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Inside Passages Speaker Series

Inside Passages is a free speaker series that explores issues connected to mental health and wellness that impact us, our families, and the community. With different speakers and topics, participants will learn and exchange views on a wide variety of mental health-related issues. This information is intended to be most beneficial to direct service providers, but anyone is welcome to attend.

Presentations will be offered virtually on Zoom November-April (see schedule below). Find more information at our Facebook event by clicking here.


Click the link below to register. 

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Upcoming Presentations:

  • November 14th 12PM-1PM NAMI Juneau - Introduction to Juneau Mental Health Services

  • November 29th 12PM-1PM Amelia Hanrahan - Trauma Stewardship and Preventing Burnout

  • January 17th 12pm-1pm Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance - Eating Disorders

  • February 21st 12pm-1pm Sharnel Vale-Jones, T&H Cultural & Behavioral Services Healing Center - Infusing Southeast Traditional Practices in Evidence-Based Practice

  • March 14th 12pm-1pm Margie Thomson, Koru Counseling - Providing Gender-Affirming Mental Health Care

  • April 18th 12pm-1:30pm Lived Experience & Peer Support Panel: Aaron Surma, Kara Nelson, John Drips


November 14th 12PM-1PM Aaron Surma & Meryl Connelly-Chew NAMI Juneau - Introduction to Juneau Mental Health Services

In this presentation, Aaron Surma (he/him) and Meryl Connelly-Chew (they/them) of NAMI Juneau will share about NAMI Juneau programs, discuss the benefits of peer support, review local Juneau mental health services (including new programs), provide updates on 988, and share an overview of the upcoming Inside Passage Series

November 29th 12PM-1PM Amelia Hanrahan - Trauma Stewardship and Preventing Burnout

Amelia Hanrahan (she/her) will present on trauma stewardship and burnout prevention and recovery. Drawing on her experiences teaching book studies on Laura van Dernoot Lipsky's Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others and running debriefing sessions, she will give an overview of what trauma stewardship means, what it looks like in practice, and provide examples and resources for creating healthy emotional engagement with our work. The practice is focused on moving from a sense of overwhelm to maintaining joy and being present when helping others.

Amelia (she/her)  is a mental health clinician working for the Juneau School District. She graduated from UAF's clinical mental health Master's program in 2019. Her work is focused in childhood trauma, suicide prevention, and LGBT+ mental health. She previously worked at Juneau Youth Services as a clinician and at Kodiak Area Native Association providing primary care mental health services. Before that she worked as a teacher in South Korea and as a musician. Originally from Toronto, Canada she moved to Alaska in 2016.

Click here for the slides from Trauma Stewardship & Preventing Burnout with Amelia Hanrahan



January 17th 12PM-1PM Topic: Eating Disorders Essentials: Eating disorder types, assessments, treatment options and resources in Alaska 

Presenters: Beth Rose and Jenny Loudon, Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance (AKEDA) Co-Founders

Eating Disorders Essentials will provide an overview of a serious mental and physical health illness that affects 1 in 9 individuals and has the second highest mortality rate than other psychiatric condition. While eating disorders are on the rise, especially as a result of the pandemic, many providers and educators don’t have the information they need to make an assessment or referral or know where to turn for Alaska training or resources. Presenters Jenny Loudon and Beth Rose, co-founders of the statewide Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance, will provide information you can use along with opportunities for future learning on this important topic. Loudon and Rose each have lived experience with eating disorders as individuals and caregivers, and bring to AKEDA decades of combined experience in nonprofit management, health policy, and community engagement.

Click here for the slides from this presentation.

Tuesday, February 21st, 12PM-1PM: Infusing Therapeutic Evidence-based Practices with Southeast Indigenous Traditions

Topic: Sharnel Vale-Jones, Yaagál (She/Her) will present on infusing therapeutic evidence-based practices with Southeast Indigenous traditions. She will draw on her experiences from her clinical training and while working with participants at the Tlingit & Haida Community and Behavioral Services (CBS) Healing Center. She will give an overview of multicultural competence, discuss her process of indigenizing Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, provide examples, and close with a mindfulness exercise infused with indigenous practice. Come learn how to provide culturally responsive care to SE Indigenous peoples.

Presenter: Sharnel Vale-Jones (Yaagál) is Lingít, Kwaashk’IKwáan (Raven, Humpy Salmon), Dis hítdaxáyáxat (Moon house) from Yakutat. She holds a B.A. in Counseling Psychology and is currently in the fourth year of her Clinical-Community Psychology Ph.D. program. She spent 9 years with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium serving Alaska Native people through various roles ranging from networking to rural energy efficiency to tobacco prevention counseling. She also has provided community mental health services to adults, children, and families since Fall 2020 both via telehealth and in-person.


Sharnel has a client-centered (and family-centered) approach to counseling, meeting the client and their families where they are at in their journey to healing. She understands that individuals belong to many social groups that may intersect (ethnicity, indigeneity, LGBTQX, ability, etc.); therefore, providing culturally responsive, individually tailored care is critical to her therapy practice. Furthermore, being Lingít, yet training under Western worldviews, Sharnel is passionate about blending the two worlds, infusing culture with western evidence-based practice. Sharnel has experience with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Inter-personal Social Rhythm Therapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy, and Family Therapy. 

Tuesday, March 14th 12PM-1PM

Topic: Gender Affirming Mental Health Care


This session will be primarily directed toward therapists, service providers, counselors and case managers who are interested in becoming more gender affirming and work toward competence in working with the gender expansive folx in your practice, agency or life.  We will discuss the necessity and importance of a gender affirming approach when working with clients and discuss the many ways people may transition to become more authentic. We will touch on the practical ways to become more gender affirming and break down barriers for those seeking mental health and related services. Resources will be provided, as well.

Margie Thomson (she/her) is a cisgender queer LCSW who has focused on affirming gender therapy for the past 10 years. She works in private practice, Koru Counseling, and works primarily with folx who are transgender, nonbinary and gender expansive; as well as with their partners, and families. She also provides supervision to other social workers and counselors interested in gender therapy and provides consultations to agencies, groups and businesses. Margie currently has 4 support groups happening for gender expansive people :

  • T-Group-monthly support group for all genders

  • TransFeminine-biweekly support group for those who identify as transfeminine

  • TransFamilies-monthly group for parents in Alaska with transgender children

  • Gender Youth Support Group-monthly for ages 13-19 with NAMI and Zach Gordon

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