Webinar Recap: Advocacy Strategies to Promote Access to School Mental & Behavioral Health Services

WEBINAR RECAP

Did you miss our webinar with Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach? Well it’s not too late to catch up on what you missed. Even though the live presentation was on Thursday, September 14th, you can still access all the action-and-information-packed content via this recap, the video recording, the audio recording and webinar transcript . . . all below.

In this webinar Dr. Vaillancourt Strobach will focus on advocacy for K12 Mental Health and Special Education and how you can make a difference!

PRESENTER BIO

Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and is currently the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Strobach consults with, advises, and collaborates with members of Congress, the Department of Education, and other key federal partners and national organizations to advance the availability of comprehensive school psychological services, promote safe schools, promote comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services, address the shortages in school psychology, and other education related issues. Dr. Strobach has developed, authored, and co-authored numerous articles and resources, including NASP’s Framework for Safe and Successful Schools and has presented nationally on issues related to school safety, school mental health, effective discipline policies, and the relationship between education policy and school practices.

You can connect with Dr. Strobach by Email or Twitter.

THE PRESENTATION

Over the past few years, there has been increased attention, and unprecedented federal investments, in efforts to support increased access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services, and school mental health professionals. Most recently, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act provides billions of dollars to support the mental wellness of our students. This webinar will: provide an overview of current federal funding streams available to support sustained and equitable access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services; highlight key activities and initiatives supported with this funding; and review some key actions at the local, state, and federal level that are necessary to ensure sustainable school mental and behavioral health service delivery systems.

In this webinar, we are so lucky to have Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, the Co-executive Director for NASISP, join us to tell us how we can all make an impact through advocacy. This webinar is part of the Office Hours with Dr. John Kelly webinar series and is co-moderated by Dr. Kelly and eLuma CEO/founder Jeremy Glauser.

Kelly’s amazing presentation focuses specifically on the following big ideas:

  1. Tremendous opportunity, and federal investments, exist to increase access to comprehensive school mental health professionals and services.
  2. Build upon existing evidence based resources, models, and initiatives to guide work in your local community.
  3. This work requires ongoing partnerships with families, school leaders, school mental health professionals, educators, community partners, and professional organizations.
  4. Ongoing advocacy resulted in the current opportunities, it will be necessary to sustain progress over the long term.

Resources

From Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach:

  1. Letter from Secretary Cardona and a table that notes how much funding each state will get. Folks should reach out to their SEA to find out more about how the state plans to allocate these funds to districts. More information, and data about Title IV-A is available on the Title IV-A Coalition Website.
  2. Resources and strategies to address the shortages of school psychologists, and this brief about effective school community partnerships.
  3. The Healthy Students Promising Futures has a wealth of information about Medicaid and other strategies states are using to expand access to school mental health services.
  4. Current information about the Mental Health Services Professionals Demonstration Grant and School Based Mental Health Services Grant Program

Even if you missed the “live presentation”, you can still get all of the benefit by watching or listening to the recording, or reading the transcript – all below.

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FULL WEBINAR TRANSCRIPT

Dr. John Kelly (00:00:00):
Hey, good afternoon, everyone. Welcome back to office hours with Dr. John Kelly. My name is John Kelly. I’m a school psychologist by training. If you’ve attended any of my previous office hours you know that these are conversations, conversations about big ideas and education, big ideas in mental health. And I’m excited about this series that we just kicked off last month. This series is really about multi-tiered systems of support and how we really address the needs of students, particularly the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students through a multi-tiered systems of support type of framework. I hopefully gave you a really good overview and, and kind of wet your appetite for, for more information. But I’m really excited for today’s conversation with a good friend of mine. I’ll tell you a little bit more about Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach in just a moment. But we’re gonna talk about some of those advocacy strategies, because I know that we could talk and talk and talk about good ideas, but unless we have ways to advocate for them, fund them and truly implement them, then a lot of that talk, you know, really goes nowhere. So that’s what today is gonna be all about. But let me bring in my co-host and co-moderator Jeremy Glauser founder and CEO of eLuma. So Jeremy, it’s good to see you welcome back.

Jeremy Glauser (00:01:32):
Thanks, That’s the common issue here. Don’t don’t we experience that too often, but John and Kelly, it’s so good to be back and, and if y’all haven’t gone and watched the previous webinar to kick off this series, please go do so it’s such a pleasure to be part of this. Let me tell you what to expect today. Kelly, if you can advance us two slides, please, we’re gonna do some introduction. We’ll spend a few minutes there. Kelly has prepared quite a bit of good information and after we talk through or Kelly talks through that with us, we’ll launch into a Q and A and have a conversation. So two very important things for you to keep in mind today, as you participate down at the bottom, there is a chat icon, click on that and have that chat icon available for you so that you can ask questions and make comments. We want you to be part of the conversation today. The other thing is closed captioning. I know that George who’s helping us keep tabs on the chat is going to post some updates there at the bottom of zoom. There are closed captioning options, if you do need those. So find the, the button that says CC for closed captioning to activate that on your own computer for your own needs. So with that, I’m gonna pass it back to John to talk through this a little bit in more detail.

Dr. John Kelly (00:03:01):
So this is an exciting series that we have, as I mentioned Kelly Vaillancourt’s Strobach with us today, but the intention is to bring to you national experts on multi-tiered systems of support and the provision of social, emotional learning, the provision of mental health supports within the schools. I have coming up a very good friend of mine. Shawna Rader Kelly, no relationship to me, but she is a good friend. Maurice Elias is coming up in November and Pola Morrison in December talking about teletherapy and, and bringing teletherapy services to your schools. So we do hope that you’ll join us for the entire series on a monthly basis. But today Kelly, if we can go to the next slide.

Jeremy Glauser (00:03:46):
Yeah, we really, I tell

Dr. John Kelly (00:03:47):
You just, just a little bit about eLuma and then again, Jeremy’s the best person to talk about that?

Jeremy Glauser (00:03:52):
Yeah, I, I, I do love this partnership that we have to put on this great content. So please go there to eLuma.com/webinars, and George, if you could just put the link in the chat so that people can click on it. I think that would be beneficial to the group here today. eLuma is dedicating a lot of our time and, and energies to partnering with great people like John and, and Kelly today to share important information updates, keep you informed. eLuma is really focused on helping students achieve their potential. And we are focused on connecting really good providers, therapists, school, psychologists, and others with school systems through technology. So most of the providers that we work with are delivering services remotely and through video conferencing, we also develop technology that school districts can license for their own providers and for their own systems we have been around for almost well, we just hit 11 years and we are serving just past 33,000 students in 36 states.

