Mental Health Summit

When:  9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022

Location: DoubleTree by Hilton, 150 S Nicolet Road, Appleton, WI 54911 

LGBTQ+ people experience alarmingly high rates of mental health challenges, due in large part to stigma, discrimination, and bias in all its forms. Join established and emerging leaders, activists, advocates, community members, and allies from throughout Northeastern Wisconsin for a day of learning and networking, as we join in solidarity to support the LGBTQ+ community and explore solutions to address these inequities.

Some sessions are targeted for providers while others are designed for LGBTQ+ community members to support their mental health and healing. Mental health providers are invited and encouraged to attend!

At the Summit, you can:
• deepen your understanding of issues facing the LGBTQ+ community;
• network with others in our community and from across the state;
• learn what organizations and individuals are doing to advance the mental health,
safety, fairness, and inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community in Wisconsin; and,
• join efforts to ensure LGBTQ+ protections in Wisconsin



Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.
9 a.m. Keynote

Dr. Wayne Bentham (he/him/his) 
Dr. Bentham is an internist and psychiatrist, and currently serves as the Medical Director at The Remedy MN Ketamine-TMS in Minneapolis, Minn. Previously, Dr. Bentham served as attending psychiatrist at St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Appleton Wis., during which time he also served as the Associate Director for Behavioral Health at Network Health Plan, and then was attending psychiatrist at Bellin Psychiatric Center, in Green Bay, Wis. His board certifications are Diplomate, of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and Diplomate, of the American College of Independent Medical Examiners. Over the 20-plus years of his career, Dr. Bentham has practiced in academic medical centers, special medical centers, community mental health centers, telepsychiatry, and he has collaborated in community/public health partnerships to deliver mental health services to communities devastated by natural disasters.


10 a.m. (Choose from 3 sessions)

Understanding “Safety Planning” with LGBTQ+ People
Nick Ross (they/them/theirs), LGBTQ+ Anti-Violence Program Advocate, Diverse & Resilient
LGBTQ+ people already do safety planning on a daily basis. We must make decisions to protect our safety whenever we navigate a public space, workplace, school, or sometimes even our own homes. Providers will learn how to uplift and underscore the skills LGBTQ+ individuals already have in order to better keep themselves safe in times of crisis, as well as important factors to highlight that are specific to the experiences of LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ community members will learn ways to utilize skills they already have to help keep themselves safe in a variety of situations, especially in times of crisis.

First Do No Harm: LGBTQ+ 101
Keira Kowal Jett (they/them/theirs), Community Education & Outreach Advocate – Diverse & Resilient
This informational session will cover the LGBTQ+ basics, including pronouns and affirming language, an overview of barriers and challenges LGBTQ people face, and best-practices in supporting the LGBTQ+ individuals in your own communities. 

Silenced No More: Supporting LGBTQ+ elder Survivors
Kathy Flores (she, her, hers), Director, Diverse & Resilient – Appleton
LGBTQ+ people have long fought the battle for equality. Those who have been in the fight for generations now face so much fear about discrimination, or worse, in healthcare/long-term care that they often hide their past, are afraid to ask for help, and die earlier. This can result in increased isolation furthering the mental health crisis of this community. This workshop will explore how we can support and affirm our LGBTQ+ elders through presentation and multimedia using the award-winning film “Gen Silent” directed and produced by Stu Maddux.


11:30 a.m. (Choose from 3 sessions)

Gender Affirming Healthcare: Navigating Transition
Nathaniel Fores (he, him, his), Gender Affirming Care/Registered Nurse – Planned Parenthood Wisconsin
The healthcare system can be difficult for anyone to navigate but it provides extra barriers for LGBTQIA+ individuals. From limited access to care and lack of knowledge to micro-agressions and discrimination. How do we foster affirmative healthcare for transgender, nonbinary and gender diverse patients? In this session, we will discuss best practices and special considerations to improve the delivery of respectful and affirming healthcare to this community.

Red Flag, Green Flag
Keira Kowal Jett (they, them, theirs), Community Education & Outreach Advocate – Diverse & Resilient
In this session, we will learn to recognize common “red flag” behaviors to look out for in our relationships and “green flag” behaviors to seek out and practice to nurture healthy connections in our lives.

Race, Gender and Fatness: A Discussion and Reflection
Jesús Gregorio Smith (he, him, his), Assistant Professor in Ethnic Studies – Lawrence University
This informational and sociological session will dive into the intersection of racism and medicine as it comes to fatness and bodies, especially in the context of queer people. Part historical overview, part critical analysis, and part discussion, this session hopes to leave participants with knowledge and resources regarding anti-fatness in medicine and in our everyday lives.

Open Art Space for Healing
Come take a break and enjoy a calm, self-directed space for emotional regulation. Drawing and crafting materials will be available for participants to creatively process any strong emotions and memories that may be stirred up in the sessions.


12:45 p.m. Grab Your Lunch!
1 p.m. Lunch & Panel Discussion:

Monkeypox Déjà Vu
Panel Discussion with Diverse & Resilient HIV Prevention & Care staff Amani Carter, Ronnie Grace, and Lorenzo Rivas and Outagamie County Public Health Epidemiologist David DeGrood
Join us for this lunchtime panel discussing the similarities in stigma facing the LGBTQ+ community today with the Monkeypox outbreak and the stigma of the early days of the AIDS crisis from the 80s and 90s. Panel discussion will be facilitated by Jesús Gregorio Smith.

2 p.m. (Choose from 3 sessions)

Blanket Fort Fairy Tales: Creating Queer Anytime Stories
Nik Shier (they, them, theirs), Queer Storyteller
Looking for a place to curl up in Queer community?  Or all by yourself, near-ish people?  This is the workshop for you!  Don’t feel like writing a story?  Come color outside the lines!  Or come experience stories!  We’re going to look at some traditional queer stories and then write some of our own.  There will be writing prompts in English for storytellers of all ages and writing levels.  Please feel invited to bring your favorite comfort object!

Reclaiming Our Right to Thrive – Healing Through Music
Betsy and Keira Kowal Jett
Join us for a healing session of group singing and songwriting where we will reclaim and express our truths through song. This is a space designed for LGBTQ+ people.

Port in the Shitstorm: Supporting LGBTQ+ People through Political Trauma
Eliza Cussen (she, her, hers)
LGBTQ+ people, particularly trans kids, are at the epicenter of Wisconsin’s polarized political discourse. The Wisconsin Legislature continues to propose bills that directly threaten the privacy and security of queer life. Each instance of civic and political hostility takes a toll on body and mind, yet we lean on oppressed people to lift the heaviest load. In the days following the Midterms, how can LGBTQ+ people and our allies contribute to politics from a position of liberation, power, and community care?

3:15 p.m. – Grab a Snack!
3:30 p.m. – Closing Session

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Panel
Dr. Wayne Bentham, Kathleen Schiltz, Jasmine Lammers, Isaac Kabacinski.
How do we provide competent, affirming mental health care for LGBTQ+ individuals? Learn from the mental health experts in this panel who will discuss the delivery of quality, culturally relevant and affirming behavioral health support for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Open Art Space for Healing
Come take a break and enjoy a calm, self-directed space for emotional regulation. Drawing and crafting materials will be available for participants to creatively process any strong emotions and memories that may be stirred up in the sessions.