LCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference 2021 has ended
Welcome to the LCPS Mental Health and Wellness "Navigating the Path to Student Wellness" Virtual Conference. We look forward to seeing you on January 30, 2021 for a day of connection and learning.

Please visit the following sites for additional resources from LCPS and our community partners; Inova and Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services (MHSADS):
LCPS Mental Health Resources 
LCPS MTSS and SEL Resources
LCPS Parent Resources Services
Inova Behavioral Health Services
Inova Act on Addiction Resources
Loudoun County MHSADS Services

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Saturday, January 30

8:45am EST

Welcoming Remarks
Limited Capacity seats available

avatar for Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans

Supervisor, Student Assistance Services, Loudoun County Public Schools
avatar for Dr. Asia Jones

Dr. Asia Jones

Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services, Loudoun County Public Schools

Saturday January 30, 2021 8:45am - 9:00am EST

9:00am EST

Adapting to Change- Emotional Intelligence and Student Success
Limited Capacity full

Why to do some students adapt to change while others struggle? Why are some students more resilient? Does this adaptability equate to academic success? Research suggests it does and the key may be Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Students with strong EQ are more adaptable, intrinsically motivated, and in general, more positive/optimistic.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Students with higher levels of emotional intelligence are better able to regulate emotions and more empathetic to others developing improved self-motivation and more effective communication skills.
People with high emotional intelligence accept change as it comes their way, an important characteristic currently. Emotional intelligence provides enhanced coping strategies and the ability to tackle challenges in a positive and productive way. In a study published by the American Psychological Association positive emotions not only counteract negative ones, but also influence a person’s habitual thinking and provides increased ability to cope with uncertainty or obstacles. How students react to failure, stressful situations, and changing circumstances can have a major impact on achievement. People with high emotional intelligence are mostly positive and work to find a solution to a problem rather giving up. Emotional intelligence helps students manage stress and study successfully even in difficult times. Schools foster emotional intelligence with adult mental health supports and peer-led clubs and organizations. Clubs and organizations such as PEER and Sources of Strength focus on a strengths-based approach to mental health and can be a useful resource. Slido will be used for audience interaction and information for parents to help students develop emotional intelligence will be provided.

avatar for Tracy Wood, M. Ed

Tracy Wood, M. Ed

School Counselor - Riverside High School, Loudoun County Public Schools
avatar for Cassandra Asekhuano

Cassandra Asekhuano

School Counselor - Riverside High School, Loudoun County Public Schools

Saturday January 30, 2021 9:00am - 9:50am EST

9:00am EST

Anxiety, Stress Management & Resilience in Today's Challenging World
Limited Capacity full

In this engaging session, learn how anxiety and stress affect the brain, influence behavior and emotion, and impact well-being. Through experiential session activities and take-home resources, become equipped to help your child reduce anxiety, manage stress and build resilience.
The incidence of anxiety is significantly increasing, especially with the COVID pandemic. But there is hope -- one can learn to manage anxiety. In this engaging session, occasionally including horses and a brief herd observation activity, our presentation connects with the conference theme of improving mental wellness in students through anxiety and stress management and resilience-building. Parents learn how anxiety impacts the brain, influences behavior and emotion and affects well-being. They also learn early warning signs and symptoms of anxiety, and how it manifests in family, social and academic settings. Recognizing warning signs enables caregivers to redirect and support the youth in their lives.
Anxiety has a huge impact on the emotional, cognitive and psychosocial development of our youth. Research-based information helps participants understand how regions of the brain are impacted by anxiety. Anxiety activates a fear response in the amygdala (lower brain region), signaling the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system to release a surge of cortisol, affecting physiological state and then emotional and behavioral response. While anxiety can be debilitating, it can also be managed, by stimulating the brain’s neocortex (frontal lobe). Recent Stanford University research underscores this, where teens showing greater social interconnectedness in the neocortex were less likely to experience pandemic-related depression and anxiety.
Throughout the presentation, participants are introduced to adaptive and supportive resources -- a brief mindfulness video; Mitigating a Panic Attack handout; Select Guided Imageries handout -- that can be utilized to help youth manage stress, enhance emotional regulation, strengthen interpersonal relationships and build resilience.

avatar for Leslie Roberts, M.Ed, LPC, CSAC

Leslie Roberts, M.Ed, LPC, CSAC

Lead Clinician, Project Horse Empowerment Wellness, and Learning Center
avatar for Darcy Woessner, CES

Darcy Woessner, CES

Executive Director, Project Horse Empowerment Center

Saturday January 30, 2021 9:00am - 9:50am EST

9:00am EST

Supporting Trauma-Impacted Children and Youth with Disabilities During the Pandemic
Limited Capacity seats available

Impact of childhood trauma, navigating educational and other service systems, and strategies for success in special education. Children with developmental disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing traumatic events than their peers. Understanding trauma and basic brain science contextualizes challenging trauma-triggered responses in children with disabilities. Trauma-sensitive responses that build relationships and support self-regulation can help caregivers cope with the additional stressors associated with the pandemic.