Jeremy Glauser (00:05:05):
We would encourage you to follow us on Twitter, our Facebook, those are our handles, come join the conversation and influence what topics and conversations that we promote out here in the community. And I do wanna make you aware of Kelly, if you can go to the next slide, I wanna make you aware of an opportunity to come and participate in a mental health consultation and get $50 donated to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. So we really want to support this initiative. You can also support this initiative, go to that link again, George, if you could put that in the chat, I think it would be helpful for people to click on and we will happily donate $50 to this Alliance to promote mental wellness in this country. And with that, we’re gonna introduce Kelly, and there’s no better person than John to do so.

Dr. John Kelly (00:06:07):
I appreciate that. You know, Jeremy, you mentioned the partnerships that we are developing and, you know, one of the things that I love is that eLuma is open to really supporting the education community, supporting the mental health community with these types of webinars. But it doesn’t surprise me that you’re partnering with NAMI as well. So thank you for, for those partnerships. But without further ado, I do wanna introduce my good friend, Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach. You know, you could read Kelly’s bio, I’m not gonna read Kelly’s bio for you. But it is important for you to know that Kelly is trained as a school psychologist. But not only being an amazing school psychologist Kelly is an amazing advocate for children.

Dr. John Kelly (00:06:55):
I can’t even say just for school psychology or just for education Kelly, you are an advocate for, for children and, and, and families. She is the director of public policy and advocacy for the National Association of School Psychologists. But even that title doesn’t give you true insight into what Kelly does. She is at the leading edge of some of the current legislation and past legislation that has benefited us in the schools, and no more recently than the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Kelly had a big hand in writing that piece of legislation helping you know, our Congress wrote that law. She was at the White House for the signing of that. So she is truly an expert on advocacy and working with schools to make sure that we’re meeting kids’ needs. So without further ado, let me turn it over to Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt. And you’re muted as well.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:07:56):
You know, you would think how many years have we been in this weird virtual hybrid space? And we can’t remember to unmute thank you for that very kind introduction. And I have to say, I learned from some of the best John Kelly, and we have worked together for a very long time doing advocacy work. And I, I am very, very fortunate that I am paid to do something that I love. And I hope everyone of you is as fortunate to not consider your job work, that it’s actually something that you very much enjoy doing. And that is what we’re gonna talk about today. I apologize in advance that I’m gonna throw what it feels like a lot of information in a very short amount of time, but I assure you, I am keeping notes of a lot of resources that I am going to share to be housed on the Elmo website in conjunction with this webinar recording so that you can go back and reference things.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:08:46):
Cause I think these are conversations that we could spend hours talking about. And we’re gonna be here for, you know, for less than an hour, but you know, the big ideas that we’re gonna cover today, and I’m not gonna exactly read these, but there’s a lot of opportunity right now. And it’s incredibly important that we are all advocating, not just with Congress, but also with our State Departments of Education, with our school boards, with our principals, with the teachers and families that we work with, there is a wealth of evidence-based resources and models that are out there. And it just takes us engaging in some action, ongoing and sustained advocacy action to make sure that we all reach our goal. And which is, you know, in my opinion, that every school is resourced with the proper professionals and resources that they need to ensure equitable access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:09:37):
And it takes every single one of us to do that work. And so I’m so glad that, you know, if you were here that made you have an interest in this and that you were ready to kind of put the work forth in, in making this happen. So I know that Dr. Kelly and his in his last session went over this a little bit, but I wanna just kind of frame us again when giving you yet another graphic. Again, there’s a lot of models. As John mentioned, I’m a school psychologist. I’m pretty partial to some of the resources that NASP puts out. But this is one model of, of middle and behavioral health services. And I put this up because I think it’s really important that we understand what we’re talking about because when we go to policy makers, they are often not educators in the way that we are.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:10:24):
They may have, you know, a theoretical or 30,000 foot understanding of what they think they mean when we talk about school mental and behavioral health. But for you, when you’re going to try to make the case for what this really is, we need to have an understanding of that. And so this graphic really shows, you know, when we’re talking about mental and behavioral health, it is services that we provide to everyone. So quite often and again, I think we’re making tremendous gains in this space, but over, you know, I would say prior to maybe 10 years ago, you talked about school, mental health and people immediately just assumed these are services we provide to our students in special education. These are students that we provide to our kids, you know, who are in significant crisis. And that is true, but that is not all that school mental and behavioral health services are.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:11:13):
So it is a full continuum. You know, I’m not gonna go into great detail, but I encourage you to kind of familiarize yourself with some of this, but it includes this core curriculum. So if we’re gonna try to compare this to what you might not know as, as RTI, we wanna make sure we’re providing kids with high quality evidence-based academic instruction and reading and math and science and everything. We wanna do the same thing in terms of social, emotional, and mental and behavioral wellness. So that is, are we infusing SEL into all of our classrooms? Are we implementing initiatives to create a positive school climate providing psycho-education or what you may know as mental health, first aid to teachers and families and community members to help them understand what is, how to differentiate kind of between this is a kid having a bad day, or for those of you that work in, in in middle and high schools, what, what are, what is atypical behavior, not what we might fully expect from teenagers where mood swings are just part of life, but how to understand, oh this might be a kid that really does need some help and then help them understand how to navigate the system, how to make a referral, who to go to in the school or the community to get those services.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:12:30):
And then key to all of this in the same way that when we’re talking about academics and it’s the beginning of the school year my son is getting ready to have some of his, you know, academic screenings to help determine, you know, where his reading skills are, where his math skills are, so they can pair appropriate interventions. We need to do that with social and emotional skills as well. The goal, again, it’s not to pathologize students, it’s not to stigmatize them. It’s not to, you know, diagnose them, but it is to facilitate early intervention, because we all know that that is what works, but it is really important from an advocacy perspective that we understand that comprehensive school, mental and behavioral health is all of this. It is not just meeting those kids in crisis. That’s important, and we wanna keep doing that, but it includes all of these things. It’s Tier One, Tier Two and tier three. Not just, you know, what we typically think of as tier three services.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:13:32):
