Emerging from the abyss: Programmatic and professional strategies to help people recover and grow

Tuesday, May 31, 2016: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Broadway I/II (Hilton Portland)
Definition of the abyss:
  1. Spiritual & emotional death
  2. A wide or profound difference between people
  3. The region of hell conceived of as a bottomless pit - Campbell & Google Dictionary

Our clients and patients face tremendous challenges: homelessness, trauma, poverty, addiction, violence, disease, and many more. Too often, those experiencing (or who have experienced) homelessness fall into an abyss of despair, suffering, and isolation. As long as this hopelessness persists the person will feel immobilized and helpless to change their situation, much less to heal and grow from their past trauma. The truth is that there is hope for everyone. There is something in every human that allows us to recover and find the strength to walk out of the abyss and into a better, more fulfilled life. Strong health outcomes suffer if the trauma is not a part of an integrated client-centered approach to care. This Pre-Conference Institute will examine the science and strategies necessary to partner with people on their journey out of the abyss. Post-traumatic growth and recovery is a combination of biological (medical), psychological, spiritual, and social healing. Utilizing their experience and expertise in psychology and medical care, presenters along with consumers and counselors will help participants conceptualize their role in the healing process and how to position services to maximize opportunities for growth. There is no darkness that hope cannot overcome.

Matt Bennett, MBA, MA (Chief Innovations Officer, Coldspring Center)
Siotha King-Thomas, Drug and Alcohol Certificate (Case Manager, Homeless Outreach Team, San Francisco Department of Public Health)
Deborah Borne, MD, MSW (Medical Provider and Principal Investigator, San Francisco Department of Public Health)