Mental Health in Schools

Mental Health in Schools Learning Series

Welcome to the Mental Health in Schools Virtual Learning Series from Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Student Services.

All of the virtual learning opportunities found within this series were selected to support school leaders and school-based mental health practitioners as they prepare to respond to the mental health needs of their students. There is a keynote address and presentations are organized into four strands: Equity, Recovery, Virtual Supports, and Trauma. Each virtual learning opportunity is accompanied by an overview document that includes resources for continued learning or application, as well as a discussion guide to foster collaboration between colleagues or for self-reflection and planning.

Keynote Address

Author: Sophia Farmer

Stitching a New Garment: Designing the Schools Our Students Need for a New World

In a rapidly evolving climate, there are certain constants that are familiar to all educators. The key to successful schools is staying true to these core tenets while prioritizing and adapting to changing needs. The primary tenets will be outlined and described with implications for online or hybrid working and learning environments.


Author: Byron McClure

Using Risk Ratios as a Tool to Create More Equitable Practices

Research has demonstrated that one of the least effective responses to school violence is punishmen... View More

Author: Dr. Blaire Cholewa

Discipline Disparities: A Multidimensional Problem Requiring a Multidimensional Response

Disparities in disciplinary practices abound and have become increasingly problematic given the neg... View More

Author: Dr. Shekila Melchior

Implicit Bias

This learning session provided attendees with the definition of culture, stereotype/stereotype thre... View More

Author: Dr. Joshua Cole

Equity Considerations for Students with Disabilities

This session will help educators develop an equity mindset for working with students with disabilit... View More

Author: Sophia Farmer

Initiative Mapping: Increasing Efficiency, Effectiveness and Equity in Divisions and Schools

Increasingly, schools are trying to do more with fewer resources. Initiative or resource mapping al... View More


Author: Sophia Farmer

Data Informed Decision Making

The phrase data rich and information poor (DRIP) was first used in the 1983 best-selling business b... View More

Author: Dr. Tori Stone

Helping Children Cope with Grief

This learning session will provide information on the grieving process in children and teens. Books... View More

Author: Dr. Patricia "Tish" Jennings

Part I. Preventing "Compassion Fatigue" Wellness for Mental Health Providers

Resilience is the capacity to successfully adapt to challenging situations without long-term negati... View More

Author: Dr. Patricia "Tish" Jennings

Part 2. Preventing "Compassion Fatigue" Wellness for Mental Health Providers

Dr. Jennings will present simple, easy to use mindfulness, compassion, and emotion skills proven to... View More

Author: Dr. Joshua Cole

Building and Sustaining School and Community Partnerships

This session will help educators create sustained community partnerships to meet school-based needs... View More

Author: Dr. Jonathan Dalton

When School Refusal Intersects with COVID-19: Practical Strategies and Interventions

We will review evidence-based techniques and strategies to help students who are at risk for school... View More

Author: Dr. Jonathan Dalton

Return to Learn in the COVID-19 Era: How to Help Students cope Effectively with Anxiety

We will review evidence-based techniques to help students develop resilience in the face of adversi... View More

Author: Erin Hurley

Mindfulness: Using Present Moment Awareness to Promote Wellness

This session will give a general overview of mindfulness-based practices and how they can be incorp... View More

Virtual Supports

Author: Dr. Julia Taylor

Assessing and Addressing Student Need

Introduction to root cause analysis, developing meaningful needs assessments, and choosing an evide... View More

Author: Dr. Julia Taylor

Large Group Virtual Counseling

This session will discuss potential solutions to the barriers that surround virtual counseling in a... View More

Author: Dr. Sam Steen

A Primer on Virtual Small Groups

Group counseling interventions are effective, efficient, and appropriate for students who need addi... View More

Author: Dr. Dan Florell

Implementing Telehealth Services in Schools

Due to the pandemic, schools have rapidly transitioned to online teaching and service delivery. Thi... View More

Author: Dan Florell

Legal and Ethical Overview of Telehealth in Schools

In the rapid transition to providing remote online school services, the focus was on getting servic... View More

Author: Benjamin Fernandez

Suicide Prevention Considerations in the Virtual Environment

Students experience a roller coaster of emotions as they progress through school. While most cope s... View More

Author: Benjamin Fernandez

Suicide Intervention Considerations in the Virtual Environment

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for students between the ages of 10 and 19. Despite th... View More

Author: Lisa Specter-Dunaway, Ali Faruk, and Hamilton Holloway

Preventing Child Maltreatment in a Virtual Learning Environment

Safety, trust, collaboration, and connection must all come FIRST for children before the practices ... View More


Author: Kristin Souers

Becoming Invested

In this interview, Kristin Souers will share information about trauma and what it means for educati... View More

Author: Pete Hall

Invested Strategies Designed to Meet Students’ Needs

Educators (teachers, counselors, administrators, and other professionals) often identify stuggling ... View More

Author: Dr. Emily Goodman-Scott

Universal Trauma-Informed Practices for Re-Entry

In this session, Dr. Goodman-Scott will begin by providing a brief overview of Multi-Tiered Systems... View More

Author: John Kronstain

Building More Authentic and Genuine Relationships with Students

School counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers often pride themselves in their abilit... View More

Author: John Kronstain

Building Stronger Relationships with Families

Families play a critical role in the life and development of our students. However, we work in a sy... View More

Author: Chidi Uche

Virginia Heals

This webinar is an overview of the Virginia HEALS model of service delivery developed as part of th... View More