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Cedar Valley Mental Health Summit


Friday, September 24, 2021


Main Campus—Tama Hall

Map and Directions


To equip our community's service delivery professionals with tools and best practices to support those who face mental health challenges. We seek to help professionals, who work with these individuals on a daily basis, gain a better understanding of the underlying issues of these individuals' behaviors, as well as how to best respond in a positive, healthy, and impactful way. We also intend to provide attendees with information on local mental health resources, as well as resources for continued learning opportunities.


Nurses, EMS professionals, substance abuse counselors, social workers, educators, and other healthcare providers.

Continuing Education

Continuing education units will be offered for educators, EMS professionals, nurses, substance abuse counselors, social workers, and other healthcare providers. Participants must attend the entire conference. No partial credit will be awarded. Allied health professionals are responsible for reviewing the governing rules of their board to determine if appropriate subject matter will apply for continuing education.

Keynote Speaker

Kevin Briggs, Golden Gate Guardian, International Crisis Management Expert & Suicide Prevention Advocate

Briggs, a retired California Highway Patrol sergeant, spent many years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge. While on patrol, he encountered numerous individuals clinging to life by a thread – ready to jump off the bridge to what they assumed was a sudden death and ending of their pain and hopelessness.

Briggs, through his compassion, gentle voice, eye contact, and his innate ability of “listening to understand” encouraged more than 200 individuals over his career to not go over the bridge’s rail. These challenging, but rewarding efforts earned him the nickname “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.” After a 23-year career with the California Highway Patrol, Briggs retired to dedicate his life to promote mental health awareness across the globe through Pivotal Points, an organization he founded.

Today, Briggs is mapping a movement as he speaks and trains others in suicide prevention, crisis management and negotiations. He shares his “Listening to Understand” skills followed up with key active listening points; his personal triad for healthy living; his RELEASE model to assist in communicating with someone in crisis and his crisis safety plan for those who may be struggling. He also discusses in depth his own personal mental health struggles. Briggs spends the majority of his time speaking/teaching at conferences, advocacy events, colleges and universities, first responder conferences, law enforcement (including FBI & Secret Service), and military bases. He also works with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), corporations, and other venues.


Date: September 24, 2021
Time: 8:15am–4:45pm
Cost: $60 – includes light breakfast, boxed lunch, afternoon snack, and certificate of completion.
Location: Main Campus–Tama Hall

7:30–8:15am Check-in, Vendors, Breakfast
8:15–8:30am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Todd Holcomb, President, Hawkeye Community College

Keynote Presentation – Listen to Understand
Kevin Briggs, International Crisis Management Expert & Suicide Prevention Advocate

Retired California Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Briggs, known as the "Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge" will be presenting on crisis communication, stress and its effect on our well-being, and suicide prevention skills.

The stress in our daily lives continues to take a heavy toll on our health. When not addressed, stress can cause a myriad of health issues. Sgt. Briggs will discuss ways to mitigate stress and improve your quality of life.

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death worldwide. Sgt. Briggs discusses myths associated with suicide, crisis communication techniques, and how each of us can assist someone in crisis.

10:00–10:15am Meet and Greet with Kevin Briggs, Break, Vendors

Nutrition and Older Adult Mental Well Being
Crystal Cole, Licensed Master Social Worker, Teresa Petsche, Certified Dietary Manager

This session will identify how mental health is impacted by nutrition and the different nutritional needs of older adults as it relates to nutrition. We’ll also review why proper nutrition is a part of a health mental state in older adults.

11:15am–12:00pm Lunch

LGBTQ Healthcare in the Cedar Valley
Rachel Yaddof, DNP, UP Health Prairie Parkway

This presentation aims to bring light to the LGBTQ services in the Cedar Valley including primary care opportunities, counseling, etc. We will also be going over the basics of LGBTQ+ healthcare including the use of preferred pronouns, chosen names, terminology and more.

1:00–1:15pm Break, Vendors

Suicide Prevention & Risk Factors for Veterans, Service Members, & Their Families
Edwin Haycraft, Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator

We will discuss the issues Veterans face when returning from deployment including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This will include a discussion of issues created by readjustment and the aforementioned mental health concerns. We will also review the services provided by the VA and where programs and resources are located.

2:15–2:30pm Break, Vendors

Symptoms, When to Advocate for Professional Help, Caregiver Techniques
Paul Wehrman, Mental Health Counselor

We will discuss some of the characteristics of older adults that can help a provider in forming a therapeutic relationship and learn about some of the issues that need to be addressed in treating this challenging age group.


