The Edmond Sun

Local News

February 25, 2013

Edmond church sponsors mental health panel

EDMOND — An Edmond church will present “Ask the Experts,” an event that will feature a question-and-answer session with a panel of mental health professionals.

The event — “Ask the Experts: Conversations Concerning the Mental and Emotional Problems Facing Our Children and Youth” — will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Southern Hills Christian Church, 3207 S. Boulevard.

Gary Byrkit, senior minister at Southern Hills, said society has changed much since today’s adults were children, and church staff members have come to know that families are under tremendous pressure.

“The world has changed so much,” Byrkit said. “Technology has become a whole new dynamic in kids’ lives.”

Kim Willbanks, Southern Hills’ director of youth ministries, said she is a mother and parents were coming to staff members with questions about related issues. The church has several counselors among its members and the staff thought the event would be a good way to help, Willbanks said.

Jackie Shaw, executive director of Edmond Family Counseling, 1251 N. Broadway, said Edmond is a community with a reputation of being affluent, but in reality the city has layers like most others. Children and youth come from families with abundant financial resources, from families with much fewer resources and from families in the middle, Shaw said.

Depending on family resources, children face issues related to dating, friendships, self-image, substance abuse, depression and anxiety, Shaw said. Other issues facing local youth include a reliance on electronic devices and social media, she said.

Chris Sperry, executive director of the HOPE Center of Edmond, said the agency often sees the pressure and effects of economic stress on families living in Edmond.

Moderator of the event will be Cheryl Blalock Aspy. Aspy has more than 26 years experience in academic family medicine and is a professor in the department of Family and Preventive Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

For the past 10 years, Aspy has been a co-investigator on a study of 1,117 youth and their parents on the impact of youth assets on youth risk behaviors. Her research interests include practice-based research and practice facilitation, youth assets and risk behaviors, teen pregnancy prevention and obesity management.

Other panelists will be:

• Erin Bickle, an at-risk counselor and the student assistance counselor at Santa Fe High School, who is on the School Committee for the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation. Bickle is the liaison for the Edmond Public Schools alternative programs Boulevard Academy, Project SOAR and Project HOPE at Francis Tuttle. She has crisis and counseling training in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) and uses these intervention models regularly when working with students. She also presents the S.O.S. (Signs of Suicide) program to high school students and makes referrals for those students who need immediate attention.

• Art Christie, coordinator for substance abuse studies in the Sociology Department of the University of Central Oklahoma. Topics he teaches include various issues related to substance abuse, dual diagnosis and counseling skills. He has been called upon to provide expertise and leadership in many churches’ wellness programs for parents and families.

• Robyn Cowperthwaite, MD, has experience at the University of Oklahoma Department of Psychiatry (Child Psychiatry Fellowship) and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Cowperthwaite provides evaluation and comprehensive psychiatric services for children and adolescents with multiple issues.

• Elizabeth Hellwege, who currently works for NorthCare Logan County Community Mental Health. Hellwege’s experience includes working with adolescent males at Varangon Academy. She has worked in in-patient facilities for adults and adolescents.

• Robert Rankin, who has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Rankin has worked with a broad spectrum of concerns that include but are not limited to: Anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, adjustment, relationship difficulties, grief/loss, stress, oppositional/conduct disorders, autism spectrum disorders and parenting. He has experience utilizing a variety of therapeutic approaches and interventions based on the needs/goals of the individuals and families.

• Jennifer Rankin, who has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples. Her training include assessment, diagnosis, treatment of inappropriate sexual behaviors, divorce, grief and loss, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, behavioral problems, anxiety disorders, attachment issues, personality disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. She has additional training in treating trauma-based disorders.

FOR MORE information about the event, call the Southern Hills Christian Church office at 341-0766 or visit

Text Only
Local News
  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
     View Results