Mental Health Training Series

Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Div.
Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Div.

The Mental Health Training Series is part of the Mental Health Specialty Track of Allen Superior Court.  Those working with the Family Court system (e.g., attorneys, CASA, GALs, DCS, probation, law enforcement, court staff) are encouraged to register.  All youth workers in our community are also welcome. One CEU per hour of training will be available to participants upon request.

The training series, a collaboration between Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES and Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division, is offered free of charge and is funded in part by The Lutheran Foundation.  Preregistration is required.

To receive email announcements when registration opens for the Mental Health Trainings contact Great KIDS.

DVDs of some Mental Health Trainings are available in the Great KIDS lending library.

2019 Training Series Upcoming Events:

“Becoming a Trauma Informed Community”
Presented by Laura Swanson

July 18, 2019
Downtown Allen County Public Library

Youth that have experienced some sort of trauma in their background present with a unique range of challenges that often manifest in unwanted behaviors and a lack of affect regulation skills.  This training will address the many complex issues that accompany working with youth that have trauma backgrounds and how to effectively respond and intervene.  By attending this training you will build skills that will help youth to  develop feelings of safety.  Additionally you will learn what it means to be trauma informed and how to begin implementing trauma informed practices in your community.

Click here to register


This documentary film tells the story of Lincoln High School as the principal, Jim Sporleder, and staff transform Lincoln into a “trauma-informed” school.  Great KIDS has purchased the rights to show the film.  Please contact Great KIDS if you would like to schedule a showing in your school, organization, or agency.

Previous Great KIDS Mental Health Trainings:


“Building Big Brains: The Journey From Birth Through Adolescence”
Presented by Dr. Annemarie Grassi

June 7, 2019
Downtown ACPL- Meeting Room AB

90% of a child’s brain is developed by the age of 3 years, however the brain remains malleable and ever changing through emerging adulthood. Much of human behavior can be explained through understanding the neurological development of the child’s brain and what works best for creating “bigger brains”. Come learn about how children’s brain development progresses, how it explains their child’s behavior and needs, and tips on providing experiences to optimize that development.

“Vulnerable Populations: Additional Risks for Bullying and Digital Harm?”
Presented by Dr. Michelle Drouin

May 17, 2019

PFW- Classic Ballroom
Walb Student Union

Members of vulnerable populations (e.g., minorities, LGBTQ, those with physical and developmental disabilities) are at additional risk for ostracism and/or bullying in both face-to-face and online contexts. This leaves members of these groups especially vulnerable to digital harm, which may relate to mental health issues, self-harm, and suicide. As the context of bullying and isolation extends beyond physical walls of schools and community organizations and into victims’ homes, it is important that we concentrate on identifying and creating safe online spaces for all youth, including those from vulnerable populations.

“The Intersection of Systems, Relationships, and Trauma”
Presented by Benjamin Planton & Karin Gilbert

March 22, 2019

Downtown Allen County Public Library
Meeting Room AB
900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne IN 46802

Relationships are central to working with children, youth, and families. In this work, we need to assess how our systems and practices best benefit those children, youth, and families – particularly when looking at the effects of trauma, toxic stress, and adverse childhood experiences. Learn about these issues through watching a clip from the upcoming documentary, No Small Matter, hear the experiences of the co-presenters, and engage in facilitated discussions with other professionals. Using this lens, we will assess how we engage in our work and advocate for practices, policies, and systems to achieve positive equitable outcomes.

Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES in partnership with
Anti-trafficking Network of Northeast Indiana and Indiana Trafficking Vicitim’s Assistance Program presents: The 2019 Anti-Trafficking Network Training Series

February 1st, 8th, and 15th

PFW Classic Ballroom
(Walb Student Union)
2101 E Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805

The purpose of our annual ATNNI training series is to collaborate with experts in the national anti-trafficking movement in order to build the collective capacity of our local communities to support persons who have experienced, or are experiencing, human trafficking. Each week will build upon previous sessions, allowing participants the opportunity to learn, process and engage in practical skills. All three sessions will be survivor informed & our final session will be survivor led.

“Human Trafficking in Indiana: Identification and Collaborative Support of Victims and Survivors”
Presented by Jeremy Greenlee & Laura Donatelli

January 11, 2019
10:00am – 12:00pm
Downtown ACPL- Theater
900 Library Plaza Fort Wayne, IN 46802

This session will focus on understanding human trafficking in Indiana and the scope of the issue among youth; recognizing risk factors that lead to heightened vulnerability and red flags that may indicate a trafficking situation; understanding reasons victims don’t self-identify or reach out for help; identifying trafficked youth and reporting tips; and connecting survivors with resources and services.

