“A Generation In Crisis: Youth Mental Illness”
CASA’s Annual Fall Educational Conference

CASA Kane County held its Annual Fall Educational Conference on Friday, November 3rd. This is a highly anticipated event for our CASA/GAL volunteers and staff along with our community partners that include educators, nonprofits, counselors, law enforcement, healthcare, judicial, legal, and social service groups.

Our topic this year in partnership with Northwestern Medicine was on responding to the urgent needs of our children and families suffering with anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health and social issues that our culture influences. Thank to our engaging speakers and dynamic legal panel for helping us offer a quality educational conference that is close to home.

Girl for Fall Conference 2017


Mark A. Reinecke, Ph.D. ABPP, ACT
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chief, Division of Psychology Northwestern University

Youth Depression: Trends, Treatment, & Prevention
Depression among youth places individuals at risk for academic, social, and vocational difficulties, anxiety and recurrent mood disorders during adulthood, alcohol and substance abuse, and suicide.  The World Health Organization now ranks depression as the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide (surpassing heart disease and cancer).  In this presentation, factors that place youth at risk for suicide will be discussed and the audience will be provided with evidence-based approaches to assessment and treatment.

Cassandra Kisiel, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator & Director, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions

Understanding the Impact of Complex Trauma on Youth and Families
As the primary developer of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) and a trauma consultant for DCFS for over 20 years, Dr. Kisiel will provide an overview of complex trauma, including diagnostic and clinical issues and share effective trauma-informed practices and strategies for multidisciplinary providers and systems serving children impacted by complex trauma.

Allison G. Johnsen, LCPC, BCC
Manager, Behavioral Health, Northwestern Medicine at CDH, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, and Board Certified Coach.

Vicarious Trauma: Protecting Yourself
Vicarious Trauma, also called Compassion Fatigue, may become a result of the chronic stress resulting from the caregiving work one chooses to do. Repeated exposure to another person’s trauma and painful situation, especially if one has had a similar experience at one point in one’s own life, can take its toll.  But, it is possible to practice healthy, ongoing self-care while successfully continuing to care for others.  Ms. Johnsen will discuss practical ways of preventing, recognizing and reversing compassion fatigue.”

Thank you to our Legal Panel : How the Justice System Interacts with Youth who have Mental Illness – CLICK HERE to read more about the panel


Presiding Judge Donald C. Hudson, Second District Appellate Court

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Judge Clint Hull, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge

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Donald Kramer, Kane County Sheriff


Lark Cowart, Esq., Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office

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Lyndsay A. Markley, Esq., Law Office of Lyndsay A. Markley, Ltd.


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