Please join us on Thursday, February 28, from 6:30-8:30 for an important event - "Ask the Experts: Conversations Concerning the Mental and Emotional Problems Facing Our Children and Youth". As this event is for adults, childcare will be provided. If you would like to submit a confidential question or an issue you would like discussed, please forward to Kim Willbanks at or to Janee' Austin at There will also be a box in the Gathering Area where you can submit your questions or topics. An expert panel will be available to answer your questions. This panel includes:

Robyn Cowperthwaite, MD

Dr. Cowperthwaite is board certified in both adult and child/adolescent psychiatry and has been in practice over ten years. She was a faculty member at both the University of Oklahoma Department of Psychiatry (Child Psychiatry Fellowship) as well as for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Dr. Cowperthwaite provides evaluation and comprehensive psychiatric services for children and adolescents with multiple issues to include depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, school difficulties and adolescent substance use disorders. Dr. Cowperthwaite was just named one of Oklahoma's Super Doctors 2013!

Jennifer Rankin, MAMFT, LPC, PLLC

Mrs. Rankin has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Existential Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy. 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. Mrs. Rankin has additional training in treating trauma based disorders.

Robert Rankin MBA, MA, LPC, PLLC

Mr. Rankin has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He 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. Mr. Rankin has experience utilizing a variety of therapeutic approaches and interventions based on the needs/goals of the individuals and families.

Art Christie, MA, LADC, LPC

Mr. Christie currently serves as the Coordinator for Substance Abuse Studies in the Sociology Department of the University of Central Oklahoma. He teaches Introduction to Substance Abuse Studies, Dual Diagnosis, Counseling Skills, Advanced Counseling skills, Professional Principles in Substance Abuse Counseling, Group Dynamics for Substance Abuse Counselors, and Substance Abuse Treatment in Special populations. Mr. Christie is currently teaching a Stephen Minister training course and has led numerous family support groups. He has been called upon to provide expertise and leadership in many churches wellness program for parents and families. Mr. Christie has devoted his professional life to preparing individuals to do what he has done for 26 years and he continues his own recovery by attending several anonymous support group meetings.

Erin Bickle, M.Ed., LPC

Mrs. Bickle is an At-Risk Counselor and the Student Assistance Counselor at Edmond Santa Fe High School and is on the School Committee for the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation. She is the liaison for the Edmond Public Schools alternative programs (Boulevard Academy, Project SOAR and Project HOPE at Francis Tuttle). Mrs. Bickle 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. Prior to working in the educational field, she was a play therapist with Community Counseling Agency in Oklahoma City where she worked with children, adolescents and families involved in the DHS system.

Elizabeth Hellwege, BS Ed, MAMFT, LPC - Under Supervision

Mrs. Hellwege currently works for NorthCare Logan County Community Mental Health. Her experience includes working with adolescent males at Varangon Academy. She has worked in in-patient facilities for adults and adolescents. Her current case load includes primarily adults with a variety of mental health issues including psychotic disorders in an out patient setting.

Cheryl Blalock Aspy, Ph.D, event moderator

Ms Aspy has over 26 years experience in academic Family Medicine and is a professor in the department of Family & Preventive Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. For the past 10 years, she has been a co-investigator on the Youth Asset Study - a 5-wave investigation of 1,117 youth and their parents on the impact of youth assets on youth risk behaviors. She has published almost 100 peer-reviewed articles and has co-authored 6 books. Her research interests include practice-based research and practice facilitation, youth assets and risk behaviors, teen pregnancy prevention, and obesity management.