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Tag: behavioral health

Advocacy and Services Across the Life Span Part 1

Join Dr. Holmes as she interviews Isleen Giminez Morales, JD in a two-part series on advocacy and legal issues and services across the Life Span. Talking points of the segments will include Education Rights and COVID Impact, Reducing Barriers to Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, and Other Legal/Advocacy Consideration Through the Life Span. These will include introductory discussions for parents and caregivers to consider such as early intervention, education planning, the transition to adulthood/aging (independent living, employment, transportation, financial planning). Whether a person in your life is newly diagnosed or an adult, Isleen shares information for consideration across the Life Span.

Isleen Gimenez Morales is an attorney by training, advocate at heart – a disabled veteran and mother to four children with special needs. She moved to Kansas City just 7 years ago to access a coordinated care clinic for one of her children who has medical complexities. Isleen understands both personally and professionally how challenging it can be to navigate resources for individuals with disabilities and the caregivers who serve them. Isleen has 14 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector reducing barriers to employment for employees with disabilities. She recently served as the Director of SpecialCare at HighPointe Financial Group where she helped individuals with disabilities and their caregivers develop financial special needs planning strategies and as the Assistant Director for Emma’s Place for Exceptional Children – once the only therapeutic childcare facility in Overland Park that served students K-12 throughout the KC metro.

Isleen founded Advocate at Heart ( to empower individuals with disabilities and their caregivers through education, strategic person-centered, strengths-based planning, and plan implementation in partnership with an extensive community-based resource network that Isleen has painstakingly identified and vetted herself with the help of many other special needs families in the community.

Isleen also serves on the board of directors for SOAR (, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the disabled community answer the questions of: will my special needs loved one be able to provide for himself/herself? What will happen to my loved one with special needs when I am gone? and Who will take care of me (the caregiver)? She currently is a trainee under Echo Autism (, expanding her commitment to better meet the needs of families/ caregivers particularly in the Autism community, and is a Leadership in Education for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program graduate from Kansas University Medical Center’s Center for Childhood Health and Development (CCHD) program. Isleen graduated with a double bachelor of sciences major with honors in both Japanese and Political Science as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa.

When not assisting individuals with disabilities and their families, Isleen is employed as an attorney at UnitedLex where she assists corporate counsel as part of the company’s legal team. She is conversationally fluent in Japanese and in Spanish. Isleen loves to cook and bake. She also enjoys master’s swimming and Latin dancing in her spare time.

Special Needs Fitness: Shapes Body and Mind

Join Dr. Holmes as she discusses the importance of physical fitness for the special needs population. She will be interviewing Tony D’Orazio about his organization Jacob’s Ladder Fitness and his journey of fathering Jake which he calls “down right joy.” Jakes’s interest in physical fitness helped with the passion to start Jacob’s Ladder fitness. Tony will share how physical fitness and a place/community to help shape an individual physically, mentally, and even spiritually through building a sense of purpose and belonging.

Tony is a graduate of Ohio Northern University. His training and career include working in child care as well as working with disadvantaged and challenged adolescent boys as a case manager of a group home. He has had a successful 25-year business career as a major account executive for a national disability and workers compensation organization. He is the founder of Jacob’s Ladder Special Needs Fitness in 2011 for the purpose of providing exercise and fitness for those with special needs shaping physical, spiritual, and mental health.

He is the father of three, and lives in Ohio with his wife, Karen, and son Jake, who brings “down right joy.” He is the author of the soon to be released book this year, “Down Right Joy!”

Find out more about Jacob’s Ladder Fitness at

A Safe Haven Space for Refugee and Immigrant Mental Health

Egette and Kristin talk about her new podcast on Mental Health News Radio Network: Safe Haven Space.

Egette Indelele was born and raised in a refugee camp in Tanzania. She is the oldest of five children and a first-generation honor college student at George Mason University. She is studying Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive and Behavior Neuroscience in hopes of opening her own practice in Burundi and emphasizing the importance of mental health while serving children with the hope of healing their traumatic life events. Egette’s work with Safe Haven was inspired by her experience as a refugee . She founded Safe Haven to help refugee students resettle in a new world while having access to mental health services.

Aside from mental health, Egette has a great passion for children around the world. With the passion to help children, she became the President of a UNICEF club at George Mason University. The club gave her the opportunity to advocate for children’s rights and educate her university community on the importance of helping the younger generation. She extended her passion and is now serving on the United Nation international Children Emergency Funds USA National Council. She also manages a program where members and volunteers mentor and tutor elementary-aged children at a local community center that serves refugees transitioning to life in America.

