Mental health counseling conference comes to Hawaii

Published On: Mar 28 2014 07:43:44 PM HST

Sometimes the people on the front lines dealing with disasters are not the ones wearing badges or carrying guns. Counselors are the ones trying to figure out why people do what they do.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada report.

On Friday, the largest conference of its kind for counselors is on at the Hawaii Convention Center. Even an award-winning filmmaker is joining in on the topics that touch every aspect of our lives.

Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock started by saying, "There was a guy, George, who I was locked up in prison with..."

Not often you start a conversation that way, but it is one of many experiences for Spurlock. A different experience followed his junk-food binge fest was captured in his critically-acclaimed documentary "Super Size Me."

Now here in Hawaii, he is taking about a second season of TV show "Inside Man" on CNN. Anything is possibly on the table from pet mania to becoming paparazzi, even highlighting celebrity obsessions:

Spurlock is also here for the American Counseling Association, welcoming thousands of experts, covering hundreds of topics and introducing the social problems of today with the professionals who can help.

"The idea is to help people to cope and that's what we try to do, educate people and give them more information," said ACA President Dr. Cirecie West Olatunji.

Dr. Olatunji says dealing with trauma in real life and what we see on TV is a major topic. For the second year, they are doing live demonstrations and forcing counselors to think critically and quickly.

"We act it out so they can see what happens and then we stop and communicate about it. So they understand what's helpful about this and how can we change and alter what it is that we do," said Dr. Olatunji.

She says cultivating healthy relationships and slowing down enough to be mindful of our actions and understanding we can correct our paths are the keys to a happier life.

Dr. Olatunji says there are now cell phone apps that help people monitor their behavior, their thoughts and control how they respond to stressors in their lives. She says some practitioners are also relying more on digital or distance counseling to reach people in rural or remote areas.


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  • CHI vCHI v. OAK Jay Cutler Week 4

    David Banks Getty Images

    Cutler drives Bears past Raiders

    They were already starting to think it was the "same old Jay" on Sunday at Soldier Field when he threw a fourth-quarter interception that the Oakland Raiders turned into a go-ahead field goal against Cutler's Chicago Bears.

    But, despite the after-effects of a hamstring injury that kept him out of a game last week, Cutler instead played the hero instead of the goat. He drove the Bears 48 yards in the last two minutes, Robbie Gould kicked his third field goal of the game, a 49-yarder with two seconds remaining, and the Bears beat the Raiders, 22-20, for their first victory of the season.

    Cutler deferred credit to a jury-rigged offensive line, juggled because of injuries, but the difference in the game was the patience he showed — maybe because the hamstring forced him to — in completing 28 of 43 passes, including 5 of 8 on the winning drive.

    "There were a lot of moving parts up there, and those guys held their own," said Cutler, who acknowledged that he was limited "a little bit" physically by the hamstring and deliberately kept himself from trying to scramble out of the pocket.

    "He's a tough son of a bug," Chicago coach John Fox said of his quarterback. "He's got an injury that some lesser guys might not have been out there."

    Chicago started the game with a backup replacing injured left tackle Jermon Bushrod and then had to juggle further when center Will Montgomery suffered an apparent broken leg on the third play from scrimmage. As a result, left guard Matt Slauson slid into the center spot and that may have been at least partially responsible for a fumbled snap that led to an Oakland touchdown.

    But staying in the pocket may prove the best strategy for Cutler, even when his hamstring is fully healthy, because it reduces the margin for error.

    Instead, it appeared it was the Raiders who made the most grievous error by settling for a field goal with 2:05 remaining to take a 20-19 lead and effect the sixth lead change of the game, rather than play aggressively for a touchdown that might have made a Chicago comeback more difficult.

    After they got to the Bears' 33-yard line with more than four minutes remaining, Oakland did not throw another pass, instead calling four consecutive running plays before Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 41-yard field goal.

    "They were pretty conservative," Cutler said.

    Oakland coach Jack Del Rio defended the play calling, saying, "I think we felt like we were moving it pretty good and thought we had a better shot to move the sticks on that third-and-two."

    One problem for the Raiders was that, by that point in the game, Del Rio already had benched his leading rusher, Latavius Murray, because of a lost fumble and two dropped passes, one of which Murray bounced into an interception.

    After the Janikowski kick, the Bears kick-started their winning drive with Cutler's fourth down completion to tight end Martellus Bennett, who caught 11 passes, second highest total of his career, for 83 yards.

    With the Bears essentially conceding the sideline passes to Cutler — allowing not only completions but clock stappages — the Bears had plenty of time to work downfield. Cutler found Matt Forte for seven yards and then Marquess Wilson for six on 3rd-and-3.

    After a downfield shot fell incomplete, Eddie Royal made a nifty sideline catch for 12 yards and then Wilson, who earlier on the drive dropped a pass, made a fingertip grab for nine.

    That was pretty much all Chicago needed and, after running Forte into the line for two, the Bears called on Gould — who, to that point had been the difference in the game due to a blocked extra point.

    Gould, whose other field goals were from 19 and 54 yards, nailed the winning kick with plenty to spare.

    "It was awesome when we were celebrating with two seconds left on the clock," Gould said. "Those are the type of wins you want to see, and usually, those type of wins catapult a team and give them a lot of confidence for the next week."

    There were "a couple of areas that will stand out," Del Rio said, and the most that gnawed on him most clearly was his team's third-down defense. The Bears, who had converted only 16 of 42 third downs into first downs in their three losses, were 10 for 17 in this game.

    "They played well, and we didn't play as well as we're capable of," Del Rio said. "These things happen. They get paid, too."

    NOTES: QB Jay Cutler returned to the lineup after missing one game but the Bears played without three injured regulars including No. 1 wideout Alshon Jeffery. Also missing were OLT Jermon Bushrod and NT Jeremiah Ratliff. … The Bears lost C Will Montgomery with an ankle injury on the third play of the game, causing shuffling on the line. LG Matt Slauson moved to center and Patrick Omameh went in at left guard. … Oakland WR Michael Crabtree left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter but returned. … Bears FS Antrell Rolle was injured (ankle) on the first play of the third quarter and did not return.

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