Family Peer Support Webinar Series News Image

Final webinar in family peer support series airs May 20

Publication Date: May 06, 2021

Editors' Note: This story ran in our May newsletter, published May 6.


The final webinar in our Family Peer Support: An Emerging Workforce series airs 12-1 p.m. Thursday, May 20.


In this webinar, How Families Can Foster Independence: Housing, we will demonstrate ways in which family peer support empowers families to support their loved one’s desire to live independently. In particular, participants will learn how recipients of family peer support:

  • Learn to engage their loved ones in conversations about housing and independent living;
  • Learn to support their loved ones with finding housing and housing supports;
  • Learn to help their loved ones be successful with independent living.




Jai SookramDr. Lilchandra Jai Sookram has been in the mental health field for over 40 years. At the Nebraska State Hospital, he provided psychological services to persons with serious mental illness and to their family members, and he directed clinical services including psychology, nursing, social work, therapeutic recreation, education and return-to-work programs. He is the former director of mental health services in Kansas and clinical director of a juvenile correctional facility. Currently he is manager of family and peer services at Community Alliance.

Bill BaerentzenBill Baerentzen, Ph.D., CRC, LMHP, is serious mental illness program director for the Mid-America MHTTC. Much of his outreach involves promoting evidence-based practices to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) live meaningful inclusive lives. Dr. Baerentzen has worked as director of a 250-bed emergency overnight shelter; supervisor of therapists in a treatment program for persons with co-occurring disorders; and as faculty in a rehabilitation counseling program.

Aileen Brady HeadshotAileen Brady is the chief operating officer at Community Alliance, a behavioral health care organization serving Omaha and surrounding communities. Community Alliance provides an integrated health care approach with a broad range of programs for adult men and women with co-occurring mental illness and substance use conditions. Aileen earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and her master's degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Rich Kalal HeadshotRich Kalal is a parent of a loved one with serious mental illness. A retiree of IBM, Kalal works as a volunteer at Community Alliance, in particular on family education programs along with Dr. Jai Sookram. On many occasions, Kalal has spoken to University of Nebraska Medical Center residents of psychiatry and family medicine and medical students about being a family member of a person with a serious mental illness.



Click here to register for the webinar. Click here to view last month's webinar, How Families Can Foster Independence: Employment.