Children and youth are particularly vulnerable to the impact of trauma and traumatic stress. The effects are seen across domains; trauma often has significant negative impacts on academics, social emotional development and behaviors. Children with developmental disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing traumatic events than their peers. Even prior to the COVID pandemic, children with developmental disabilities were 3- 4 times more likely than their peers to experience traumas such as exposure to violence, neglect and inadequate protective factors.
In this session, we review the unique trauma characteristics that disproportionately impact children with disabilities. We share basic brain science that contextualizes challenging trauma-triggered responses in children with disabilities. The session offers trauma-sensitive responses that build relationships and support self-regulation to help caregivers cope with additional stressors associated with the pandemic.
The session draws on the work of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Siegal, Leitch, and ACE Interface.

avatar for Kelly Henderson

Kelly Henderson

Executive Director, Formed Families Forward
avatar for Beth Spivack

Beth Spivack

Family Support and Outreach Director, Formed Families Forward

Saturday January 30, 2021 9:00am - 9:50am EST

10:00am EST

Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences & Building Self-Healing Communities
Limited Capacity full

In this session, you’ll learning important ways you can impact a child’s future by changing the way you interact with or influence them. You may be surprised to discover that you are changing public health outcomes within your community just by being a good neighbor – all backed by scientific research that began in 1991.

avatar for Shoko Brown

Shoko Brown

School Psychologist, Loudoun County Public Schools
avatar for Kelly Pollard

Kelly Pollard

School Social Worker, Loudoun County Public Schools

Saturday January 30, 2021 10:00am - 10:50am EST

10:00am EST

NAMI Ending the Silence
Limited Capacity filling up

NAMI Ending the Silence features a presenter with lived experience, sharing information about warning signs of mental health conditions and how to get help for yourself or a friend. A young adult will then share their personal journey of living with a mental health condition during their teen years.


Megan Souza

NAMI Northern Virginia

Saturday January 30, 2021 10:00am - 10:50am EST

10:00am EST

What Parents Need to Know: Teen Substance Use During a Time of Policy Change
Limited Capacity seats available

Marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized in 31 states. Virginia decriminalized marijuana in June 2020. Governor Northam, along with other key legislators, were recently quoted as supporting legalizing recreational marijuana use in the Commonwealth next year. This presentation will be focused on teen substance use during this unique time of shifts in drug policy and how parents can respond.

avatar for Chris Leibowitz, LCSW-S, CSAC, QMHP-A

Chris Leibowitz, LCSW-S, CSAC, QMHP-A

Therapist, Insight Into Action Therapy

Saturday January 30, 2021 10:00am - 10:50am EST

11:00am EST

Keynote Panel Presentation - COVID-19: The impact on medical and mental health and strategies to support youth moving forward
Limited Capacity seats available

  • Dr. Ravinderpal Singh from Inova Kellar Center, who oversees infection control and has a specialty in childhood and adolescent psychiatry will speak about pharmacology and the treatment of anxiety disorders. AACAP Resources
  • Dr. Jonathan Dalton, Director of the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change in Rockville, Md. He will speak about anxiety, school refusal and the impact COVID, and what effective treatment should look like. Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change
  • Dr. Lynsey Riley, LCPS School Psychologist and Kristin Quimby, LCPS School Social Worker will focus on available school-based supports for students who are returning to learn. LCPS Mental Health Resources 
  • Dr. Heather Applegate, Supervisor of Diagnostic and Prevention Services will serve as the moderator. 

avatar for Dr. Ravinderpal Singh

Dr. Ravinderpal Singh

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Inova Kellar Center
avatar for Dr. Jonathan Dalton

Dr. Jonathan Dalton

Founder and Director, Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change

Dr. Lynsey Riley

School Psychologist, LCPS

Kristin Quimby

School Social Worker, LCPS

Saturday January 30, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST

1:00pm EST

Addressing Your Child's Problem Behavior Through Conflict Resolution
Limited Capacity full

The key to decreasing a child’s challenging behaviors is to include the entire family in the healing process. Conflict stemming from discouragement and distress in the parent-child relationship negatively impacts the entire household. Learn how understanding the functions of behavior, effective communication and compromise can facilitate peace within the family dynamic. Therapeutic Alliance helps families facilitate change in problematic behaviors through parent coaching and supportive encouragement. 

avatar for Amanda Morrow Badar,  MA

Amanda Morrow Badar, MA

Field Supervisor, Therapeutic Alliance, LLC

Saturday January 30, 2021 1:00pm - 1:50pm EST

1:00pm EST

When Life Hands You Teenagers: Engaging resistant teens in getting support
Limited Capacity full

When a teen you care about is struggling with a pattern that puts their happiness, safety or future at risk, but isn’t open to treatment, it can be frustrating and heartbreaking. Some challenges prior to the Covid response were manageable by teens but now they are experiencing symptoms and situations that require professional support, particularly those with increasing conflict with caregivers. Enforcing limits is especially challenging when the relationship with the teen feels tenuous. While motivational strategies are effective for individuals with the skills to meet expectations, they only frustrate teens who are missing the necessary skills.

This session provides evidence-based and specific strategies to reconnect, overcome resistance, and partner in solving problems collaboratively. Learn reasons for resistance and explore the emotional experience of accepting help as it informs effective strategies for engaging teens. Understand the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model and how to apply these strategies using the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems and the Problem-Solving Worksheet in practice scenarios. Develop an awareness of how to access additional resources including books, web pages, instructional videos, and consultation. This session combines the teen engagement principles present in both the High Fidelity Wraparound and the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) models, evidence-based responses to addressing complex needs that emphasize partnership and collaboration with the youth. The session initially works to build empathy for teens needing mental health or substance abuse treatment by reviewing the challenges of this developmental stage and the impact of this stage on relationships with caregivers. It introduces tools including natural supports, the importance of language, perspective-taking, and ways to maintain connection.

avatar for Rachael Reeder, LCSW

Rachael Reeder, LCSW

Director, Loudoun County Youth Shelter and Group Home, Grafton Integrated Health Network

Dawn Smith, MSW

Youth Shelter Clinician, Grafton Integrated Health Network

Saturday January 30, 2021 1:00pm - 1:50pm EST