Mental Wellness 101


WHEN: Wednesday, August 12 2020

WHERE: Online

* This training is currently full, but if you are interested in scheduling a Mental Wellness 101 training, please email

The workshop explores mental health from a global perspective; describing the likely cause, the associated stigma, and the importance of recognizing cultural difference. The workshop will also review the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive disorder; two of the most common mental illnesses worldwide (Ritchie & Roser, 2018). Participants will also learn how to effectively intervene with individuals who are experiencing suicidality and substance use issues. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. List at least three symptoms of anxiety
  2. Describe at least three physical symptoms of depression
  3. Identity at least three warning signs of suicide
  4. Apply at least DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorders

Mental Health First Aid


WHEN: Saturday, August 22nd 2020

WHERE: Online

* This training is currently full, but if you are interested in finding out when our next Mental Health First Aid training will be, please email

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. The training helps you identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses. Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Topics Covered:

  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma
  • Psychosis
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.

Interventions Learned:

When you take a course, you learn how to apply the Mental Health First Aid action plan in a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing:

  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Nonsuicidal self-injury
  • Acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions)
  • Overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use
  • Reaction to a traumatic event
  • The opportunity to practice — through role plays, scenarios, and activities — makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Upon completing the Mental Health First Aid training, participants will be able to:
  2. Identify the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis, and psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, and self-injury.
  3. Identify a 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional help.
  4. Interpret the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced negative attitudes in their communities.
  5. Apply knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem treat and manage the problem, as well as achieve recovery.

Addiction Professional Interview

Kate Mahoney, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director for the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology was interviewed by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor of the Addiction Professional. Click here to read about recommended steps a clinician should follow when faced with an ethical dilemma, and learn about some other common mistakes that some practitioners are making regarding ethical dilemmas.


Kate Mahoney, LCSW, Executive Director of the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychologyshares her thoughts in a Q&A interview for INSIGHT magazine, on why mental health care education is so important for the criminal justice system. Read here: l.php

Mental Health America Award

Kate Mahoney, LCSW, the Executive Director of the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education, was recently honored with the George Goodman and Ruth P. Brudney Social Work Award from Mental Health America. Well done Kate!




Addressing Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice: A Case Study Approach

When: Friday, March 8th, 2019

Where: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology: 325 N. Wells St, Room 407/412 Chicago IL 60654

Register at for Friday, March 8th, 2019

Presented by Kate Mahoney, MSW, LCSW, and Claire Openshaw, MA, LPC, this intermediate workshop will help clinicians identify a number of different ethical dilemmas they have faced in their clinical practice. This workshop will present a seven-step decision-making model for ethical dilemmas that emerge in clinical practice.  Participants will then practice applying the seven-step model to a number of different clinical case studies presented.

This program Offers 3 APA CEs for Psychologists & 3 CEUs for Counselors & Social Workers

Upcoming Workshop

Treating Anxiety: Integrating Western and Eastern Therapeutic Approaches

When: Thursday, February 21st, 2019 from 9:00am to 12:15pm

Where: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology: 325 N. Wells St, Chicago IL 60654

Register at

Co-Sponsored with the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute & presented by Larry Stoler, MSSA, Ph.D., this introductory workshop will introduce participants to an approach to treating anxiety that is based on a foundation that is consistent with modern science, and Eastern spiritual practice, particularly Chinese Medicine.  This approach honors, but also extends the current practice to address and remedy deeper causes of anxiety.  Participants will be taught easy-to-learn Qigong (“Chee-Kung”) practices drawn from Chinese Medicine that they can use for self-healing and share with their patients. This workshop will help practitioners have a better understanding of therapies adapted from Eastern philosophy, gain confidence in using these integrative approaches, and broaden the range of approaches they can use to treat anxiety.