Self Care & Mindfulness for Holiday Stress” 
Presented by Dr. Dave Johnson

December 12, 2018
12:00pm – 2:00pm
The Summit
1025 W Rudisill Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46807

P.E.A.K. Performers are high energy, creative, positive, motivated individuals. They are strong and resilient against stress and also experience a heightened sense of well being in their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual lives. P.E.A.K. Performers feel success in their work lives and balance in their home and personal lives. This workshop will enhance personal Self-Care and Mindfulness of participants especially during the Holidays.


At completion of this session, today’s leader will be able to:

1. Describe “Perspective” and how to reframe holiday stress in order to enhance positive coping.
2. List ways to “Energize” oneself and the work team to meet challenges.
3. Understand how “Autonomy” assist’s one in recognizing choices and taking control of our thoughts, schedules, and anger responses.
4. Have the “Know How” to be Mindful for enhancing one’s own sense of Peak Performance and professional renewal especially during holiday seasons.

“When the Imprints of the Past Hurt the Present” 
Presented by Carmen Bergman & Crystal Kelly

October 19, 2018
10:00am – 12:00pm
Downtown ACPL- Theater
900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne IN 46802

This training will allow participants to discover the various ways trauma can impact the body based on supporting research from the ACE Study. Participants will receive a brief introduction to several activities that may aid in addressing and overcoming trauma.

Workshop Objectives:

1. Define trauma and identify ways it can impact the body

2. Explore how a person’s experiences can influence physical and emotional health throughout their lifespan

“Implicit Bias”
Presented by: Kendra Miklos & Todd Stubbs

July 25, 2018, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Downtown ACPL- Meeting Room AB

This session explores how our implicit bias can play a role in the decisions we make in our work with youth. Awareness of our own biases and conscientious efforts to ensure we provide equitable treatment to all clients can lead to positive outcomes for more people. It takes a look at local juvenile justice and education systems and identifies where implicit bias may be having an impact on our youth. Additionally, this session explores potential solutions to identifying implicit bias within ourselves in an effort to combat the racial and ethnic disparities within our juvenile justice and education systems.


“Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: Addressing Suicide Risk”
Presented by: Alice Jordan-Miles & Colleen Carpenter

June 8, 2018, 9:30am-11:30am
IPFW Classic Ballroom (Walb Student Union)

Anyone can recognize suicide risk and help prevent it. This presentation will offer a look at best practices for identifying those at risk and building a safety net under those thinking about suicide.

“Building a Resilient Work Team”
Presented by: Dr. Dave Johnson

May 16, 2018, 1:30am-3:30pm
Downtown ACPL- Theater

Building & being part of a highly effective and resilient work team is very important in our intense and fast paced work world. Exploring the framework of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) will help you personally and professionally consider the factors and assets needed to do so. Although this model is helpful to building the team resiliency, participants will quickly see how this model goes beyond the workplace to include building resiliency in family life and all relationships.

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

1. Adopt a basic team-building model (appreciative inquiry) for building a resilient work team;
2. Outline factors related to coping with rapid change;
3. Summarize the importance of communication in assuring that everyone is part of the team;
4. Value diversity and talents each member brings to the team;
5. Report on the significance of empowerment in decision-making for all team members;
6. Appreciate the use of asking positive questions and storytelling as a practical means to enhance one’s team effectiveness & personal life.

“I Am Jane Doe” – Documentary Film

May 7, 2018, 4:00pm- 6:00pm
Huntington University- Merillat Center for the Arts Longacker Recital Hall

“I Am Jane Doe” follows real cases of American girls enslaved in the child sex trade through ads. This documentary follows the journey of these young girls and their mothers as they run into a collision course not only with Backpage but with judges, powerful corporations, special interest groups, and an outdated internet freedom law that has been interpreted by federal judges to protect websites from any responsibility for hosting ads which sell underage girls. “I Am Jane Doe” takes a fresh look at a social and legal issue that affects every community in America.

Following this documentary, the audience will be provided with brief conversation regarding the film along with Q&A. We will have the opportunity to hear from David Kurtz, a senior social work major at Huntington University. David is currently completing a 500 hour practicum in Thailand working for Freedom Story, a prevention program for child trafficking. We will also hear from Jeremy Greenlee (Indiana Trafficking Victim Assistance Program) and Jeffrey Robertson (FBI).


The Mental Health Training Series is funded, in part, by a grant from:Gradient_RGB-01