Now, unfortunately although again, we have made, I think, tremendous gains, and again, I’m gonna walk through some of the current advocacy opportunities that we have as a result in large part because of COVID 19. There is a greater understanding of why we need to pay attention to kids’ mental and behavioral health, and why schools need to be a part of that. But unfortunately, some of you, when you, when you start to have some of these conversations with policy makers, be that your principal, your superintendent, your school board, some people still don’t fully understand the role that schools play. And again, this is not, you know, when we’re talking about school, mental health, we’re not transforming the purpose of schools away from institutions of learning. We are saying that school mental health supports the mission of schools, which is to help kids learn.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:14:28):
And there is a wealth of research out there that I would encourage you to come, you know, become somewhat familiar with. And that providing mental health services to kids increases their academic achievement and their life outcomes. And conversely, if we don’t, if we let this go unaddressed, those students are going to have poor outcomes. They’re going to be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, be involved in the juvenile justice system, all of these things that we as educators want to prevent from happening. So there is a key role for mental health when it comes to student learning. But I think importantly, when we’re talking about why we do this in schools, there’s so much data now. I mean, if you look at over the last 20 years, there’s been consistent data that the prevalence and the incidents of mental health among children and youth has been steadily rising.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:15:15):
I believe our rates of suicidality among kids under 21 is the highest it’s been in two decades. But most recently there’s been some data now that shows that, you know, by the seventh grade, by the time kids are entering middle school, 40% of them will have experienced a mental health issue that has in some way impacted their functioning. And every year, you know, we’re looking at one in five kids, meets the clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. And so to put this in the perspective of the classroom they’re 25 students and my son’s class, half of those. So, you know, maybe 12, by the time they reach middle school, they will have experienced depression or anxiety. Five of them are potentially gonna have a mental health disorder. Schools play a role in this in part, because the sad reality is that the vast majority of students who need mental and behavioral health services do not get them.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:16:09):
There are shortages of, you know, there are workforce shortages in some places, there are just no child and adolescent psychiatrists. There are no clinicians in certain communities that are able to meet the needs of these kids, but of those kids that do the vast majority of them get them at school. There’s a lot of data that shows kids and families quite honestly, are more likely to ask for help when they know it’s available at school – all kids come through schools and it is a great place to connect them with services. And so, while we want to be sure that these services are offered at school, there’s also a key role that the school psychologist, school counselor, or school social worker, they can help connect families with additional resources that they might need in the community. We hear time and time again how confusing and complex and overwhelming it could be for families to try to figure out how to navigate the mental health system, where to even go for help. And these professionals have key connections to the community. They know what services are available. They know which providers likely specialize in the specific issues that a kid might be facing and can really work with those families to reduce those barriers, to getting care, and hopefully, you know, reduce some of that anxiety that comes with trying to figure out how to navigate a very unfamiliar and very complex system to get kids what it is that they need.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:17:36):
So I feel like we’re kind in some ways obligated to show one of these triangles when we talk about NCSS, but I wanna pull up another model when we’re talking about school community partnerships, when it comes to providing school mental and behavioral health services. So like in the previous graphic, there is a role for everyone. So in an ideal world, I realize we’re not in an ideal world and that schools are coming at this from very different places. But in an ideal world, every school has adequate access to a school counselor, a school psychologist, a school social worker, and phenomenal community and organizational partners that are all collectively collaborating and working together to meet the needs of their students. It is really impossible, quite frankly, for schools to do it alone, but it’s also impossible to expect communities to come into the schools and provide everything it is that they need.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:18:35):
And so when we’re talking about school community partnerships really again, and when it’s done well, you have your school employment, health professionals. So your school, psych and counselors and social workers are really doing the crux of that wellness promotion, early identification, early intervention to those Tier One and Tier Two services. And then that’s not to say that they’re also not working with those kids who have significant needs, but they’re relying more heavily on the community partners to do that work. And I mentioned this for two reasons. One I would assume that all of you are aware that we have workforce shortages. So while NASP recommends a ratio of one school psychologist for every 500 students and recommends a ratio of one school counselor for every 250 students. And I believe the school social workers recommend the same ratio. There are very few districts that meet that.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:19:33):
And so when you’re having conversations with policy makers, a lot of times, at least over the, you know, the last several years, their first answer, you know, their first response has been, “oh, well, just, just go out into the community. Let’s just have some partnerships, let’s get a couple of providers. They can come in once a week, they can see your kids and that’s all we need to do.” Well, then that’s not true because if you just rely on that community model, and don’t worry about making sure that you have access to school, psychs and school, social workers and school school counselors, you’re really only serving those kids in crisis. So all of those students who may have short term mental and behavioral health needs, let’s say that, you know, parents are going through a divorce or they’ve recently moved, or they had a, you know, they broke up with their boyfriend or their girlfriend and their, and they’re kind of struggling.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:20:21):
They’re having a hard time managing their anger, picking anything that all of us probably struggled with. At one point without intervention, there’s, that’s just gonna fester and that we’re gonna wait until that student is in crisis to give them support that that is not how this should operate. What should happen is when you have good community partners and a robust and adequate staffing model, everyone is working most effectively. The goal here is to work smarter, to not work harder and to maximize your available resources that you are seeing. You’re providing services to the greatest number of kids as possible. What we’ve heard time and time again. And this might be true in the districts that you are working in, is that when there is not adequate access to these school employment, health professionals, they’re only serving these kids in crisis. They’re not able to go in and do universal screening.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:21:14):
Well, they’re not able to do early intervention services. And so there’s a lot of kids in the school population that are not getting services that need it. You only have community partners and don’t have school employed, mental health professionals. Only those kids in crisis are getting services. So you need to have both to really make sure you’re doing the full range of service delivery. Well, and again, this is important because when you have these conversations with policy makers, they are going to question, some of them might question, well, we have a partnership with a local children’s hospital. Is that not enough? And you need to be able to say that, oh, you know, that that’s great, but this is why that’s not enough. This is why we need to be doing X, Y, and Z to improve greater access to Tier One, or improve greater access to a range of Tier Two services.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:22:04):
