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the Bert Nash Community



September 2013

Client has the write stuff 200 MAINE STREET


(785) 843-9192

Since 1950, the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center has advanced the mental health of the Douglas County community through comprehensive behavioral services responsive to evolving need and changing environments.


sions and tries to integrate he’s a blogger, a ballthem. She’s done that in all room dancer, a motivaareas of her life. She’s run the tional speaker and a gamut of personal developpageant titleholder. ment in a wide variety of Now she can add another areas.” achievement to her résumé — Cannistra’s submission in published author. the "Chicken Soup" book is alLorraine Cannistra wrote a most painful to read. Without personal story that was inspoiling the story, suffice it to cluded in a new “Chicken say she found herself in an Soup for the Soul” book, reembarrassing situation. The leased in August. incident took place in front of Cannistra, a client at the a crowd of people during her Bert Nash Community Mengraduation from Emporia tal Health Center, was surState University in May 1990. prised when she was notified “For a few minutes, it was her submission had made the horrible,” Cannistra said. “I final cut. Bert Nash client Lorraine Cannistra had one of her stories couldn’t believe this was hap“I couldn’t believe it,” she published in the newest "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book. A pening. I wanted to pretend I said. “I didn’t tell very many book signing is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at Signs of wasn’t there.” people at first, because I Life Book Store, 722 Massachusetts. But then she realized the didn’t know if it was going to embarrassing moment wasn’t make it in the book.” share of lemons in life. the end of the world. She decided to Cannistra has long been a fan of the But she’s made the best of bad situalaugh about it. “Chicken Soup” books. tions, thanks in part to services she has “Actually, that particular experience received at Bert Nash. “I love reading them,” she said. “I like has taught me a whole lot,” Cannistra the concept; stories that make you feel George Wanke, integrated dual diagsaid. “It challenged me to look at a situbetter and brighten your day a little.” nosis treatment team leader at Bert ation that may seem horrible, but if you The theme of the new “Chicken Soup Nash, has worked with Cannistra since look at it differently, you can see the for the Soul” book is “From Lemons to 2004. humor or the silver lining in it.” Lemonade: Positive, Practical, and “She has this combination of mental In more good news, Cannistra rePowerful Stories about Making the Best and physical struggles, so helping her cently received word a second submisof a Bad Situation.” find ways to not have that be as big a sion of hers was accepted for A subject Cannistra knows all about. barrier and to live as full of life as she publication in "Chicken Soup for the can, it’s been a joy for me,” Wanke said. Cannistra was born with cerebral Soul: It's Christmas," due out Oct. 8. “She’s been a delight to work with. palsy. Then when she was in her mid "Pretty cool, huh?" she said. She’s motivated and she’s articulate. 20s, she was diagnosed with borderline No, very cool. personality disorder. She’s had her She takes what we talk about in ses-

THERE'S MORE ONLINE — KU business professor Bill Beedles, an advocate for Mental Health First Aid, and Beth Ankerholz, information technology and office support director who celebrated her 24th year at Bert Nash in July, are profiled in stories at Also, for more photos and information about Bert Nash happenings, visit

