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Creating Better Mental Health and Wellness in Our Schools

In this webinar series we will be talking with industry leaders as they address best practices on supporting mental health and wellness in schools.

Mental Health and Wellness Webinar Speakers: John Kelly, Eric Rossen, Peter Faustino, Benjamin Fernandez, Todd A. Savage
John KellySchool-based Mental Health Services within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports Framework

January 12, 2022 (5:00 pm EST)

Presented by: Dr. John Kelly

Administrators and educators are becoming acutely aware of the mental health needs of students and the impact that these issues have on learning and students’ ability to thrive in school. However, the good news is that schools are uniquely positioned to facilitate the development, delivery, and monitoring of prompt, effective, and culturally responsive mental and behavioral health services,on a preventive and intervention basis. When implemented in schools, these services not only address mental health needs, but also improve school climate, behavioral adjustment of students, and individual achievement in the classroom. This presentation will introduce the participants to a Multi-tiered Systems of Support framework for providing mental health services in schools. Specific intervention strategies and the role of the school-based mental health professionals and other educators in implementing these strategies will be discussed.

Dr. John Kelly is a school psychologist in the Commack School District and an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University in the School Psychology program. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University.  Dr. Kelly has publications and book chapters and presented at numerous national and international conferences on topics that include mental and behavioral health services for children, advocacy training for school psychologists, legislative issues related to education and children, leadership development, violence and bullying prevention, and suicide awareness. Dr. Kelly is on the Executive Board of the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) and is a Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Dr. Kelly has received numerous state and national awards, including the NYS School Practitioner of the Year in 2001 and the NASP School Psychologist of the Year in 2003.

Eric Rossen8 Practices of Compassionate, Trauma-Informed Schools

January 19, 2022 (5:00 pm EST)

Presented by: Eric Rossen, PhD, NCSP

Adverse and traumatic experiences can undermine the ability to learn, form relationships, manage feelings and behavior, and thrive in school. This session will provide a brief framework for understanding trauma, and identify 8 trauma-informed practices that all educators can apply in their interactions with students and families.

Eric Rossen, Ph.D., NCSP is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, a licensed psychologist in Maryland, and a credentialed National Register Health Service psychologist. He currently serves as the director of professional development and standards for the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Rossen has worked in public schools and in independent practice, and has served as a college instructor and adjunct faculty. Dr. Rossen has presented across the US and internationally, and published dozens of articles and book chapters related to school psychology, school safety, and trauma. He is most recently the editor of Supporting and Educating Traumatized Students: A Guide for School-Based Professionals, 2nd Edition; and co-author of Apply a Trauma-Informed Framework to the IEP Process: From Referral to Development. You can follow him on Twitter @E_Rossen, and visit his website at

Dr. Peter FaustinoAutism & Mental Health: Comorbid Crossroads

January 26, 2022 (5:00 pm EST)

Presented by: Dr. Peter Faustino

Autism & Mental Health: Comorbid Crossroads
After the 2020 pandemic there are increased challenges on mental health. Research indicates that individuals with ASD have significant risk for a co-occurring condition. Comorbid disorders often exacerbate core ASD symptoms. With an outcome focus, participants will discuss emerging trends and use resources to develop an understanding of the impact.

Dr. Peter Faustino has been working with adolescents as a School Psychologist for more than 25 years. He is currently the NYS Delegate; Northeast Regional Representative for the National Association of School Psychologists. He also serves as a member of NASP’s Government and Professional Relations Committee advocating for children’s mental health at the state and national level. Within NYS, he is past President of the NY Association of School Psychologists and the current president of Westchester County Psychological Association. He maintains collaborative partnerships with Autism Speaks, Child Mind Institute, and Bring Change to Mind. Dr. Pete maintains a private practice with the Developmental Assessment and Intervention Center (DAIC) in Bedford Hills, NY; Greenwich, CT specializing in adolescent behavior, anxiety disorders, and autism.

Benjamin FernandezBest Practices in Crisis Response in Schools

Feb 2, 2022 (5:00 pm EST) 

Presented by: Benjamin S. Fernandez, MS Ed.

To establish and maintain a safe and supportive school environment, schools must plan and prepare for crisis events that can have a negative impact on students and staff. This work begins before, continues during, and extends beyond the crisis event to address the response and recovery needs of the school. By focusing on comprehensive planning and preparation schools can utilize teams to prevent a variety of hazards and threats but also effectively respond to potential traumatic impacts on students and staff. This presentation will discuss the key elements of a safe and supportive school and best practices in crisis response to assist in recovery.

Benjamin S. Fernandez, MS. Ed. serves as a lead school psychologist in Northern Virginia and is a member of the National Association of School Psychologist’s (NASP) School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. He provides leadership and an array of psychological and school-based mental health services, is a crisis team leader, a PREPaRE master trainer, and assists in the coordination of crisis intervention services for his district. He has conducted presentations and contributed to articles related to youth suicide, PREPaRE, and school safety and crisis intervention. Benjamin was honored by being named School Psychologist of the Year by the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists and NASP.

Dr. Todd A. SavageSupporting Gender Diverse Students

February 9, 2022 (5:00 pm EST)

Presented by: Todd A. Savage, Ph.D., NCSP

The purpose of this webinar is to provide the participant with increased awareness and knowledge about gender diversity and schools; legal, policy, and ethical matters that apply; and ideas on how to support gender diverse students. Pertinent resources will also be highlighted. Finally, participants will have an opportunities to interact with the presenter and to ask questions about the topic.

Todd A. Savage, Ph.D., NCSP is a professor in the school psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF); he is also a former president of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Dr. Savage earned his doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 2002 and prior to his current position at UWRF, he was on faculty in the school psychology program at New Mexico State University. Dr. Savage’s scholarly research interests include LGBTQ+ issues in education with an emphasis in gender diversity; cultural humility; social justice matters; and school safety and crisis prevention, preparedness, and intervention.

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