And so it really is not an either or situation. It is both. And that has been something that I think collectively the policy makers and practitioners are coming around to better understand. I think, you know, I would, I would be lying if I said, this has been an easy place to get to because for a long time, and I think some of this quite honestly, still exists. There, there are issues of turf war and are these people coming in to take over my job? Does this mean not, you know, are, are these people coming in to, to supplant what I know that I am trained to do? And, and no, the answer is they’re coming in to allow you to, to free up your time to serve in a comprehensive role. It has allowed educators access to more professionals who have a wide range of skill sets to help you better teach the kids that are in your classroom.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:22:57):
So I encourage you, you know, to kind of get in the weeds as you’re preparing yourself to go out and advocate for yourself to really understand what a comprehensive system looks like and the types of professionals and staffing models that are needed to execute it well and, and to sustain it. And so I wanna spend a little bit of time, and then we’re gonna get into this a little bit more in the conversation, but this, we are in a place where it’s rare. I feel that in education that we have a lot of money to do this. I think for the first time ever, we’re able to say we have a lot of money to do this work. Now that is not to say that we have enough money and that we have enough resources and we have the right professionals available to do this, but there’s financial resources out there, there to help schools do this work well.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:23:48):
And maybe some of your districts have already taken advantage of some of this, but I think, you know, one of the things is there were billions of dollars provided to schools through the SERS fund, through various COVID relief packages, including the most recent one, which was the American Rescue Plan. And you can use that for a gazillion different things related to student learning, including expanding access to middle and behavioral health services, but a problem with those is that they’re time limited. So although there are a lot of efforts right now to get an extension from Congress and the Department of Education to, to give districts longer more time to spend these dollars. As of right now, you’ve got about two years left to spend this money. And so there has been some concern and there’s been some hesitancy on the part of some districts and states to really do some of the systems change, work that we were hoping would come out of this because there’s a funding cliff.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:24:50):
How do you, you know, how do you provide comprehensive middle and behavioral health services and hire all of these professionals to provide this great range of services to kids? And then in two years, you know, your money’s gonna, your, your money’s gonna run out. And then do you just yank these services away? That has been a real problem that a lot of administrators have tried to grapple with is we, we know our kids need this and we wanna take advantage of these investments, but we’re just not sure how we sustain it. That is where you, as advocates come in the federal government can provide a lot of money and they do, but in order to sustain this, we have got to start thinking right now how we can work with our state legislators and with our local school boards to make sure that they’re allocating the right kinds of funds to keep this work going in the long term.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:25:39):
One of the funding streams that was given a huge increase in the bipartisan Safer Communities Act was Title Four, a of ESSA. It’s the student support and academic enrichment grant that supports a wide variety of school climate, school violence prevention, and school mental health initiatives. Those monies are going out at the state level. All states will be splitting not equally, but it will be based on, on their title. One formula they’ll be splitting a billion dollars. And that money should go out soon. I would encourage you to start having conversations with your State Departments of Ed. Like, what are you gonna do with this money and what do we need to be doing right now to make sure that in two years, when that money is no longer there, that we’re able to keep these up two grants that are very near and dear to my heart, I’ve spent 10 years trying to get these off the ground.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:26:33):
And I’m thrilled. I mean, I’m such a policy nerd that it, you know, grants get me excited. But there are two grants that are intended explicitly to not only address the shortages of school employed mental health professionals. So this is school, psych counselors, social workers dev you know, bringing in partners from the community to kind of retrain them and help them be better prepared to work in schools and also address the pipeline. So we know right now that we have a workforce shortage data from, you know, I work with the school psychologist in am one, so I’m partial to our profession, but our data shows that we need 62,000 more school psychologists in order to make sure every school has adequate access that meets our ratio, which is our recommended ratio, which is one to 500.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:27:23):
There’s not 62,000 unemployed school psychologists walking around, looking for a job. We have to find them and we have to train them. And that is expensive. And so these grants will support training programs, grow your own programs, re-specialization efforts. It provides money for states to hire these people, to increase salaries, to engage in a whole range of very creative and effective strategies to increase access to the workforce and then increase access to services. But again, these are time limited grants. And so it is going to be up to all of us to elevate the good work that’s happening with this, and then to convince our state legislatures and Congress and our local school boards to continue to fund these so that we don’t see a drop off in services. When inevitably something else will take up a lot of the air in terms of what policy makers are paying attention to, we wanna make sure we are keeping the focus on this and people aren’t dropping the ball on what needs to happen to sustain this.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:28:27):
Certainly you can use your IDEA dollars. A lot of people forget sometimes that you can use 15% of those funds for coordinated early intervention services, which can be used to shore up and really increase your Tier One and Tier Two services, your use of universal screening and that key database decision making in identifying kids early. But a huge opportunity that’s coming. And again, I will provide some more information about this, cause we could spend hours on this and Dr. Kelly and I have spent hours talking about this before. But school based Medicaid is a huge untapped resource that can be used to sustain these services. If you’re not aware, school-based Medicaid allows school districts to reimburse the federal government and their state for services, you know, very specific services that they are providing to Medicaid, eligible students, every state plan looks different.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:29:25):
But what we have found is that there’s a lot of districts not engaging in this because the administrative burden is really great. So if you’re a smaller district or a rural district, maybe you just don’t have the capacity to have that type of system that is necessary to keep up with the paperwork and the billing and all of that. We have been working. And certainly Dr. Kelly has been working on this for much longer than I have, but at least for the last decade, we have been begging CMS, which is the federal agency to update some of their guidance to allow for ease of reimbursement for telehealth, for mental health services that are provided for all kids to, for health services. You know, this includes services like speech, language, pathology services and physical therapy. And it’s not just mental health.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:30:14):
It is a whole range of health services, but it really we’re providing these services to kids anyway. So why would we not want to take every advantage to help school districts recoup some of those funds from the federal government, which they are entitled to, to then put back into their district’s pot of money, so to speak, to then expand access to care. The bipartisan Safer Communities Act contained some pretty specific directives that will require this guidance to be updated. It is gonna create a school-based Medicaid technical assistance center with some money that could go to states to help them better align Medicaid, their Medicaid system, which historically has focused in in the health sector, but to better align service delivery, to help schools create reimbursement practices, to make sure that state plans include school-based providers in their Medicaid state plan as a qualified provider.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:31:16):