This program Offers 3 APA CEs for Psychologists & 3 CEUs for Counselors & Social Workers

Upcoming Event

Chicago Social Impact Leaders Awards Luncheon 2019

When: Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:30am – 1:30pm

Where: Maggiano’s Ballroom, 111 W. Grand Ave, Chicago

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology will present its 2nd annual Celebration of Chicago’s Social Impact Leaders Award luncheon and fundraiser on Thursday, March 7, 2019, as part of our year-long celebration of our 40th anniversary. The event will take place at Maggiano’s Ballroom, 111 W. Grand Ave, Chicago, to recognize the outstanding work happening in the Chicago community by mental health professionals and passionate advocates. The reception will begin at 11:30 am followed by the lunch and awards program from 12:00 pm -1:30 pm. As a non-profit institution, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology will dedicate all proceeds of the luncheon to scholarships for continuing students on the Chicago Campus and The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education.

Last year, our founders Marilyn and Larry Cohen were honorees at the 1st Chicago’s Social Impact Leaders Award Luncheon. This year’s honorees include Dan Bigg,  (posthumously honored), co-founder and Director of the Chicago Recovery Alliance, Armand Cerbone, Ph.D., a leader in comprehensive psychological care, advocate and leader for mental health and LGBTQ issues, and Captain Jeffrey A. Coady (TCSPP Alumni – Class of 1999) SAMHSA Regional Administrator, Region 5, whose strategic leadership reduces the impact of mental illness and substance use disorder in Chicago and in America’s communities. Jay Styles, host of SHE’s 100.3 afternoon radio program and passionate advocate for mental health awareness, will be the emcee.

You can support the event and The Chicago School by purchasing individual tickets, becoming a sponsor, or by making a donation. Sponsorship levels range from $150 to $20,000 and include tickets to the event. Visit to find out more and to register.

This is a great opportunity to hear about The Chicago School’s impact in the Chicago community and help celebrate the honoree’s outstanding accomplishments!

Feel free to email Sandy Wolfrum;, with any questions.

2018 Conference a Great Success

Every year, the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education holds a community mental health conference. We are proud to share that this year was our seventeenth conference. The focus of this year’s conference was on ‘Older Adults Mental Health: Opportunities and Challenges.’ This topic aligns with the institute’ is dedicated to reducing mental health stigma by providing support, resources, and hope to those who struggle with mental illness and to those who support them.

We believe this year’s conference was a success, with over 300 attendees. The conference was designed to not only inform and teach the public about older adults’ mental health, but also to provide opportunities to network with others within the community, and identify resources to enhance the quality of life for older adults, their family members, neighbors, friends, and other caregivers. Our sentiment of success was shared by our participants, as 57% rated the conference as “excellent”, 28% stated “very good,” 12% reported “good,” and 3% rated it “fair.” One community member shared that they “learned about the aging process and mental health issues, nutrition, and wellness,” another mental health professional shared that they learned new information about current research, prevention, and healing techniques. Many participants reported that they can used the information gathered to integrate into their “personal and professional lives.”

The conference was held on Sunday, June 3rd, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Since its inception, the conference has been held at the Beth Emet Synagogue; however, due to renovations, this year’s conference was held at the Roycemore School in Evanston. We would like to thank Roycemore School for kindly welcoming us to their space. A participant shared that it was a “very nice facility for this kind of event, bright, cheery, and adequate parking.”

The doors opened at 9am, where individuals could register, enjoy fresh coffee and bagels, and gather information and resources from the numerous exhibits. At 10am the plenary panel welcomed participants to the conference. Participants stated that it was “terrific” and a “very inspirational panel.”

2018 Conference

Pictured above are (back row l to r) Robyn Golden, Larry Cohen, Jeffrey Rediger, Stanley G. McCracken, Michael Horowitz

(front row l to r) Nancy Carstedt, Marilyn Cohen, Margie Martyn, Father Robert Oldershaw


The panel was moderated by Robyn Golden, MA, LCSW, ACSW who serves as the Associate Vice President of Population Health and Aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Robyn also holds academic appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry, and Health Systems Management, and is responsible for developing and overseeing health promotion and disease prevention, mental health, care coordination, and transitional care services for older adults, family caregivers, and people with chronic conditions. In the words of our participants, “Robyn did a great job moderating!” 99% of participants rated her as excellent, good, or very good.

