Family Inclusion Webinar Series: The Role of Families in Recovery from Mental Illnesses

Family Inclusion Webinar Series

Session 1: The Family Experience
June 7, 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET
Valerie Ferri, MSW, MPH, LSW & Michelle Zechner, Ph.D., MSW, LSW, CPRP
This one-hour webinar will help mental health providers become more familiar with the perspectives and experiences of the family members of people with mental illnesses. We will also identify family types, supports needed, and strategies for utilizing the strengths of families.


Registration Link


Session 2: Strategies to Support Family Member Recovery
June 14, 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET
Valerie Ferri, MSW, MPH, LSW & Michelle Zechner, Ph.D., MSW, LSW, CPRP
Family members of people living with serious mental illnesses go through stages of recovery following the diagnosis of their relative. In this webinar, we will identify the recovery stages of family members and identify strategies for mental health providers to support the recovery of family members.


Registration Link


Session 3: Implementing Family Inclusion Standards
June 28, 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET
Valerie Ferri, MSW, MPH, LSW & Michelle Zechner, Ph.D., MSW, LSW, CPRP
This session will present a model of Standards of Family Inclusion that identifies specific strategies to incorporate family inclusion into mental health services. Practical suggestions to welcome families will be offered at the organizational and provider level.


Registration Link



Valerie Ferri, MSW, MPH, LSW is the Director of Workforce Development at the Family Training and Advocacy Center for Mental Illness (FTAC) and has worked in outpatient, inpatient, and administrative roles within the Philadelphia public behavioral health system for 20 years. She oversees various programs at FTAC that champion the importance of family within behavioral healthcare and works collaboratively with local universities, behavioral health organizations and family members to educate the workforce and support providers in their efforts to become more family inclusive. 

Michelle Zechner, PhD, MSW, LSW, CPRP, an Assistant Professor at Rutgers, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions, has focused her career on the promotion of health and wellness for people with mental health conditions, their families and the staff who support them for over 25 years. She has worked in a variety of settings including: academia, outpatient mental health programs, psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, family advocacy and training services.  She conducts research, teaches and mentors students, and consults with state psychiatric hospitals on supporting people with mental illness and their families. Her research interests include health promotion for people with mental health conditions and their families, aging well with disabilities, preparing mental health and health professionals to work with people with mental health conditions and their families, multi-dimensional wellness,  and motivation for physical activity. She has co-authored peer-reviewed and technical publications on health and wellness promotion. She is a sought after trainer and has given presentations locally and nationally on topics ranging from wellness and recovery, family support, and supporting self-care for families and mental health staff.  

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