So that the services that your school psychologist is providing to kids, to your Medicaid eligible kids, that the district can get a portion of that back. Cuz again, that money doesn’t go to the provider. It’s not like the school psychologist or the school social worker is getting a bonus check for Medicaid services. They provide it goes back into the district fund and the school superintendent several years ago, did a survey to kind of find out what administrators used their Medicaid dollars on. And the vast majority of them use it to hire more providers and to increase Tier One and Tier Two supports, including professional development for their staff. They’re better equipped to meet the needs of kids. So this is a huge untapped resource and potentially a very, very important opportunity. And so once this guidance comes out again, certainly we can keep you informed of it.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:32:08):
It will likely go to your state departments of education first, but I encourage you to find out what your district is doing? Are they engaged in Medicaid? And if they’re not certainly any of us that are on this, in this chat right now, I would be happy to connect you with people. There are a number of really fantastic learning collaboratives out there, specifically focused on how to leverage Medicaid dollars to expand access to middle and behavioral healthcare. There are some states that have been doing some really tremendous work and the data that they have coming out, showing how many more kids they’re reaching and what the outcomes are is really, really exciting. So this is something it’s an existing funding stream. Most states already have the infrastructure; it’s just that most districts are not taking advantage of it. And we expect some of these changes to come out in the next couple of weeks which again, the policy nerd in me gets really excited because this is a huge opportunity to unleash additional federal resources to a lot of our districts to allow them to do this work.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:33:13):
So I think we’re gonna switch pretty soon to just having a conversation, but when we’re talking about advocacy, I think it’s really important to understand that being an advocate is so much more than going to Capitol hill or going to have a hill day out, you know, with your state legislature that’s, that is incredibly important, but it’s also important that we advocate for best practices. So even though there’s all of this money out here, that’s coming for the you know, for the purposes of increasing access to middle and behavioral health equally important is that you’re choosing evidence based curricula and evidence based universal screening tools and that you are implementing effective interventions. So I think it’s important to know that if you’re not comfortable, like maybe going to talking to policymakers, isn’t your thing, but you love getting in the weeds and determining if a specific curricula or intervention is gonna work with a class or work with a group of students that is just as important because we can have all of the structures.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:34:15):
You know, if you look at, you know, the graphic that Dr. Kelly included and his webinar and the one that I showed you earlier, where there’s a list of all of these specific interventions we want folks to be doing you can do them wrong and you can certainly also maybe pick one that is not evidence based when you think about the population of kids that you’re looking for. So I think that’s an important thing to know that we, the professional and the professional and programmatic advocacy is just as important. But if you are, you know, wanting to do some of that policy change, which often drives what happens in practice, you have to start to understand it. You have to be able to talk about it in a way that people that don’t live in this world understand. And often again, policy makers are not always educators.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:34:59):
I think it’s important to know what your solutions are very often. And certainly I recall from my days being a school psychologist where we would have these meetings and we would sit around and we would admire the problem. And at the end of our meeting time, we realized we have not come up with any solutions or any proposed interventions to try. Can’t do that in advocacy. Certainly you need to understand the problem, but you’ve got to go out and be able to say I’m noticing X, Y, and Z problems. This is what I think we need to do to fix it. And this is how we can’t just be negative Nancys and talk about the problems all the time. We have to switch to that and talk about the solutions that we know will work for the specific problem that we are trying to address and talk about it to anyone.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:35:50):
You know, I used to joke before I had children and was actually able to go out to happy hour or out to dinner with colleagues, some of the best collaborative projects, I have worked on arose out of a random conversation that I started having with someone because we started to realize, oh my goodness, we’re interested in the same things. We have the same goals. Talk about your issues to anyone that will listen. You have to start to raise awareness about it. If you’re looking to make changes in your school, talk to your PTA. If you’re not talking to your PTA, I encourage you to pick up the phone or email their PTA president tomorrow because they are powerful, but you have to start talking about it. Otherwise people may not be aware that there’s an issue. We can’t fix something that we don’t know is broken.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:36:34):
And so we have to make sure that we are, that we’re raising awareness about this. And I think, you know, it’s hard to be positive and enthusiastic and friendly and approachable when we’re doing this work. But it’s important because you want to be seen as someone who is problem solving-oriented, not someone who is just there to complain and point out everything that a policy maker or a principal or somebody is doing wrong. I like to do, you know, it’s like, it’s the compliment sandwich. You, you share something nice about them. You talk about the things that maybe they’re not doing so great and that you would like them to change with the solutions that you want them to do. And then end up with something nice again, because you want people to have a positive positive impression of you, or they’re gonna be much less likely to accept your call or accept your request for a meeting.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:37:25):
When you ask to meet with them, if they know you’re just gonna come in and be abrasive and not at all, be willing, be willing to work with them. But I think again, the most important thing out of all of this is to have a good understanding of what is impacting the community with wi within which you work and what needs to be done, take that evidence base take that research, take your knowledge and your experience as an educator and use that to build a story and to make a case. And I think the last thing I’ll say before I bring John and Jeremy back in is that when it comes to advocacy, it is a marathon. It is not a sprint and it can feel exhausting. And I think, you know, the bipartisan safer communities act John is not, is not wrong.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:38:12):
Like I’m still in all that it happened. I still can’t believe the number of hours that I worked in like a four week time span. But all of that work was built up on 10 years of work that myself and John and hundreds of other people have done, it took a decade for us to get to where we are. So I would just encourage you to not become defeated and discouraged when it doesn’t happen right away. Because every conversation that you have every small little step forward that you make is building on one another until the perfect storm arrives, which is what happened over the summer. And all of a sudden, all of that work pays off pretty quickly. That is the most frustrating part about advocacy. Sometimes you feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over again, but eventually an opportunity arises that you finally see all of, all of that work paying off. So I’m glad that you guys are here. I’m glad that you were interested in this. And I am excited to talk more with my pals, John and Jeremy. So I think, I think you’re back. I can’t, I can’t quite see

