Helen Hayes Hospital will present a Taboo Seminar in conjunction with the Hudson Valley Chapter of United Spinal on Wednesday, July 24 from 5-8 p.m. in the hospital’s Noyes Conference Room. The seminar will delve into topics commonly viewed as taboo for individuals living with spinal cord injury and other disabilities and will welcome guest speakers with expertise in a variety of areas such as drug addiction, mental health, and body image. The program is open to patients, community members, families, students, and professionals. Continuing Education Units will be available.

The seminar program will feature three local experts:

Janet Silva, LMHC, Coordinator of Substance Abuse Services at the Rockland County Department of Mental Health will discuss disability and substance abuse. Topics covered will include the impact of substance abuse disorders, the basic neurobiological pathways involved in the development of substance abuse disorders, and how to identify the risk factors and red flags of opioid addiction.

Dara Richter, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist at BRiDGES Independent Living Center will address the topic of depression and suicide in the disabled community. Topics will include current statistical suicide trends, risk assessment for people at risk of suicide, and the history of the peer movement in recovery.

Krystle Allen, blind model and owner of Eyes Like Mine, Inc. will present on body image and self-love. Allen will discuss the ties between self-love and healthy living, identify methods of assessing self-esteem, and explore modes of encouraging healthy body image.
Entrance to the Taboo Seminar is $10 for United Spinal members, $15 for nonmembers (attendees may register on site), and $50 for professionals receiving CEUs. The seminar is eligible for .30 CEUs (3 contact hours). Food will be provided. All proceeds will benefit the Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation and its mission to support programs and services at Helen Hayes Hospital. For additional information on this or other United Spinal Hudson Valley events, please contact Peter Gagliardo: 845-786-4950 or peter.gagliardo@helenhayeshosp.org.

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