CHADS Conversations

CHADS Conversations: It's Time to Talk

For some, talking about mental health issues can be scary which is why CHADS has made it a priority to reach out to the public to offer our expertise. We want to erase the stigma surrounding mental health and the best way to do that is by educating the public. Let us come to you so that together, we can be part of the solution! It’s time to talk!

Our Program:
CHADS’ extensive speaker bureau of 28 “timely talks” is ready to come to your next meeting or event! Explore the possibilities for your staff, parents, students and community partners. Read through the “talk” summaries to find one perfect for your audience’s needs. Presentations are usually offered at *no cost to your district, school, faith-based or civic group and youth organizations. All presentations can be tailored to fit your timeframe needs. Please feel free to schedule as many “talks” as you would like.

Opportunities For:
*PLC Early Release *Student Council *K-12 Administrative Council *Counselors *Classroom Enrichment *PTO Meeting *Student Support Group *Health Fair *SSD Care Team *Coaches *Curriculum Writing *Student Clubs *Business Supporters *Health Fair *Board of Education *Counselors *Community Partners *Department Meeting *Social Workers *Support Staff *Parent Support Group *Grade Level Meeting *Peer-to-Peer Mentoring *Parent Coffees *Early Childhood

“Talk” Summaries:
(View below on this webpage or click here for a printable PDF version of the summaries).

A Fine Line: Brilliance or Madness 
Visual and performing arts students and patrons of the arts will join the presenter to explore famous artists and actors who are/have been known to have suffered from some sort of mental illness. Discussion will include how their illness affected the process they used to create their most famous pieces. Brilliance or Madness? The conversation continues.

A Safe Place to Cry
Has someone come to you with a situation that you didn’t know how to handle? We’ll talk about some serious issues that can affect a friend in the classroom, a neighbor, a family member or your child. Self-injury, depression and suicide can happen to anyone at any age. Learn the warning signs, ways to communicate your concern and resources that can help.

Animals are More than Pets
Animals play a role in many of our lives, but do you know the many ways they can help us cope with life’s uncertainties, stresses and illnesses? Presentation will also include the appropriate settings, how, and where animals can be used effectively to facilitate discussion, lower stress and foster healthy relationships amongst all ages.

Bullying and Mental Illness: The Link
Why is bullying more damaging than typical conflicts that occur in our children’s lives? We will answer that question and also discuss the brain’s reaction to consistent abuse or bullying.

Bullying as a 21st Century Problem: NOT!
Bullying has a documented presence in America’s history that dates back to our Founding Fathers. This session is perfect for an American history class as it takes students through major events where certain populations have been bullied for who they are and the changes that occurred socially, politically and legally as a result.

CHADS Has So Much to Offer
Let us come to you to share information about the growing number of programs and services (usually provided at no cost) that we have to offer your school’s/organization’s students and their families. From our signature Signs of Suicide program to the Olweus Bullying Prevention curriculum to Family Support and postvention to the innovative EYES program and much more, we are here as an active partner and resource. We look forward to sharing with you how we are growing to meet the needs of our youth and those who care about them.

Complementary & Spiritual Approaches to Healing Following Trauma
The death of a loved one, especially following suicide, can be traumatic for survivors. There are many approaches beyond medications to address the symptoms of trauma. This workshop will explore complimentary ways to integrate the mind, body and spirit in the healing process.

Coping with Stress & Managing Triggers
During this workshop, participants are introduced to what is healthy and unhealthy stress and how stress can both debilitate and motivate us. Participants will distinguish between stress and trauma and understand how two different sets of skills are needed to effectively manage both. Also, a range of skills will be demonstrated for managing both stress and trauma.

Death and Trauma in the Workplace
The effects on management and co-workers following a death by suicide will be addressed. Signs of normal and complicated grief will be explored. Depression, as related to diminished work productivity and workplace camaraderie, will be addressed. Additional community resources, including CHADS Family Services, will be provided.

Depression and Suicide: It’s Time to Talk
This general suicide prevention presentation of adolescent depression and suicide includes statistics, signs and symptoms, risk factors and appropriate responses to threats of suicide. Included in the discussion is the story of a young boy’s struggles with mental illness and his completed suicide. Audience members will be inspired by the story and empowered by the facts.

Depression, Drugs and Alcohol: A Dangerous Mix
Using drugs and alcohol to “self-medicate” as a coping mechanism for all types of mental illness can lead to an increased risk of suicide. This presentation will explore the difficulty of treating mental illness when drugs and alcohol are involved, as well as the resources you can use to seek help for yourself, a friend, or a loved one.

Did I Make It Happen? Children and Death
There will be a discussion of emotional ideation of children and youth following the death of a schoolmate. Age appropriate conversations and understanding of death will be discussed. Coping skills will be offered including what a parent can do to help their child through his or her grief work. We will discuss how to watch for signs of depression in your child or youth following a death.

Diversity Awareness: Let’s Talk About Differences
This workshop provides a safe setting to explore the meaning of diversity and why respecting diversity is key to creating healthy communities. Audience members will have an opportunity to express their own experiences about what it means to be “different” and how being different from the majority can lead to bullying and subsequent isolation. Practical approaches to creating healthy communities by respecting diversity will be presented.