The first panelist to present was Jeffrey Rediger, MD, Masters in Divinity, who is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and serves as the Chief of Behavioral Medicine at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. Dr. Rediger flew in from Boston to share with us advances in integrative medicine and effective approaches to addressing older adult mental health. We were honored to have Dr. Rediger’s share his innovative approaches to holistic health, which have gained national attention though publications and appearances on the Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz shows. Numerous participants stated that they would have liked more time to hear Dr. Rediger. One participant shared that the concepts and research discussed was “most intriguing and applicable to work with clients.” 96% of participant rated him as excellent, good, or very good.

The second panelist was Dr. Stanley G. McCracken, PhD, LCSW, RDDP, who is a lecturer at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. He has forty years’ experience as a clinician, educator, and consultant and has published on mental health and older adults for the National Center for Gerontological Social Work Education. Dr. McCracken regularly consults with Rush University Health and Aging and Road Home Programs, Lake County Veterans and Families Service Foundation, and Asian Human Services. Once again, participants stated that they would have liked more time to hear Dr. McCracken discuss the topic of Wisdom, within the context of older adults’ mental health. 98% of participants rated him as excellent, good, or very good.

The third and final panelist was Nancy Carstedt, the Executive Director of NAMI, Cook County North Suburban. We were honored and humbled to have Nancy join our panel to share with us her personal recovery journey. Her story captured the audience like no other. Nancy demonstrates incredible courage and resilience, and is truly an inspiration. A participant shared that “the most profound aspect of the conference was hearing Nancy talk.” 100% of participants rated her excellent, good, or very good.

After each panelist presented, there was an opportunity for participants to ask questions, which generated rich, fruitful discussions. Upon closure of the plenary panel, it was time for everyone to have a break, stretch their legs, collect their lunch, and get to their discussions groups. Each participant had the opportunity to attend two discussion groups, each being 1 hour and 15 minutes long. The 19 discussion group topics included Managing Anxiety and Depression as We Age, How to Thrive as a Caregiver-Challenges, Supports, Resources & Rewards, Aging with Dignity: Self-Care Across the Life Span, Spirituality and Aging, Coping with Loss… Embracing Change, Going it Alone: Finding the Support You Need When You are on Your Own, Differentiating Depression, Dementia, and Delirium, Mindfulness and Chair Yoga for Older Adults and Caregivers, Grief and Loss in Older Adults, Aging in the LGBTQ Community, Improving the Well-Being of Aging Veterans, Planning for Adult Children with Mental Illness, and Other Special Needs, Medications & Substance Use, How Much Stuff is Too Much Stuff-What to do When Overwhelmed by Our Possessions, Developmental Issues in Aging, Integrative Medical & Mind-Body Solutions For Managing Chronic Pain, Multicultural Perspectives on Aging, Becoming a Super Ager, and The Impact of Aging on Family Dynamics. Numerous participants shared that they wished they could attend more than two discussion groups. Other participants reported that the “discussion groups were great,” “incredible resources,” “useful tools,” “good conversation,” ‘better understanding,” and helpful “handouts.”

The conference wrapped up at approximately 4pm where participants finished up with their last discussion group, and were granted an opportunity to share feedback on our conference evaluation, to see where we can improve for next year. So, thank you to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts with us, we sincerely appreciate it.

Lastly, we would like to take this time to say thank you to each and every one of you who attended this year’s conference, it would not have been the same without you. And of course, a special thank you to our sponsors, panelists, and discussion leaders, because this all would not have been possible without your ongoing support. We look forward to seeing you all next year for our 18th Annual Community Mental Health Conference, where we will be addressing the integration of physical and mental health.