Ready for School and Addressing COVID Impact? Mental Health Experts and Education Leaders Can Help!

August 11, 2020

NJAMHAA and AIR™ Hold Annual Conference Virtually August 17 - 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant negative impact on mental health, which can be especially difficult for youth, as they have not had daily, in-person contact with friends throughout the crisis and lost access to school supports. With school starting, they will need to adjust to additional changes. To help individuals who have children and/or work with youth prepare to support students through this transition, the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. (NJAMHAA) and Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™) will host their Eighth Annual Suicide Prevention Conference, Packing a Toolkit for the New Norm, co-sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) - New Jersey Chapter. This virtual conference will consist of five presentations, each to be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. via Zoom August 17, 2020 through August 21, 2020.

"Parents and school personnel need to be aware of the impact of the pandemic and changes in the new school year could have on youth and be prepared to recognize signs of youth struggling, intervene in a positive manner, determine if professional mental health care is needed and connect youth to such professionals," said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO of NJAMHAA.

"We are excited to feature several experts from the mental health and education fields, as well as individuals with inspiring stories about how they have overcome mental health challenges, both before and during the pandemic. Their presentations will fortify individuals who work with youth to support them most effectively as the school year begins and beyond," said AIR Co-founder Tricia Baker, YMHFA, CPDT-KA.

"We are grateful for our partnerships with NJAMHAA, AFSP and Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic, which enable us to present this critical information to everyone who works with children, as well as for parents," added AIR Co-founder Kurtis Baker, YMHFA, CFP®.

Conference Agenda
The presentations described below will take place via Zoom from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each day.
- Monday, August 17th - Initiatives in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic from a Mental Health Perspective: Craig Kramer, JD, MBA, Mental Health Ambassador and Chair, Global Campaign for Mental Health, Neuroscience External Affairs, Janssen R&D, a Johnson & Johnson Company
- Tuesday, August 18th - How New Jersey Schools Are Preparing for Reopening and Supporting Students: David Aderhold, EdD, Superintendent of Schools, West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, and Jennifer Walters, LPC, Elementary and Middle School Counselor, Princeton Public Schools
- Wednesday, August 19th - Strategies for Helping Youth Cope with the Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 and Adjust to the New School Year: Jane Todey, EDSp, Private Consultant, Former Research Program Manager, Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute, Iowa State University
- Thursday, August 20th - Proactive Approach to Suicide Prevention: Foundational Focus on Functional Emotional Development: Jeff Guenzel, MA, LPC, Chief Executive Officer, Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning
- Friday, August 21st - Inspiring Stories of Overcoming Mental Health Challenges during the Pandemic and Overall: Carrie Genzel, AIR Advisory Board Member, Actress, Writer and Producer, and Peter Lee Kramer, Mental Health Advocate

Registration fees will support AIR's life-saving educational programs.

Click here for more details and to register for this event.


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