DBT is called a ‘miracle program’ A PAGE 2


but that we have to do new cronyms are big at and innovative things.” Bert Nash. There’s CFS, CSS, And it wasn’t cheap. IDDT, IOP, SEED and “The training was expenWRAP, to name a few. sive,” Nelson said. "But SanBut there’s none bigger dra saw how this was integral than DBT, which stands for to the vision of the Bert Nash dialectical behavior therapy. Center." Bert Nash Community MenCurrent administrators at tal Health Center CEO David Bert Nash have continued to Johnson has another name support DBT. for it. “We’re really fortunate to “I call it a miracle prohave an administration that gram,” Johnson said. has supported us having a DBT combines the best of comprehensive DBT prodifferent cognitive-behavioral gram,” Nelson said. “It says a models, which are integrated lot about their dedication to into a comprehensive treatempirically supported treatment program. ment.” Developed by University of There are four primary Washington psychologist components of a comprehenMarsha Linehan, DBT, in its sive DBT treatment program: initial form, targeted women individual and/or family therwith suicidal and self-harmapy, group skills training Members of the Bert Nash DBT team include, from left: Heidi ing behaviors. Linehan, as Pritchard, Leigh Jordan, team leader Juliet Nelson, Marty Rus and classes, coaching calls proshe revealed publicly in 2011, Merrill Evans. Not pictured: Susan Anderson, Beth Chao, Rhonda vided by a therapist, and a had been one of those consultation team made up of Dye and Amy Hammer. women. a group of DBT therapists. apist.” “The idea behind DBT was to figure “It’s really a different way of looking out a more effective way to treat this at things,” Nelson said of DBT. “So you In the past, when therapists tried to population,” said Juliet Nelson, who is create a treatment team of people who deal with all of a person’s problems — the DBT team leader at Bert Nash. are helping each other apply this many people with severe mental illness model.” have more than one diagnosis — at one Nelson, like Johnson, believes DBT time it could lead to burnout and frusis nothing short of a life-saving proIn the DBT model, therapy consists tration, both on the part of the client gram. Even more, it is a life-changing of two hours or 90 minutes of group and the therapist. DBT takes a differtherapy and one hour of individual program. ent approach. therapy a week. DBT can be used to “It’s not an overstatement to say treat both adults and children. Bert “When you add another diagnosis to DBT saves lives. I’ve definitely seen Nash’s DBT program for adolescents is an already serious diagnosis, it complithat,” Nelson said. “But it doesn’t just for ages 12 to 18. cates things and exponentially grows save lives. It helps people live a life that the difficulty to treat that person,” Nel“The parents are included in the is not misery.” son said. “With DBT, it really helps you skills training group, so they learn right Nelson calls DBT an empowerment stay balanced so that you treat things along with the kids,” Nelson said. program. in order of priority.” There are currently 11 families in the “It helps people have the kind of life Bert Nash Adolescent DBT program. In Nelson, who has been at Bert Nash that they should have,” Nelson said.” the adult program, there are about 80 for 18 years, has been involved with the In the DBT model, the most highpeople actively engaged in DBT servcenter’s DBT program since it was risk behaviors, such as self-injury and ices. started in 1997. chronic self-destructive urges, are Many others have graduated from “Sandra Shaw, our CEO at the time, treated first. the program and either are no longer and Ronda Reitz, adult outpatient “You kind of ignore the other stuff so Bert Nash clients or have stepped down team leader, were the driving force in you don’t get overwhelmed by trying to to less intensive services. us getting started with DBT,” Nelson treat everything at once,” Nelson said. said. “When Ronda and I went to the Which is the ultimate outcome of “You deal with the more serious stuff, executive team to make a case for getDBT. and then you address the other things. ting intensive training in DBT, Sandra "We want to help people create a life Keeping that hierarchy in mind gives said, ‘We have to do this.’ It was such a worth living," Nelson said. you a structure in what to do as a thervote of confidence, not in us so much,


Governing Board of Directors

Barbara Ballard Frank DeSalvo Reed Dillon Steve Glass (Chair) Don Grosdidier Sue Hack David Johnson Cindy Maude Ken McGovern Bob Morse Elizabeth Sheils Doug Stephens

The faces of Bert Nash


Bert Nash staff and elementary school students celebrated the end of the summer program with a luau. See photos at

Endowment Trustees

Bill Beedles Beverly Billings Brad Burnside Steve Glass Carol Hatton Kelvin Heck Alice Ann Johnston David Johnson Cindy Maude Michael McGrew Rachel Monger Jill Persinger Linda Robinson (Chair) Gary Sollars Beth Stella Mike Treanor Judy Wright

Patricia Roach Smith (standing) is a Bert Nash certified trainer inYouth Mental Health First Aid, a class for those who work with young people.

