The Intersection between Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health: An Introduction

The Intersection between Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health: An Introduction

August 4, 2020

The Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) is proud to partner with the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) to present six virtual events focused on the significant intersection between brain injury, mental health, and addiction. 

This first session was open to a general audience and provided attendees with a working knowledge of traumatic brain injury and its relation to mental health. This 60-minute session is a pre-requisite for anyone wanting to attend any of the four Intensive Workshops that follow. If you have been registered for the one of the intensive workshops, but missed this session, view the recording or the slide deck.


Slide deck




  • Rebeccah Wolfkiel, Executive Director, NASHIA
  • Judy Dettmer, Director for Strategic Partnerships, NASHIA
  • Opening remarks from Charlie Smith, SAMHSA Region VIII  Regional Administrator


Trainer Bio-Sketches

Rebeccah Wolfkiel

Becky WolfkielRebeccah Wolfkiel, Executive Director National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) Rebeccah joined NASHIA as Executive Director in January 2018. She brings fifteen years of experience in promoting policies that provide resources for individuals with brain injury, and their families. In her role as Executive Director, Rebeccah is committed to representing the interests of State governments and supporting the unique and integral role they play within the service delivery system. Rebeccah has also worked with former Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Ridge, at the Ridge Policy Group, for ten years, where she formerly represented NASHIA as a government affairs advisor. She played an integral role in the successful reauthorization of the Traumatic Brain Injury in 2014, paving the way for the federal TBI program’s move to the Administration for Community Living. Prior to her time at the Ridge Policy Group, Rebeccah worked on Capitol Hill for over six years where she served as Legislative Director to Congressman Todd R. Platts, Co-Chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Taskforce. Managing the Congressman’s legislative agenda, she learned how to effectively navigate the lawmaking process and develop successful strategies. During her tenure on the Hill, Rebeccah became keenly aware of the importance of bipartisanship and developed strong Congressional relationships with Republicans and Democrats alike. She often bridged partisan gaps and facilitated communication between contrasting viewpoints. In her free time, Rebeccah enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, husband Ryan, daughter Anna (11) and son Jack (4). Rebeccah received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.


Judy Dettmer

Judy DettmerJudy Dettmer has been working in the field of brain injury for 30 years. Ms. Dettmer serves as NASHIA’s Director for Strategic Partnerships and a Technical Assistance Lead for the Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance and Resource Center. Ms. Dettmer has worked extensively with adults, children and family members of individuals with brain injury. She has provided direct and systems consultation to improve the lives of individuals with brain injury. Judy has also assisted with research efforts related to brain injury and has conducted countless presentations, classes and seminars on brain injury both in the state of Colorado and nationally. Ms. Dettmer has provided technical assistance to numerous states on topics including but not limited to; screening on brain injury; developing infrastructure within state systems; interagency partnership development; and creation and management of advisory boards and councils. Judy has become a national leader in the field of criminal justice and brain injury, developing screening, identification and accommodations protocols in Colorado that have been routinely modeled by states. Ms. Dettmer is currently a co-facilitator for the National Collaborative on Children’s Brain Injury.



Intensive Workshops

Following this introductory session are four intensive workshops directed towards specific populations. The intensive workshops are intended for individuals and providers who support the mental health, substance abuse, veterans, and school-age communities. The four Intensive workshops were  limited to 20 participants each. Each workshop lasts 90 minutes and consist of a presentation, an interactive exercise, and Q & A. This format is designed to facilitate experiential learning and problem solving. Each workshop will be led by a nationally recognized subject matter expert.  

Certificates of Attendance will be issued for these workshops.


Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health: Intensive Workshop for the Addiction Prevention and Treatment Community

August 18, 2020  

11:00 am - 12:30 pm MT  

Trainer: Anastasia Edmonston, Maryland State Behavioral Health Administration

Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health in the Veterans Community 

September 8, 2020

11:00 am - 12:30 pm MT

Trainer: Dr. Lisa Brenner, Veterans Affairs

Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health for the Mental/Behavioral Health Community

September 10, 2020      

9:00 am - 10:30 am MT

Trainer: Dr. Kim Gorgens, University of Denver 

Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health in the K-12 Education Community 

October 6, 2020

11:00 am - 12:30 pm MT

Trainer: Dr. Karen McAvoy

Open Session Webinar: Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Health for the Primary Health Care Community

October 27, 2020         

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm MT

Trainers: Caitlin Synovec, OTD, OTR/L and Amber Richert, BSN, MSN, DNP


Copyright © 2024 Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network