Many young people are searching for their identity, feeling pressured by a label, or just trying to belong. How does this journey put some young people at risk for substance use or other behavioral disorders?
How can family members best support youth by nurturing their identity?
To answers questions like these, a panel of behavioral health professionals and individuals in recovery will join us to explore the risks, discuss the warning signs, and provide families and educators with the tools needed to empower young people and foster a healthy identity.
Below you will find information about our past presenters, along with supportive information and resources related to the topic.
The Trevor Project – You deserve a welcoming, loving world. And so do the people you care about. Here you can reach out to a counselor if you’re struggling, find answers and information, and get the tools you need to help someone else.
Below are the panelists who have share their expertise and experience at “The Search for Identity” programs. Their contact information may be found by clicking on the “Learn More…” buttons.
Be a Part of the Conversation programs do not provide behavioral health advice and are for informational purposes only. Our programs are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding substance use disorders or related family needs. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any Be a Part of the Conversation program or video.
Damian Holbrook grew up in Lansdowne, PA and after four terrifying years in an all-boys Catholics high school, attended Temple University for journalism. Upon graduating, he was hired by a national entertainment magazine, where he is currently a senior writer and columnist. He has moderated celebrity panels on both coasts, co-hosted a podcast and appeared on several TV talks shows, but he is most proud of training his Chihuahua Bud to expect treats and belly scratches around the clock. He now lives in Haverford, PA and has been sober since Nov. 2nd, 1997.
Dr. Ley David Elliette Cray, Ph.D. (she/they) is Director of LGBTQIA+ Programming at Charlie Health and co-director of the Mind Body Ecology Institute. She is a trauma-informed yoga instructor as well as a certified philosophical consultant, mindfulness coach, and sexuality counselor. She regularly offers classes such as Trans Yoga and Queer Mindfulness for members of LGBTQIA+ communities.
Kayte Roberts is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She frequently works with LGBTQ2IA+ folks, viewing the process of self-exploration from a queer-affirmative lens, grounded in radical empowerment. She also specializes in substance use issues, young adult men’s issues, survivors of trauma and oppression, and those struggling with sadness, depression & anxiety.
Dr. Caroline Fenkel, DSW, LCSW is the Co-founder & Chief Clinical Officer of Charlie Health, the largest provider of virtual IOP treatment programs for teens, young adults, and families navigating mental health challenges.
A leader in adolescent mental healthcare, Dr. Fenkel provides evidence-based mental healthcare, including direct clinical experience working with youth and families across all levels of therapeutic care, ranging from residential to outpatient treatment.
Haydn Briggs MSS, LSW, CET II
Haydn Briggs is a psychotherapist gifted in the treatment of relational trauma and substance use with adolescents and young adults. As a licensed social worker and student of neuroscience, Haydn integrates a strengths-based approach and bases much of his work in contemporary neurobiological research. He employs humor and playfulness as tools for establishing safety and enhancing the therapeutic relationship. As a Certified Experiential Therapist, Haydn weaves traditional talk-therapy methods with action-based methods to create with clients a therapeutic relationship that is rigorous, compassionate, and joyful. Haydn has completed EMDR training with the Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute.
Alandra J. Russ, M.S, NCC is the lead therapist for The Light Program PHP for for teens struggling with mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders. She will also be leading an Intensive Outpatient Program for adolescents in the LGBTQ+ community, struggling with mental health challenges. Alandra’s has worked in grades k-12 to assist children and teens in managing their behaviors in a therapeutic setting. Alandra has co-facilitated suicide prevention training workshops for college-aged individuals, has training in psychodrama and experiential therapy at an Inpatient Rehab for adults, and has facilitated therapeutic groups for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Additionally, Alandra facilitated groups for substance use relapse prevention and recovery, and is a trauma-informed therapist with a passion for suicide prevention, substance use recovery, multicultural counseling, and gender and sexuality counseling.
Andrea Dinsmore is the Director of Student Services for Great Valley School District. According to GVSD Superintendent Daniel Goffredo, “Ms. Dinsmore is a recognized and respected leader among Great Valley staff and families. We are excited to have her in the director’s role and look forward to the leadership she will provide in our efforts to meet the needs of our students and support our teachers and staff.”
Andrea Dinsmore joined Great Valley as a supervisor of special education in 2014. As a supervisor, she acted as LEA representative for IEP meetings, monitored special education records for compliance, and maintained accurate records to comply with all federal and state mandates. She worked extensively with staff to plan and implement professional development, and conducted staff observations. In addition, she coordinated Extended School Year programming, and collaborated with building level teams and parents around behavior, mental health, academics, attendance and legal issues.
Dinsmore is a graduate of Cabrini College and West Chester University, and previously worked as the coordinator of instructional services at Daniel Boone Area School District. Prior to her administrative experience, she worked as a special education learning coach and as a special education teacher in the Daniel Boone Area School District. She has instructional certifications in special education, elementary education, and as a reading specialist.
Kim Porter is the Executive Director of Be a Part of the Conversation. Her Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS) credential was created for adults who have been directly impacted by another person’s substance use disorder. The CFRS shares their lived experience with other family members to provide recovery support services. A CFRS is trained to help families move into and through the recovery process.
Kim is the parent of someone in long term recovery, which led her to explore the impact of addiction on families and help create Be a Part of the Conversation in 2011. Before that time, Kim worked as a graphic designer and marketing consultant since 1985.