Jeremy Glauser (00:39:15):
Everything. Yeah. We’re back. And I, I really appreciate those comments about advocacy, because it’s a life choice, not an annual goal. <Laugh>, you know, that we set in December for the new year. And I, I’m just, I’m really appreciative of that. I’ve been going to the hill for five years straight now, and yes, it’s important. And yes, those conversations are good with senators and congressmen and Congresswomen. But a lot of the work is done outside of those conversations among hundreds of people. Right?

Dr. John Kelly (00:39:52):
No, very well said, Jeremy, I think that, and, and, you know, first off Kelly, I mean, you have just offered so many nuggets that I wanna dive into so many <laugh> in so many different areas. But just to pick up on the point, you know, Jeremy, you were making you, you know, I think Kelly you’re right, that when we often talk about advocacy, people think about going to Capitol hill you know, in Washington DC or going to their state legislature and, and, and advocating kind of at that level. But I really like to think about advocacy also just on a day to day basis. Those conversations that we have with colleagues, those conversations that we have with parents, with friends finding like-minded folks to, to kind of share in this work together, you know, is so critical. You know, I truly believe, and, and this is just kind of a personal philosophy, but, but for me, advocacy is never about us, meaning us as a professional.

Dr. John Kelly (00:40:46):
It’s always about these kids. It’s about the families that we serve. And that’s the core purpose. I think of what, what advocacy’s all about. So, you know, I often try to get over some of that anxiety or some of that reluctance to engage in these conversations, cuz we’re not talking about us. We’re not, we’re, it’s not, self-promotion, it’s really about how we help serve the kids and the families that, that, that we work with. So yes, we’re here to talk about advocacy. You’ve kind of thrown a lot out there. I wanna dive into a couple of areas if it’s okay with you, Cal I mean, first you, you, you talked about kind of tier three services and, and the community school partnerships. And, and if we only focus on, on focusing on those crisis response we’re missing out on a lot and, and while community partners are very, very important, I think for those of us working in the schools and my colleagues in the schools, it’s critical for us to realize that geez, if our tier three services are really heavy, we’re kind of top heavy and only providing those services, there’s something wrong at the Tier One and Tier Two level, meaning that we’re not doing enough and we’re kind of funneling all of our, our attention and focus.

Dr. John Kelly (00:41:59):
And I know I’ve told the story in the past, but it’s that story of diving into the river each time to kind of, you know, save the kids, let’s go back upstream and find out what’s really going on there. And yet it is often during a crisis when we see these responses kind of being developed and, and, you know, you talk about the bipartisan safer communities act. And, and we have to acknowledge that that really came out of another school shooting another school crisis that occurred down in Aldi, Texas. And for those of us who have been around for a long time, we’ve unfortunately seen these things where people respond, people react. Why is it different now? Why is this legislation different now, Kelly.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:42:42):
So I agree with you. And I remember when I, when I got the phone call, you know, from a congressional staffer, that was like, all right, we’re ready to start working on a bill. I was like, oh yeah, here we go. Again, we’re gonna put a lot of work together. And then, you know, when it’s gonna fall apart, I think for this time what I saw, not just from the, the organizations that I work with, but even from like a lot of those grassroots advocates on the ground that, you know, moms demand action and March for our lives, it’s, you know, read by led by the youth. There was a level of palpable anger that even though I think everyone was angry after Sandy hook, everyone was angry after Parkland. You know, the last two times where this kind of started up again and then resulted in nothing.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:43:27):
This time it really felt different. And I don’t really know how to describe it other than I think people were angry and groups came together that typically haven’t come together before. So in some of the work that we did, we were partnering with the medical community and the health community and the education community. And some of these organizations that, you know, some would characterize them as gun control advocates. Others would, you know, everyone has a name for everyone, but collectively there were organizations that don’t typically come together working on this. And I think it was also incredibly beneficial. And I hate the politics of this work. I like the policy of it, but politics is a reality that we live in, but right, the fact that it was a bipartisan group of senators who could not be more opposite in the way that they view some of the issues agreed from the very beginning to come together and work on something.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:44:22):
And everyone, everyone agreed to some things that they didn’t really feel comfortable with for the sake of getting something passed. And that, that is rare. But I think this was, I credit a lot of this too. Everyone just, we stopped saying it’s everyone’s statements. Where it is time for you to act. I think also again, I hate the politics, but I think the fact that this is a midterm election year probably also helped because these folks are gonna have to go back into their districts and explain why they did or did not do something to address this issue. And they knew they could not go back. I mean, even in Texas, you know, a very conservative state. The outreach that those folks got,, I think that had a lot to do with it because they knew that there was no way, even though we thought after Sandy hook and after Parkland, there was no way they could go back and say, we didn’t do anything. But I think that really was part of it. And the people that they put in charge of crafting this bill were willing to negotiate and put partisan politics aside for what they knew was necessary.

Jeremy Glauser (00:45:30):
Yeah. So you really felt the climate was very, very different at this time, as opposed to previously at that. You know, that’s interesting, certainly very, very encouraging. Yeah. You know, John, I, if I may chime in here, I, I think that this is a monumental point in our history as a country to have something like that passed. So as quickly as it has, and Kelly, you make so many good points in that. You know, it’s really unfortunate that it takes these kinds of crises to bring people together, to make concessions, to compromise and to move forward. I wanna outline some of the high points from this safer communities act that our audience may not be aware of. And I know it, it ties into some other topics. This is coming from the APA during the summer special education legislative summit. We had representatives from the APA sharing details of this act.

Jeremy Glauser (00:46:29):
One is it directs CMS which is the body that oversees Medicaid to update guidance on how schools can fully use Medicaid to support mental health programs. It provides millions of dollars in new funding for school based mental health services. It provides 1 billion to the Department of Education grant programs that will grow the workforce of qualified school based mental health professionals. It also provides 1 billion for the department of educations, student support and academic enrichment or title for a, as you pointed out program. And those are some really important highlights. I mean, to be able to get that amount of funding past that quickly. And, and then like you alluded to spending hours on Medicaid, we’re, we’re hoping to see some good things coming out of that as well. And, and that would be my follow up for the two of you is, where do you see some of the funding trends taking us to address the cliff? Because we have some great funding sources now that are, like you said, going to expire at some point, I’d love to hear your thoughts around what you’re seeing and what you can share with the group today.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:47:43):
I mean, it’s certainly talked about on a daily basis, like the, we know, we know the cliff is coming. And I think at the federal level, we’re starting to lay the groundwork and will gladly work with anyone that is on this call that wants to help with this. We’re trying to lay the groundwork to almost transform the two grants that we’re really mental and behavioral health focused into a formula grant. You know, why, why don’t we have a grant or a program like, like title one or, or title two, or title four that’s specific to mental health that every state knows they’re gonna get some, you know, a substantial amount of money from the federal government to do this work in schools. That’s our, that’s the long game. You know, I don’t know how long it will take us to get there, but I do think, you know, in the mean,

Jeremy Glauser (00:48:31):
Hopefully less than a decade, right?