Do You Hear The Cry for Help?
Can you hear when your child is crying out for help? Learn the signs that might raise awareness that your child is in emotional distress: trigger words, phrases, behaviors, and characteristics that may indicate someone is suicidal. We will teach you how to start and keep the conversation going so that your child knows you are there for them; how to communicate with your child’s school and other caregivers; and how to take advantage of the resources available not only for your child but for your family as well.

Finding Light in So Much Darkness: A Mother’s Story
Marian McCord shares her personal story of her son’s struggles with depression and his tragic suicide. She will discuss the impact her son’s life and his death had on her and her family. Most importantly, she will share with the listeners how she found hope after losing life’s greatest gift, a child, to one of the most tragic and misunderstood deaths, a suicide. She will inspire and challenge you to “find the light in your darkness.”

Healthy Coping Strategies for Teens
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes the things that seem like they are supposed to be easy aren’t. When stress builds up to its brink, when anxiety overtakes us, and when depression is present, it is easy to turn to negative coping behaviors and this can makes things much worse. Positive coping behaviors can relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Learn how to ditch the negative behaviors and use positive ones instead.

Is There A Difference Between Sadness and Depression?
Teens can experience sadness for a variety of reasons: a best friend moves; slipping grades in a favorite class; parent loses their job; death of a grandparent or not being asked to prom. These episodes of sadness are normal and do not indicate a mental illness. Depression has different features from sadness and generally requires some type of intervention to address the symptoms. This workshop, designed for parents, will explore the key differences that separate sadness from depression and identify when and how to approach depression as a mental illness if your teen needs assistance.

It’s Not Just Cutting: Causes and Solutions 
Misconceptions about self-injury and suicide are explored during this session that includes an in-depth discussion regarding “extreme behaviors” and the effect those behaviors have on our bodies as well as our mental health. Participants will become aware of warning signs and be provided with tools and resources to help a young person who may be struggling with extreme behaviors.

Knock On Their Door
Do you know what your teen is into? Do they drink? Do drugs? Self-injure? Do you know how to spot the signs? Well, it’s time to talk. Knock on their door, enter their room and park yourself on their bed. Anxiety, depression, self-injury, abusive relationships, bullying and other mental health issues can become a silent threat in your home. Learn specific ways to keep the conversation going so that your child knows, no matter what their issue is, you are there for them and that you will get them help.

Read Between the Lines
For years, the written word has taken us into the world of the mentally ill through the eyes of an author who uses depression, bullying, self-injury, suicide, and other mental health issues to help develop a character. Studying their works will help to bring relevance and understanding to today’s mental health issues by using that character’s story to illustrate how far we’ve come and still need to go to address those needing mental health understanding and treatment.

Schools: When Death Happens
The impact of a death on students, faculty and administration will be examined along with its negative AND positive effects on a school. There will be a discussion of the differences between a student death and a staff death. Constructive AND destructive types of memorialization in the school setting will be offered. We will also include how to help those impacted by a death with positive grieving practices that will help avoid the signs of depression.

Seeds of Bullying
Born a bully or born to be bullied? This presentation will explore the root causes of the individual who becomes the bully as well as the life-long effect bullying can have on the bully’s target. We will explore solutions that work to end the mistreatment of others.

Self-Injury: Are You at Risk?
Misconceptions about self-injury and suicide are explored during this session which includes an in-depth discussion around the effect those behaviors have on our bodies as well as our mental health. Individuals will become aware of the warning signs and be provided with the tools and resources on how to help themselves or another who struggles with self-injury behaviors.

Social Media Bullying: It’s 24/7
Social media bullies can now torment their targets morning, noon, and night through social media. To help end this cycle, it is time to not only help the victim, but the bully as well. This presentation will explore ongoing social media pitfalls and bullying trends that can cause an increased risk for depression, suicide attempts, self-harm actions and other mental health issues. Proper ways to deal with and report bullying situations will be discussed as well as the emotional and legal consequences for all involved.

Stop the Stigma
Learn 10 concrete steps your school can take NOW to help bring understanding to mental health issues which can affect anyone at anytime, no matter his or her age. If a crisis finds its way into your school in the future, implementing these steps now can make all the difference in how your school community moves forward.

Suicide: The Last Goodbye
Signs of Suicide ideation will be recognized and discussed. There will be a discussion of the significance of trigger events and their relationship with depression and other life events leading up to the decision to attempt or complete suicide. Workshop includes ways in which one can process a death by suicide of a family member or friend.

The Ripple Effect
Contemporary events can affect one’s mental health and much more. Discussion includes how an event affects current and future mental health funding; the process of creating laws to address the event; media coverage; and its effect on our mental health as well as statistics resulting from populations seeking help after such an event.

The Teen Brain: What is Normal?
Think back to your teen years. Did you ever worry about whether your actions, thoughts, or beliefs were normal? This presentation, which explores the changes in the brain from infancy into adulthood, will help alleviate the fear that can be associated with the question, “Am I normal?”

You Can:
Learn more about this program by clicking here to submit your inquiry.
Schedule presentations by clicking here

*Programs are funded by St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund for children and families within St. Louis County. Some funding is available to cover programs outside of St. Louis County. For information email