Kala Bhana, right, Child and Family Services team leader, says goodbye to former CFS director Janice Storey at her going-away party.

Investment Committee

Chris Anderson Bill Beedles (Chair) Carolyn Shelton Chuck Warner Kelly Welch

BERT NASH CENTER 200 Maine Street Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 843-9192

Ranger is the therapy dog at the SecondaryTherapeutic Classroom, a Bert Nash/ USD 497 collaboration.

Case manager Julie Berndsen dressed up for Retro Day, part of Spirit Week activities at Bert Nash, Aug. 11-17.

Finance DirectorTracy Kihm showed her team pride during National Mental Health Center Week in August.





Dirks is an advocate for the young J

ean Dirks has spent her career speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. Dirks, a psychologist at Bert Nash, prepares court evaluations in cases of child abuse or neglect or when a child has been removed from the home. These are tough cases. But for Dirks, working on behalf of abused or neglected children is a privilege. “My real clients are the kids,” she said. “I’m there representing the child.” Dirk’s empathy for the plight of others — and taking action on their behalf — extends to her co-workers as well. Twice a year since 1991, she has shown her appreciation for the support staff at the Bert Nash Center. At Christmastime and on Administrative Professionals Day, which is the last week in April, Jean presents gifts to the support staff at Bert Nash, which includes the financial staff, records staff, frontdesk receptionists, information technology staff and the staff of the walk-in Longtime Bert Nash psychologist Jean Dirks, right, with Margo Lauer, Child and Family Access Center. Services receptionist. “When you hear about Bert Nash, was at the polling company,” Dirks In 2009, she asked five support staff you hear about the wonderful therasaid. “He made me realize how impormembers to share their personal stopists, but you seldom hear about the tant it is to treat the support staff well.” ries. She then gave a copy of their stosupport staff,” Dirks said. “But we ries to each member of the support couldn’t do our job without them. They Dirks is one of the most senior staff staff. are the backbone of what we do.” members at Bert Nash Center. She started working at the center in 1989. It was such a big hit she did it again Connie Snow, accounts receivables the next year. manager at Bert Nash, has worked “Bert Nash has been a good match with Dirks for 15 years. Snow admires for me, and the Douglas County Court Another time, in 2008, she summaDirks for her commitment to the cenjudges are phenomenal, including rized information about the center’s ter and said her recognition of the supJudge Jean Shepherd (retired) and first three staff members from the book port staff is greatly appreciated. Judge Peggy Kittel,” Dirks said. “That’s “Commitment to Community: A Hiswhy I’ve stayed here this long.” tory of the Bert Nash Community Men“Jean is very dedicated to her clients tal Health Center.” and her job,” Snow said. “And she alIn 1997, Dirks received the Sandra ways recognizes the support staff and Shaw Spirit Award, the highest honor “The support staff reflects what the treats us with value. She really is a given to a Bert Nash employee. behind-the-scenes people at the agency great lady.” do,” Dirks said. “They are the back“I am really proud of winning the bone.” Spirit Award,” she said. Dirks gives small gifts like candy bars or plants to the support staff. And Dirks credits summer jobs, first with Dirks celebrated her 24th year at she always includes some kind of a the International Monetary Fund in Bert Nash on Sept. 1. note, either a simple thank-you or an Washington, D.C., where her father “People say I’ve had a charmed life, uplifting message or interesting facts. worked, and then with a political because I’ve been here 24 years, but it’s polling company, for instilling in her She believes it is important to say not a charmed life,” Dirks said. “It’s the an appreciation for those who work in thank-you. realization that the Bert Nash Center the background. and the court do wonderful things, and “The true gift is not the gifts, but the “The nicest man I ever worked for they have a mission that I believe in.” notes that go with them,” Dirks said.

September 2013 newsletter  
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