsors of this program. This co-sponsorship has been approved by NBCC. Berkshire AHEC is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5585. The ACEP is solely responsible for this program, including the awarding of 7 hours of NBCC credit.

  • SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELORS:  This program has been approved for 7 CEU’s for substance abuse counselors by the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification, Inc. (MBSACC).

  • REHABILITATION COUNSELORS:  The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) has approved 6.75 clock hours for rehabilitation counselors.

  • PSYCHOLOGY:  7 CEs for psychologists are provided by The Spiritual Competency Resource Center which is co-sponsoring this program. SCRC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content. For questions about CE  visit or contact  David Lukoff, PhD at

Successful Completion Requirements: Participants are expected to sign in and out, attend the entire program, and complete a conference evaluation. No partial credit will be awarded.

Other Professional Development Credits: For those who would like to submit their course attendance for other professional development credit/contact hours we will be providing a Certificate of Attendance (for full attendance only) that you can submit to an authorizing authority/agency not on the above list (We can not guarantee the credits will be accepted/recognized for other than those groups listed above but we will provide those materials to our attendees for assistance with their professional development)


  • Continuing Education: Certificates will be distributed by mail to participants 6 to 8 weeks after the program. You will be required at registration to identify and pay for Continuing Education Credits.
  • Special Accommodations (for special meal accommodations/food allergies see "Meal Accommodations" below): If you are hearing impaired, or are differently-abled and require special accommodations please contact Peggy Morse: Email (preferred): or Phone: 413-441-6316 (leave message). Please notify us immediately for special requests (You will be required at registration to identify if Special Accommodation Request will be made). .
  • Meal Accommodations: Jimney Peaks will have a selection of Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan alternatives for our attendees for both the breakfast and lunch buffets so special registration for meals is NOT required. For those with food allergies we can not guarantee that food providers at location have processes in place to remove all chance of cross-contamination during food-prep and serving. If you are concerned you are welcome to bring in breakfast/lunch items to be assured your full needs are met. 
  • Course Cancellation: We reserve the right to cancel a program due to low registration, speaker illness, cancellation or other uncontrollable circumstances. Notice of cancellation will be provided to registrants by email as soon as we become aware of the need to cancel. We will also post cancellation information on BCSP’s website at:  
    (You will be required at registration to agree to Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention's Terms of Service, Policies, Waivers & Agreements).


If you are cancelling prior to May 25th please contact us immediately so we can make your seat available to our waiting list attendees. For cancellation, less than 48 hours prior to event, a refund is not offered, however you may send someone in your place to attend. If you need to cancel your registration: Email Peggy Morse at: or call:  413-441-6316 (leave message) with your contact information. Note: If you do not attend the full course you will not be awarded credit hours (No partial credit hours). 


Questions? Contact Brenda at:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 413-441-6316, leave message
  • Limited Scholarships are available with no CE Credit. For more information, contact Brenda at (413) 443-1666 or email
  • All participant emails will be added to the BCSP newsletter list to be kept informed of suicide prevention efforts unless you request to unsubscribe. Contact


Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention:
Our vision is for everyone to find an alternative to suicide and self-harm, to find relief from unbearable psychological pain, and for our community to meet their needs.

Berkshire Medical Center:
Berkshire Health Systems is the region's leading provider of comprehensive healthcare services. With award-winning programs, nationally-recognized physicians, world-class technology and a sincere commitment to the community, BHS is delivering the kind of advanced healthcare most commonly found in large metropolitan centers.

NAMI–Berkshire County: The mission of The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County is to support, educate and advocate for all those in Berkshire County whose lives are affected by mental illness. NAMI Berkshire County provides information, referrals, classes, workshops, support groups, and advocacy to family members and caregivers of people living with mental illnesses.

The Brien Center: The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is a community-based, non-profit agency with a 90 plus year history of providing a continuum of care for children, adolescents, adults and families who suffer from serious and persistent behavioral health disorders. We are guided by the belief that everyone in Berkshire County benefits when people are mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.

Berkshire AHEC: Berkshire AHEC advances access to high quality healthcare & healthy lifestyles through academic and community partnerships. We promote healthy communities and healthy lifestyles. We do this through education of health professionals, promoting health and wellness, and engaging in population-based public health strategies, all in collaboration with community partners.