Supporting Students. Supporting Safe Schools
Dana Van Renterghem, Parent & Family Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools

You'll receive an overview of basic LGBTQ terminology before moving into a discussion of barriers facing the LGBTQ student community. We will juxtapose student success (both academic and social) in environments that provide inclusive curriculum and other LGBTQ-affirming spaces, with those that do not. You'll gain strategies to make classrooms and school communities more accessible to LGBTQ students.


Closing Remarks, Evaluations, Certificates


Register online by September 20, 2021 for the Cedar Valley Mental Health Summit.

Free Pre-Event Movie Viewing

Bedlam: An Intimate Journey into America's Mental Health Crisis

Thursday, September 23, 2021
Hawkeye Community College – Tama Hall

Register online for Bedlam.


Crystal Cole, Licensed Master Social Worker

Crystal Cole is currently practicing mental health counseling in the private sector where she counsels adolescents and adults. Formerly the Director of Counseling and Wellness at Upper Iowa University, she has always been driven to help people and educate others about mental health. Her academic background includes a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Northern Iowa, a Master in Business Administration from Upper Iowa University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Family Services with a minor in Criminology from the University of Northern Iowa. Her employment background includes work in healthcare as the administrator of a skilled nursing and long-term care facility, as well as social work services in long-term care, hospice services, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Edwin Haycraft, Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator

Edwin Haycraft is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), an Advance Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ACADC), and member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, (MINT).

Mr. Haycraft has been working in the field of mental health and substance use disorders since 1999. Beginning his career at the Mid-Eastern Counsel On Chemical Abuse, (MECCA now Prelude Behavioral Health), he worked in Residential and Outpatient services. This included facilitating adult and adolescent programs, providing services to the Department of Corrections, Shelter House, and Student Health Services at the University of Iowa. In 2006 he was employed by the University of Iowa Student Health Services to design and facilitate diversion programs for the diverse student population. Since 2008 Mr. Haycraft has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs, initially working in the Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program, (OSATP) and the acute mental health unit at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City. He is currently the reginal coordinator for the Veterans Justice Outreach Program working with Veterans confronted with legal issues, mental health, and substance use disorders.

Teresa Petsche, Certified Dietary Manager, ABCM Corporation

Teresa Petsche has been a Certified Dietary Manager for nearly 13 years with ABCM Corporation, where she has been able to embrace the Person Directed Care movement in the long-term care setting. Teresa currently works for Grandview Health Care Center and feels it is the most rewarding job she has ever had. Meeting resident’s nutritional as well as personal needs is a challenge and joy each day. Understanding the intricate dynamics that nutrition plays in overall wellbeing for residents as well as staff alike has enabled Teresa to not just serve residents healthy meals, but also create a dining experience that is second to none.

Dana Van Renterghem, Parent & Family Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools

Dana Van Renterghem (She/Her/Hers) graduated from Central College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and a minor in communication studies. Since graduation, she has spent most of her career working with at-risk youth in a multitude of roles. Dana has provided direct care to teenagers in multiple residential settings, supported families in reunification and permanency efforts while involved with the Department of Human Services, and advocated for LGBTQ youth in a previous role as GSA Coordinator with Iowa Safe Schools. She has a passion for helping youth grow as individuals while reconnecting with loved ones who have been estranged.

Paul Wehrman, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Paul received his bachelor's in social work and his master's in mental health counseling from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors. Paul has been employed at MercyOne Waterloo EAP since 1999. As an EAP counselor Paul has worked with clients ranging from 5 to 90 years old. As a mental health counselor Paul has worked with couples doing marital therapy and with clients of all ages learning coping skills for depression and anxiety.

Rachel Yaddof, DNP, ARNP, FNP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner

Rachel is a family nurse practitioner with 2.5 years of experience in the family medicine setting also specializing in the care of the the LGBTQ+ population. She's worked as an ally with the LGBTQ+ population for close to four years and has been a provider with the LGBTQ+ clinic since January 2020. Previously, she worked as a clinic nurse during her FNP education and also has experience as a staff nurse in the emergency medicine setting. She completed her undergraduate education at Allen College and received her master's and doctoral degrees through Chamberlain University in Chicago, IL. She is currently employed with UnityPoint Clinic at Prairie Parkway Family Medicine.


Cedar Valley United Way. Live United. United Way.
Mercy One
People's Community Health Clinic
UnityPoint Health
University of Northern Iowa, College of Education
Waterloo Schools. Unfolding Futures.


  1. community events
  2. continuing education
  3. continuing education health
  4. mental health

Business & Community Education — Health

Cedar Falls Center
319-266-6772 (fax)
Email Hawkeye Health Education

Health Continuing Education Coordinator

Brenda Helmuth
Cedar Falls Center 101
319-296-2329 ext.3017
Email Hawkeye Health Education

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