SMA Healthcare Foundation announces free mental health webinar series

The SMA Healthcare Foundation (the Foundation) is excited to announce a series of free mental health webinar series, presented by the Foundation and the Jay’s Hope Fund. 

Earlier this year the Foundation’s Annual Who is Jay? Mental Health Symposium was canceled due to COVID-19 and concerns for the safety of attendees, speakers, volunteers and staff.  The Foundation Board’s Jay’s Hope Committee made the decision at that time to provide a series of webinars to the community, and wanted to provide them at no charge because of financial hardships being experienced as a result of the pandemic. 

“The SMA Healthcare Foundation and the Jay’s Hope Fund receive great support from businesses and individuals in our area” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Director, “and we were pleased that all sponsors who had committed to the symposium agreed to transfer their support to the webinars, making the goal of providing these free education and awareness opportunities a reality.” 

The series will consist of three webinars, taking place from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (EDT) Fridays during October.  The schedule and topics are as follows:

October 9th | Trauma-Informed Communication: How to Talk to Youth After Tragedy

presented by Nekeshia Hammond, Psy.D. | 1.0 CEU

Many children and teens experience personal or vicarious trauma, yet well-meaning individuals in their lives may not know how to respond. It is critical to understand that our youth perceive and process trauma differently than adults. In this interactive session, participants will learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), youth brain development related to trauma, talking with youth after a violent or tragic event, and interventions to build resiliency in children and teens.

Register at:

October 16th | Trauma & PTSD in First Responders, Military Personnel and Veterans

presented by Amie Newins, Ph.D. | 1.0 CEU

First responders and military personnel are exposed to a wide range of potentially traumatic events, and COVID-19, along with recent turmoil in our communities, are no exception. During this presentation, participants will learn about several evidence-based treatments available for trauma-related disorders and how to help individuals experiencing increased stress during these challenging times.

Register at:

October 23rd | Finding Your Virtual Comfort Zone in the Era of Telehealth Treatment

presented by Kelly Kraus, MA, LMHC, SMA Healthcare | 1.0 CEU

One of the challenges experienced during COVID-19 has been the switch to telehealth in many aspects of medical care, especially among behavioral health providers and mental health clients. In this webinar, participants will learn strategies for finding their virtual comfort zone, whether as a provider transitioning to telehealth and assisting clients with this new treatment style, or as a client wanting to get the most out of their telehealth experience.

Register at:

Additional information on each presenter is available on their registration links. 

“Having seen the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, as well as the financial impact, we are very excited to be a part of providing these webinars to our communities” shared Hank and Susan Ashby, co-founders of the Jay’s Hope Fund.  “Providing education and awareness about mental illness has been a great passion for us, and we look forward to continuing to do so and with sharing hope to individuals and their families living with mental illness.”

The Jay’s Hope Fund is supported through individual donations and is providing funding for the webinar series, along with the following sponsors:  AdventHealth, Brown & Brown Insurance, EM Pros, FPL, and the Simpkins Family Foundation. 

For more information about the Jay’s Hope Fund or the Who is Jay? mental health campaign, please visit

If you are interested in supporting SMA Healthcare and the SMA Healthcare Foundation, please contact Jennifer Secor, CFRE, Executive Director, at 386-254-1139 or