The impact of emotional abuse and emotional support outlets is the subject of the Putnam County Chaplaincy conference set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Dixie Chopper Business Center.
"It's much easier to deal with physical and sexual abuse than it is to recover from mental and emotional abuse," he said.
While English, Putnam County Chaplaincy Association Board of Directors member and this year's conference coordinator, said the conference is open to all, the sessions are geared more toward those who have daily contact with youth, including teachers, principals, guidance counselors and local agencies.
"Youth is an impressionable time for everyone," he said. "We want to make the conference as germane to everyone who attends."
Naomi Haines-Griffith, a nationally known child welfare expert, will host the morning workshop titled "Invisible Scars."
Griffith, a former board member for the Alabama Children's Trust Fund, has worked as a consultant to and trainer for Prevent Child Abuse America.
Elizabeth Butts and Terri Durham of Putnam County Family Support Services will present an afternoon session titled "Emotional Abuse: Cutting to the Core and Creating Scars."
Butts said the workshop will cover domestic violence as well as emotional abuse that occurs in relationships.
"The focus is that you can heal from physical wounds but emotional wounds last a lifetime," Butts said.
She said the workshop is beneficial to adults who work with youth because it will help them realize how it affects all aspects of life and when to intervene.
"The more adults know about violent relationships and verbal and emotional abuse, especially with youth, the more they can help you can see the warning signs," she said.
Greencastle High School counselor Bill Smith will also give a presentation on bullying in schools.
Smith, who holds a masters of education degree in counseling psychology from Indiana University, has been working with children and families since 1976 as an educator or mental health counselor.
Smith said while a universal definition of bullying is yet to be defined, psychological and verbal bullying is recognized as "equally harmful as a punch in the face" and includes social exclusion, name calling, rumor spreading, cyber bullying are all tools of the bully.
"Bullying is a behavior that is constant across all environments," he said. "It exists on the church bus, Little League baseball, youth football and soccer. Wherever children are together bullying will occur."
Smith also said the majority of students who observe or passively participate in a bullying incident hold the key to changing the climate.
"By addressing the bystander's roles and empowering the majority of students by providing a supportive climate that specifically supports non-bullying behavior, students will become more involved in not tolerating bullying behavior," he said.
Registration before Thursday is $25 and $30 at the door the day of the conference beginning at 8:30 a.m. The program includes a continental breakfast and lunch. For more information on the conference, contact English at 653-6031.