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:48:33):
Hopefully less than a decade. I hope that we’re not sitting here too, you know well, John will be long gone, retired by then, but hopefully we aren’t sitting here having this conversation in, in 10 years. But I think until we can get there, you know, there has to be people look to Congress to do a lot and they can do a lot, but in, you know, we’re in reality, federal funding, first education, public education is a drop in the bucket compared to what comes from state and local funds. We have to be convincing our state legislatures that this is, this is something they need to invest in, in a sustainable way. School boards need to make a commitment to, you know, if you don’t have adequate staffing ratios start now and figure out, like, we know you can’t go from zero school psychologists to 10 in a year, but you can start to make steps to say, all right, we’re gonna hire one a year.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:49:22):
We’re gonna commit to expanding our budget. You know, by one new professional a year, there has to be some skin in the game. I think from our local and state departures, you know, policy makers who hold the purse strings to think beyond what is right in front of them, which is really hard when you’re try. You know, everyone wants to address the crisis right in front of them. And then once they feel like it’s addressed their attention turns elsewhere, but there are some states that have made that commitment like North Carolina, for example they just added a new physician in the department of public instructions, specifically focused on mental health workforce shortages and expanding access to care. Like that’s step one, to have somebody in your department focus just on that to then influence what districts will do, and to be a liaison back to the state legislature to say, this is what we need funding for mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I think there are things that, that are outside of funding that states can do to demonstrate a commitment to making systemic change. But it is a concern that what are we gonna do if we can’t, if we can’t pay for these services, which is why we’re super hopeful about Medicaid, because that can help with some of that sustainability and be, and be Abrig if districts are taking advantage of it. Mm-Hmm

Dr. John Kelly (00:50:40):
<Affirmative>. Yeah, I think that that’s a really critical area. I mean, Kelly’s right. When she mentioned before, this has been kind of a soapbox issue for me for quite a bit of time. And really school districts being able to access the federal funding through Medicaid. And, you know, Kelly kind of alluded to it before, but school districts can get reimbursed through Medicaid for the services that we provide to Medicaid eligible students. Now, unfortunately there are credentialing issues state plan issues that need to be worked through. And what I’ll point to, as a resource for folks out there that kind of wanna explore this a little bit more, is the National Alliance for Medicaid in Education or NAME is an organization that is made up of educational professionals of the Medicaid state, planned administrators within each state.

Dr. John Kelly (00:51:32):
They are a wonderful organization to connect with to find out more about how you can maximize those benefits, but also engage in advocacy work. You know, Kelly talks about advocacy work once again, more at that, that kind of federal level, or even at the state level. What I’m gonna say is I wanna bring it down to the building level, and I’m gonna say come back to the conversation. I like that John that we often have, because I know that many of the folks that are on, on this, in this conversation right now you know, may engage in some of that advocacy at the, at the higher levels, but all of us can engage in the advocacy at that building level. We can have those conversations, you know, a really good example here in my own state of New York last year early intervention and preschool services were threatened in terms of removing school psychologists as providers because we were not Medicaid eligible providers.

Dr. John Kelly (00:52:29):
I won’t get into the details on that, but I will say to you that we are able to stave that off because of the conversations that we have had with a fellow school psychologist, a young woman named Nicole Seak, her dad is an advocate for another related profession. She had these conversations at home and all of a sudden this related profession was now kind of joining in to say to the state, no, no, no, you can’t do this. And, and so it’s through those types of conversations that we engage in becomes really very important. So advocacy is important. I do wanna dive. I know we’re running a little short on time, but I wanna dive into some of the funding streams, Kelly, and how school districts can use some of that funding currently. How do we go about addressing some of the shortages work for shortages, you know, what funds are available for districts to really begin to address these issues?

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:53:27):
So you can use all of your ESA title funds. You can certainly use some of your, I D a dollars for this, but specific to this new money that’s coming. The Title Four dollars are gonna be given to state education agencies. And then they will determine they will run a competition for districts to access that. So I would be on the lookout for information from your specific state because this isn’t going to be, it will be a federally dispersed funding stream, but the department of education is not putting any parameters to the best of my knowledge. This could change, but they’re not saying they’re not telling states how they have to go about allocating those funds to districts. So each state might do it a little bit differently. The stipulation is it has to be to a high needs district.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:54:14):
They’re not defining high needs. That will be up to the state to determine, like, is it gonna be based on the population of low income students, population of students in special education? They could take a number of ways that they will send those monies out. The billion dollars for the shortages and the school mental health programs. Those will be competitive grants. We expect those applications to come out any day. One grant requires a partnership between an institution of higher education, like a graduate program in school, psych school, counseling school, social worker and either a district or a state education agency to apply for these. And then the other grant, which is also for expanded service delivery and really more retention school districts would apply for those. There are some, one pagers that I’m afraid to go find the link to and put them in the chats. I’m afraid I’ll accidentally shut down the windows that I have open and need, but I will, I’ll make sure to get them to you guys and to Jeremy, so they can go up on, on the website, but there’s someone

Dr. John Kelly (00:55:17):
We’re gonna send out some resources to Cal after this, to all those that registered. So no worries on that piece.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:55:25):
But those are two, you know, I imagine that when these grants come out, you’ll probably have six to eight weeks to apply. But that’s gonna be the most immediate funding stream that will be accessible. And then certainly once these Medicaid, once the Medicaid guidance comes out, what we’re hoping is that more districts will start engaging in Medicaid reimbursement, which may not be you, you may not as a, as a practitioner feel any direct impact of that. You might not notice that your district is engaging otherwise, you know, aside from noticing that maybe your school board budget gets a little bit bigger. But the two most immediate ones that I think we actually have some control over applying for are the school-based mental health demonstration grant and the school-based mental health services, cuz the rest of the funds are going to the state are going out to the state level and then they will determine and hopefully your state department of ed will be communicating with you guys, how they’re gonna what’s necessary to access those funds. But the two that Lea can directly go and apply for themselves are those two mental health grants.