With mental health being a stigma around the world, specifically in refugees and immigrant families, she believes that Safe Haven will ease the transition to the American life. She also believes that it will help student perform better in school overall, while working on solving unresolved trauma

America is pill popping nation

Listen as Edwin McCain and Rich Jones share personal stories related to prescription drug misuse and ideas on how we arrived at the Opioid Crisis.
This is another Critical Conversation pulled from our platform from 2019. Enjoy!
We will be back next week with a NEW podcast featuring Brian Cuban.

Student Mental Health with Sean Perry

Join Sean and Kristin for a discussion about student mental health and new ways to educate, empower, and provide help.

Sean Perry has two decades of coaching experience and working with youth. He’s a certified Life Coach, Cognitive Behavioral Coach, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Specialist/ instructor, certified in Childhood Trauma and is an Exposure Response Prevention Specialist. As of late Sean is trained to train staff in the Signs of Suicide Prevention Program. He also has been trained in collaborative problem solving.

Sean has spent the last several years in the Human Service/Mental Health field.

Sean saw a huge gap in the mental health industry while working in the private residential setting. He noticed that it was more about the have and the have nots then anyone would like to admit. This lack of equality pushed Sean to create We R H.O.P.E. Inc. with a colleague. While operating We R H.O.P.E., Sean was simultaneously the Program Manager at a residential treatment center for boys with severe trauma. He has since resigned to focus all of his energy on We R H.O.P.E. Sean hopes to create change in the public schools by bringing support at a much younger age and breaking the stigma of mental illness.

Ableism vs. Empowerment

Join Dr. Stephanie C. Holmes as she discusses the important differences between ableism and empowerment. She will talk through some of the stigma associated with autism. Beginning with a brief history of the different beliefs and clinical research about autism and discussing the theories and models of disabilities- both of which added to a negative stigma of disabled persons or persons with differences or delays such as those on the autism spectrum. She will discuss the importance of empowerment and partnering with the individual to create strategies and options and choice that are meaningful to the person and challenge you to assess if you have a hidden bias or belief in ableism- or belief that being abled or “normal” is superior to others with disabilities or differences.

You can find out more about her at

She is offering a 25% discount on her DVD series Moving Beyond Surviving to Thriving and Teens on the Spectrum if you mention this podcast and reach out to her at

Dr. Holmes is a professional counselor and educator and advocate, but her real credentials come from being a mother of an exceptional young lady on the spectrum who is also interviewed on Converge Autism Radio, Sydney.

She is developing a training course for clinicians to work with NeuroDiverse couples who are also faith-based coming in 2021.

Addicts and Alcoholics are Scumbags

Pulled from our Critical Conversations vault, this week’s podcast features Edwin McCain, Richard Jones, and Shay Houser. They discuss stigma and the misinformation that perpetuates the myths surrounding those with Substance Use Disorder. This is a must-listen for anyone wanting to hear direct and honest conversations from 3 men who have been to the bottom and made it back up.

The Impact of Inclusion

Join Dr. Holmes and Dr. Dyer as they discuss the impact of inclusion on students on the spectrum and their families. Dr. Dyer said that the biggest barrier to inclusion is attitude and willingness to adapt and make changes needed for all students to be included and successful. Dr. Holmes and Dr. Dyer discuss social skill needs at different levels of the school process and transitioning to college.

Dr. Rebekah Dyer is a professor in the college of education at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. The courses that she teaches focus on special education. She is the faculty advisor for two clubs on campus; Best Buddies and Canyon Inclusive. Both clubs focus on the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Her dissertation research focused on the inclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in disability ministry programs. She presented her research at an International Autism Conference in Nanjing, China. Dr. Dyer is passionate about special education, specifically the inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Healthcare aficionado and Harvard lawyer Scott Becker

Scott Becker is deeply ensconced in the Healthcare world. He gives us insight into current trends and future outlooks in this space as well as updates on the Covid vaccinations.
Scott Becker previously served on the McGuireWoods LLP Board of Partners and served for nearly 15 years as chairman of the firm’s national Healthcare department. McGuireWoods has one of the best-regarded healthcare practices in the world.

Scott is the Founder and the Publisher of Beckers Healthcare and Beckers Hospital Review and its related events and publications. Mr. Becker remains the Publisher and Chief Content Officer of Beckers HealthCare.

Scott also produces the Becker Group Business News, the Becker Private Equity Podcast, and the Becker Business Podcast.

Mr. Becker is a Harvard Law School Graduate and a University of Illinois undergraduate business school graduate in Finance and Accounting. He is also the author of four books and a CPA


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