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Caring in Crisis: Effective Interventions Detailed Schedule, Session Resources, and Presenters


April 2, 2024 (Tuesday), 10:00 am – 11:00 am Central

Talk Saves Lives

Presenters: Derrek Belase, Mary Hughes, Kyla Powers, Clarence Yarholar from the Oklahoma faith-based cadre of "Talks Saves Lives" trainers

"Talk Saves Lives" is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's standardized education program that provides participants with a clear understanding of this leading cause of death, including the most up-to-date research on suicide prevention, and what they can do in their communities to save lives. Participants will learn common risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide, and how to keep themselves and other safe.

Per AFSP requirements, this session will not be recorded.


AFSP Talk Saves Lives "Take Action" Brochure

AFSP Lifesavers Wallet Brochure (English)

AFSP Lifesavers Wallet Brochure (Spanish)

AFSP Self-Care Brochure

AFSP After a Suicide Attempt (English)




April 9, 2024  (Tuesday), 10:00 am – 11:00 am Central

An introduction to Psychological First Aid

Presenter: Dr. Deborah Johnson and Loren Stein, Stress Response Team of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach that is built on the concept of human resilience. PFA aims to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis.


Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps Website

SRT, Inc. Website

PFA Online




April 16, 2024 (Tuesday), 10:00 am – 11:00 am Central

Crisis Intervention and Referrals- The When's, What's, How's, Why's of 988

Presenters: Katie Lenhart, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

988 is a direct line that connects callers with trained behavioral health professionals who can help. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources and best practices for professionals in the United States.


Urgent Recovery Crisis Centers Map

Oklahoma Public Dashboard-- info on crisis response

Oklahoma Comprehensive Crisis Response

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

Other links




April 23, 2024 (Tuesday), 10:00 am – 11:00 am Central

Mental Health First Aid Oklahoma: Shining a Light

Presenter: Mimi Castro, Prevention Program Manager, Mental Health First Aid Oklahoma (DCCCA,Inc.)

In this brief introduction, participants will learn about the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training and how it can equip them with the tools to assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. We will discuss the evidence-based practices and the importance of early intervention, as well as what crisis-level skills MHFAiders should expect to learn, and what Mental Health First Aid Oklahoma offers to those looking to be a certified MHFAider.


Link to slides from the session




April 30, 2024 (Tuesday), 10:00 am – 11:00 am Central

What Would You Do? Case Studies and Scenarios

Facilitator: Dr. Christina Miller, Coordinator of the Ruth Knee Institute & Associate Professor, Zarrow School of Social Work, University of Oklahoma

In this webinar series capstone, participants will interact with experienced professionals in crisis intervention and response as we consider specific case studies and scenarios drawn directly from the service field. 


This session will not be recorded



Series Presenters


Rev. Derrek Belase

Rev. Derrek Belase is the director of Connectional Ministry for the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church where he assists more than 470 Oklahoma United Methodist churches as they build capacity to make disciples in their local settings. A lifelong Oklahoman, Derrek graduated from Carnegie High School, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University and Saint Paul School of Theology. He also studied at the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford University. He has degrees in criminal justice and theology and is also a certified police officer in Oklahoma. Before entering full-time ministry, he was the criminal justice coordinator at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Fort Cobb. Derrek has served in full time appointed ministry for seventeen years and has been a QPR trainer for 4 years.


Katie Lenhart

Katie Lenhart graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Public Relations. She has served on the Communications team at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for several years, starting with managing social media and media relations to managing statewide campaigns like the 988 Mental Health Lifeline and Naloxone Saves Lives. She has experience in all aspects of marketing and communications and is passionate about her work.

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Loren Stein

Loren N. M. Stein, MSN, RNC-NIC is a retired nursing professor.  She received her BSN from Duke University and her MSN from Marymount University. She taught undergraduate nursing and allied health students for 30 years and continues to teach the occasional nursing course.  Loren Stein has been in a leadership role within the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) for 20 years, She has been developing outreach and education for medical and mental health professionals since 2004. She began her involvement with the Medical Reserve Corps as the Unit Coordinator for the OKMRC Nurses Unit at the Oklahoma Nurses Association. She served as the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps Nurses Unit Coordinator from 2003-2009 and again from 2015-2021. She served as the statewide OKMRC Education Coordinator from 2007-2017. Since 2013, she has been an active educator for the Oklahoma Stress Response Team. She currently serves as the President of SRT, Inc.

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Mimi Castro

Mimi Castro is the Prevention Program Manager overseeing Mental Health First Aid Oklahoma (MHFA OK), a statewide program from DCCCA which provides MHFA trainings to Oklahomans at no cost through grant funding. In addition to coordinating the logistics of MHFA OK, Mimi is dually certified as a Youth & Adult MHFA instructor in a variety of community-specific curriculums as well as in QPR. She is deeply passionate about suicide and substance use prevention, as well as destigmatizing mental health & substance use challenges to work towards creating accessibility to better mental wellbeing for all Oklahomans. In her personal time she can be found rock climbing, knitting, and watching movies with her handsome cat Popoki 2.

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Dr. Christina Miller

Dr. Miller joined the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work in the fall of 2009 as an assistant professor. She received her undergraduate degree Southwest Baptist University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and then went on to Missouri State University to complete a two-year full- time MSW with a focus on Family Health. She worked as a service-coordinator for the Missouri Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and then took a job as a school social worker for the Willard School District in Missouri. She then began the PhD program at Florida State University and graduated in the summer of 2009.  Since joining the AHZSSW she has collaborated on several projects including the GirlPower Photovoice Project, the TechNow Evaluation, Family Values Study, and Interprofessional Education Initiatives with the Health Sciences Center and the College of Education. She has served as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and is now the Associate Director of the School.

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Rev. Clarence Yarholar

Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference


Dr. Deborah Johnson

Deborah Johnson PhD, MSW, LCSW, SHRM-SCP,  is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oklahoma and Florida and has a mental health therapy practice out of The Carey Clinic in Tulsa. As a disaster behavioral health trainer for SRT, Inc., she serves as Secretary on their Board of Directors. Dr. Johnson is also a volunteer member of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps, holding the role of District Team Leader for the Stress Response Team in Tulsa. In disaster deployments, she collaborates with the Tulsa Health Department. Her extensive involvement in social work includes roles such as Board President for NASW Oklahoma, serving as a Board Member on the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers, Chair of the Council of Chapter Presidents for NASW National, and serving as a member of the Oklahoma State Maternal Mortality Review Committee. With a background in corporate environments like IBM and PepsiCo, Dr. Johnson leverages her expertise as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources from SHRM to consult with businesses on mental health and wellness matters. She holds degrees from Purdue University, Iowa State University, and the University of Oklahoma.

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Kyla Powers

Kyla Powers is an aspiring mental health therapist and graduate of Oklahoma City University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in May 2023. Along with working for Crisis Care Ministries, she has just started a new administrative assistant position at Circle of Care.


Aside from becoming a therapist, Kyla’s eventual goal is to start a nonprofit organization for mental health therapy in Oklahoma. She hopes to work closely with both the United Methodist Church and organizations like Crisis Care Ministries to make this happen.


Kyla has been employed many times in the Oklahoma United Methodist Church. She has worked in various positions at the OKUMC conference office, OCU’s Wesley Center, and Edmond First UMC. She sings and plays the violin professionally at her current home church, OKC Wesley UMC.

Thank You to our 
Series Presenters!

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