May 7, 2009 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


A presentation by Bill Cross & Shiela LaGacey.

Bill and Sheila have led many workshops for professionals instructing them in the Supportive Family Training model. They will be speaking about the essential role that families play in the recovery and rehabilitation of their relatives diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. Research has shown conclusively that education and support for families improves patients’ outcomes  by preventing  relapse, reducing  rehospitalization, improving medication compliance and reducing  family burden. There are 100 million first-degree relatives of people with mental illness in the U.S.  This number does not include grandparents and spouses.

Yet families are too often not included in the support loop

Sheila will describe Supportive Family Training, the 12 week course that she created and which serves as the model for NAMI’s Family to Family training, a free family education class that has trained  thousands of family members in the US.  Supportive Family Training is offered twice yearly in Central New York through the Family Support & Education Center at T.L.S.. It combines education, advocacy training and group support, instructing families in communication ,coping skills, practical problem solving as well as providing essential information about serious neurobiological brain disorders.

Sheila Le Gacy is the Director of the Family Support & Education Center, located at Transitional Living Services, a large not for profit rehabilitation and housing agency in Syracuse.  Before assuming her current position, Le Gacy directed the Club Without Walls, an innovative model of community based rehabilitation, and designed Provisions Restaurant and Bakery, a successful supportive employment business.  Ms. Le Gacy’s work has been influenced by over 30 years of experience with Buddhist medication and yoga.

Bill Cross, PHd. has been a psychology professor and psychotherapist practicing in this area for over 30 years.  He has worked closely with the parents, sibling, adult children and partners of persons diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders.  He is an authority on post traumatic stress disorder and recently has been deeply involved in the support of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  For the past 10 years Bill has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Zen Center of Syracuse, a technique which includes medication, yoga, and stress reduction techniques.