Presenters

​Suicide Prevention & the Art of Wellness and Resilience

About the Presenter:
Kevin Hines, Brain Health Advocate and Storyteller

Kevin Hines is an award-winning brain/mental health and suicide prevention activist, entrepreneur, multiple award-winning filmmaker, best-selling author, international educator and speaker who reaches audi​ences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Two years after he ​was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (19 years of age), he attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. He is one of only thirty-four to survive the fall, and the only one to regain full physical mobility. The fall would break his body, but not his spirit. 

Today, Kevin dedicates his life to saving lives and encouraging others to seek help and spread empathy by spreading the message of hope and sharing his story. He is one of the most respected and admired voices of lived experience. Kevin’s story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder for us to love the life we have.

Military Culture and Competence

About the Presenter:
Colleen M. Richardson, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Colleen Richardson graduated from the Florida School of Professional Psychology in Tampa, Florida. She accepted a commission and internship in the United States Navy in 2006. After completion of her internship at National Naval Medical Center, San Diego, she was reassigned to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. 

Dr. Richardson deployed for a year in 2008 with Regimental Combat Team One where she served as the Operational Stress Control and Readiness Provider (OSCAR), and the Camp Fallujah’s psychologist for the Shock Trauma Platoon. She provided front-line mental health support and services, such as crisis intervention, individual and group therapy, grief and loss debriefs and substance abuse training, to the Marines and Sailors attached to RCT-1. She traveled on over 100 combat patrols and convoys, treating close to 6,000 personnel. She trained over 500 Corpsmen on how to identify the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. After completing her deployment, she was assigned to Wounded Warrior Battalion-West as the Battalion mental health director and psychologist. While at WWB-West, Dr. Richardson designed and established an outpatient mental health program for the Marines and Sailors wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also provided educational trainings on mental health disorders and traumatic brain injury to clinical and non-clinical partners and coordinated additional care through a multi-disciplinary approach with other DoD and VA professionals.

After she left active duty, Dr. Richardson accepted a position at VA California and served as a staff psychologist for five years. In 2015, she accepted the Gold Team Clinical Director position at the VA North Texas, and in 2016 she was appointed Acting Chief of Psychology. In May of 2019, she was officially selected as the Chief of Psychology for the VA North Texas. Additionally, Dr. Richardson has been contracting for the Department of Defense since 2010, working on various projects to destigmatize mental health care for active duty Sailors and Marines. She coaches youth basketball in her free time.

VA North Texas Mental Health Service: Intro & Updates

About the Presenter:
Rodney C. Teague

Rodney C Teague has worked as a clinical psychologist for VA during the past eight years. He currently serves as a Local Recovery Coordinator for the North Texas VA system, promoting a highly contextual Recovery model of mental health services. He earned his doctoral degree from Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit in Pittsburgh, PA.

Telemental Health (TMH): Using Technology in Mental Health Care

About the Presenter:
Jennifer Smith Adams, PhD Clinical Director Telemental Health

Jennifer Smith Adams obtained her degree in 2008, Clinical Psychology, UNC-Greensboro. Her presentation has three learning objectives:

  • Learning objective one: Define Telemental Health
  • Learning objective two: Identify differences in Pre and Post COVID TMH usage
  • Learning objective three: Describe two VA initiatives used to increase TMH among veteran

Issues Affecting Women Veterans

About the Presenter:
Dr. Geetha Shivakumar

Dr. Geetha Shivakumar is a board-certified psychiatrist and clinical researcher in women's mental health. Her research work focuses on impact of reproductive events (such as pregnancy/postpartum, menopausal transition) on mood and anxiety disorders in women. She specializes in treating women Veterans with traumatic stress disorders, MST, and PTSD. She has published her research work in peer-reviewed journals, and is an invited speaker at local and national level meetings/conferences. She is involved in teaching and other educational activities at the Dallas VA Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center where she holds Associate Professor rank in the Department of Psychiatry.

Addressing Disparities in Mental Health Status and Mental Health Care

About the Presenter:
Shanida Magana, LCSW

Education:

  • Masters Degree in Social Worker, 2003, Fordham University

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify common cognitive stressors
  • State the importance of building cognitive resilience
  • Implement healthy brain habits that will reduce cognitive stress and build resilience

Understanding and Healing Moral Injury

About the Presenter:
​Ginger Simonson (MVPN)

Ginger Simonson is a Veterans Advocate and Peer Support Specialist in Denton County, Texas. Ginger has worked with military service members, Veterans and their family members for all her adult life. After graduation from the University of Texas, San Antonio, she joined the U.S. Army and served for over 24 years. Ginger served primarily as a Logistics Management Officer and Program Manager but also served in an overseas Embassy and as a contingency plans and operations officer in hazardous duty areas.

Ginger has extensive direct experience and training in the most pressing issues that face transitioning military service members and Veterans with combat trauma or military sexual trauma. She is certified by the Texas Veterans Commission as a MVPN Peer Service Coordinator and has been trained in facilitating Veteran Peer Support Groups; as a Veterans Court Mentor by Justice for Vets; in Military Informed Care by the Samaritan Center; and in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills by MHMR, Denton County. She served as the Peer Service Coordinator for the Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN), Denton County from May 2014 through October 2018. Under her leadership, interactions with Service-members, Veterans and family members grew from hundreds per year to almost 6,000 in 2018. She served as an Outreach Volunteer for the Denton County Veterans Coalition from 2012 - 2016 (having founded that organization in 2012, as its first President). Her “Boots on the Ground” involvement with Veterans and their family members includes connecting them with: transitional shelter and food; free mental health counseling; career counseling and interview preparation; and legal services.

Ginger is deeply involved with Justice Involved Veterans and was one of the original members of the Denton County Veterans Treatment Court, formed in the fall of 2012. She served as the Mentor Coordinator through December 2018. She introduced the use of peer support specialists as mentors as well as the use of peer support group sessions within Veterans Court. These program enhancements proved to be exceptionally effective in helping Veterans work through their issues to become productive members of the community. Ginger, along with Veterans Court Judge David Garcia, were featured in the CBS Documentary, Veterans Journey Home: Faith, Hope & War and she has participated in a number of radio programs, like Alliance for the Brave, about Veterans in the DFW area.

Ginger Simonson left active duty service in 2005, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Her military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal (5 awards); Army Commendation Medal (3 awards), and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award/Unit Commendation (for actions in OIF/OEF); among others. She maintains a close connection with most Veterans Service Organizations and served as the Service Officer for American Legion Post 71; is the Legislative Liaison for the North DFW Chapter of the Military Officers Association, is a member of the Women Veterans of America (Chapter 48) and is a Lifetime Associate member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 920). On September 15, 2016, she was given the Exemplary Service in Veterans’ Assistance Award at the Denton County Annual Veterans Strategy Summit. On 10 November 2016, she was selected as one of five recipients of the Texas 26th District Congressional Veteran Commendation

Ginger’s husband, Keith, is a staff attorney for the Social Security Administration in Dallas, Texas. Keith is also an Army Veteran with 30 years of active and Reserve service. Keith retired in 2011 (3 tours in Iraq) having attained the rank of Colonel. They have been married for 29 years and reside in Flower Mound, Texas.

Cognitive Stress Resilience: Reduce Information Overload and Build a Calmer Mind

About the Presenter:
Katie Hinds, M.S., CCC-SLP

Katie Hinds Education:

  • Master of Science in Communication Disorders, 2013, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, 2011, Texas Tech University
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Member

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify common cognitive stressors
  • State the importance of building cognitive resilience
  • Implement healthy brain habits that will reduce cognitive stress and build resilience