Dr. John Kelly (00:56:31):
And, and, and I just wanna remind folks to go back to funding. That’s currently sitting there, the COVID related funding that every state has available to them. Every district should have it available to them as well. So that’s current funding that should be used to support these efforts as well. So, so ask about that, go seek out where, where are those, why aren’t we spending some of, of, of that money currently on, on these issues

Jeremy Glauser (00:57:00):
And that’s the advocacy at the community and school level that I think we need to be talking about just as much is educating ourselves and going to our administration, going to our school principals and our district office and saying, Hey, did you know that this is available and doing some research and bringing some of that to the table can really help move the conversation forward because there are a lot of unique, disparate and short term funding sources that it’s hard to keep track of. So hopefully we can help you with what John said afterward and will be providing follow up resources for anyone who’s registered. We want to be equipping you to have those advocacy conversations right at the district level.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:57:49):
Yeah. There’s a wealth of data that, I mean that I wasn’t even aware of until I started looking for things and I, I will include this in follow up information, but there are other organizations that I don’t even wanna know how many hours they have spent tracking down how districts are spending all of these dollars. And I’ll be sure to include that for you guys so that you can, you can go and see like, did my districts use this money to build a new football stadium or did they actually invest it in services? Both or allowable uses. But there’s, it’s been quite enlightening. I think over the last several months as this information has become available to really see what districts said they were, you know, what they’re doing, what they’re planning to do with these funds and then to go and find out if they actually did what they said they were gonna do with these funds.

Jeremy Glauser (00:58:35):
Absolutely. John I’m gonna share the screens for you and, and that way you have these up as we close.

Dr. John Kelly (00:58:42):
Yeah. You know, on the flip side of what you just said there, Kelly is that there are some very good examples of how districts have used the funds. We’re gonna make some of that available to you because it’s often helpful to go and say, you know, this district has used the funding in this way. This district has used it in a different way. But we are coming quickly to the end before we finish up. I just wanna check in with our friend George just to see if there are any questions maybe we haven’t addressed from the audience that we could address quickly before we move forward to concluding today’s session. You had two final questions

George Dayton (00:59:21):
One was regarding the slides and materials. So just a reminder Kelly, John will wanna follow up any resources you wanna send out above and beyond the deck, the recording you know, please send them our way and, and we’ll share them. And, and so, you know, that’s one of the questions. The other question that we have here is from our own Jamie Downey, is there a line of sight into when additional BSC funding will be released?

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (00:59:52):
So the funds that have not come out. So far are the Title Four a funds, which I believe they have just started sending out to states this week. And then project aware. I don’t believe we have seen, which we didn’t talk about, but that’s a mental health awareness training grant. Should those applications be coming soo?. The grants for the mental health shortages. I know that there is a briefing tomorrow from the department about these grants, which to me signals they’re coming out next week that the applications will be, soon. Some of the other funds that came out when they’re competitive grants. I’ll try to explain this really quickly, but they didn’t do a new competition because they had so many applications from their last round of the same grant program, but they could not fund that. They’re just using this money to fund high quality applicants that have previously applied.

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (01:00:48):
So they did not, all of the money was going to be announced, inviting new people to apply, which is not something I think that was widely advertised and is not really understood by a lot of people. I didn’t understand it until somebody explained it to me. Cuz we were, we all had a, we all had some misperceptions about some of the funding, but the other two, all of the money from the bipartisan safer communities act has to be obligated, which means it has to be in the school’s bank accounts or the states by December 31st. So they do not have that much more time. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> they don’t, they have then two years to spend it, but it has, they have to have at least alerted states of how much they’re getting and under what program by the end of the year.

Dr. John Kelly (01:01:35):
No, I appreciate that Kelly, quite honestly, it was why we wanted to have this conversation now because right now is when the application’s coming out right now is when some of the funding is going to start to flow. And so you have a little insight to why we timed this conversation for right now this time, but Kelly, I do wanna thank you you know, on behalf of Jeremy eLuma myself, always, always a pleasure, always, you know, on top of the information. So thank you again, Kelly, for being with us today, we will send that follow up information about many of the topics we talked about to all those that registered. And of course for those that may be watching this on the recording or on demand you will have to use all of those resources as well.

Dr. John Kelly (01:02:22):
I do want a kind of quick announcement. We have some excellent webinars coming up next week, a colleague from here in New York, Dr. Mitchell Samet one of our, our leading experts, not only here in New York, but, but nationally on suicide awareness, suicide prevention work that’s done in the schools. He has been involved at the state level at the national level in developing policies, procedures for school districts eLuma again in, in their greatness wanted to really recognize September as suicide prevention month. And so bringing not only Dr. Samet’s workshop, but Kelly, if you go to the next one we will be having a, another one on Wednesday, the 28th all about youth suicide. You know what we need to know about what we don’t know about it. So Dr. Hudnall will be with us talking about suicide as well. These are two amazing webinars for you working in the schools. One from a clinician’s point of view, Dr. Hudnall is as you can see a, a superintendent or former superintendent and we’ll share from an administrative point of view. So we thank you again for being with us for this hour. I’ll turn it back to my good friend Jeremy there just to kind of close us out.

Jeremy Glauser (01:03:43):
Yeah. Thank you, John. I can vouch for Dr. Hudnall. I know him and his suicide squad work here has saved many lives in Utah. We also wanna remind you that you can help us donate $50 to NAMI the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Please come to https://eluma.com/mental-health-consultation/. Schedule time with us, let’s have a conversation and we would gladly happily donate $50. Thank you so much for coming today. We have enjoyed this conversation with you, Kelly. So thank you for all your preparation and we are excited to see you next time. Have a good day.

Dr. John Kelly (01:04:25):
Thank you.

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George Dayton

George Dayton

George Dayton is the Director of Marketing & Business Development at eLuma Online Therapy. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University as well as a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the Woodbury School of Business. Mr. Dayton has spent the larger part of his career developing, producing and distributing filmed content for kids and families ( including the award-winning remake of the film Where the Red Fern Grows for Buena Vista Home Entertainment). In more recent years, he has worked on ventures more closely related to children's welfare and education. He served as one of the founding members of Kidnected World, the Student Orphan Aid Program, and also helped launched the Autism Initiative for Vivint Gives Back. Mr. Dayton is passionate about eLuma and its cause, and hopes to help find new ways in which the company can partner with schools to maximize student outcomes!