• Mental Health Challenges of our Arizona Students

  • Looking Ahead: 

    Do We Understand the Mental Health Challenges Impacting our Arizona Students? 


    "...I am so impressed by everything that I am hearing today that I wish NBC would air this during prime time so that everybody in the country could listen to this conversation.  Not only are people saying some really important things but the lens around all of this is really important.

    ~  Dr. Leslie Carr, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and member BC2M Scientific Advisory Council


    Today’s meeting was, by every account, an incredible opportunity for us all to learn something very important.  Of course we learned much more about the professional capabilities of our school counselors, psychologists, and social workers and the resources these professionals bring to the table.  But what we also learned is that we can work together, we can collaborate in ways that tremendously expand our reach, our focus and our impacts for the betterment of our students, our educational staff, and our communities.  We also learned (or were reminded) that we have HOPE!  And that hope is found in our actions and sustained and encouraged by the support of professionals like today's panelists. 

  • A video recording (full length) is available on Vimeo here (note the meeting starts at 15:00).  Below are highlights from the discussion with the time delimiters provided in case you missed someone or would like to zero in on a particular thought or panelist.  Use this link with the times below to easily locate the segment you are interested in. 

    View or download the agenda here for the complete list of panelists. 

    View or download the contact list for all the panelists and their respective organizations here.  Dr. Carr's "surge article" and recommendations from attendees are also included on this list. 


    Read the Cronkite News November 17th, 2020, article about Latino children facing heightened stresses, featuring interviews with social workers at schools in the Washington Elementary and Roosevelt School Districts. 


  • Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M)

    • Introduction to the organization and its services with Leanne Murphy, Arizona Regional Director , starts at 18:38 in video recording of the meeting 
    • Dr. Leslie Carr, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and member, BC2M Scientific Advisory Council 
      • Her opening remarks start at 45:17, in video recording of the meeting 
      • Response to "From your lens are there any other considerations that we should be keeping front of mind as we look towards the next six months or year?" starts at 1:51:18 in the video recording. 
      • Her response to the need and importance of meditation and mindfulness, especially now?"  starts at 1:54:32 in the video recording. 
      • Her comments on HOPE start at 1:57:11. 
    • Suhan Kacholia, Student President, BC2M Chapter Basis Chandler, responds to "How are you and your peers navigating life in general and the return to school?  What are some of your primary concerns?  What supports would you and your peers benefits from?" starting at 1:00:06 in the video recording.


    BC2M Resource materials: 

    Creating a Continuum of School-based Mental Health supports.  View or download here. 


    Teen LifeLine

    • Morgan Phillips  Prevention Lead and Hotline Supervisor, responds to "As one of the premier organizations addressing youth suicide prevention in the state, what is the data revealing, especially in relation to the pandemic?  What other trends relating to youth mental health has Teen Lifeline been observing over the last 6 months?" starting at 1:32:53 in the video recording of the meeting.  
    • The Crisis Hotline Number 602-248-8336 is available 24/7, and is text and Spanish friendly as well with TTY capabilities.  Morgan mentions the crisis line numbers on student ids at 1:50:40. 
    • Introduction to the organization and Morgan's opening remarks are at 55:22 in the video recording of the meeting. 
  • Arizona Association School Psychologists (AASP) 

    • Introduction to the organization and its services with lead school psychologists Dr. Shannon Morse and Dr. Jennifer Ostrom  starts at 34:00 in the video recording of the meeting. 
    • Response to "What can school psychologists offer to students and school communities right now that we may not know about?"  starts at 1:23:19 with Shannon speaking about what school psychologists are seeing and Jennifer talks about what can be done starting at 1:28:37.
    • Response about supports, resources we may not know about, gaps in our resources, and how do we promote student resilience starts at 2:01:02.


    AASP Resource materials: 

    Who are School Psychologists?  View or download here. 

    School Reentry.  View or download here. 

    COVID-19 Parental Resources. View or download here. 


    Arizona School Counselors Association (AzSCA)

    • Introduction to the organization and their services with Sarah Skemp starts at 38:10 in the video recording of the meeting. 

    • "Please share with us some of the issues teens are facing, what they are saying about their mental health and returning to school, and what recommendations you have for parents to support their teen?"  starts with Sarah's response at 1:08:16, continues with Britney Griffith's response at 1:13:30, and Britney's tips for parents are at 1:17:47. 


    AzSCA Resource materials: 

    Covid-19 Tips and Strategies for Parents.  View or download here. 


    Touchstone Health Services

    • Lydia Cruz-Cossio, Assistant Director of Prevention and Health Promotion, responds to "What are some of the behavioral health needs that are surfacing for families and youth and how is Touchstone responding?  And what are some things that school administrators, therapists and faculty should be considering to support students?" starting at 1:41:40 in the video recording of the meeting. 

    Question and Answers:

    What resources are available for students with special needs?  Sarah, Britney, Shannon and Jennifer chime in, starting at 2:06:01.

    Can we do a better job or do more in connecting community members (business, youth, educators, and other community members)? Lydia responds starting at 2:14:10, mentioning new coalitions in the far west valley and in the Glendale Alhambra area focused on being a "one stop" resource. 

    What role do our panelists see for community groups that support youth eg Kiwanis, GS, BS, 4H etc.? 

    Morgan Phillips, Teen Lifeline: Community groups and after school activities are essential in keeping our kids feeling connected to the world. We know that feeling connected is one of the strongest protective factors a young person can have. Involvement in these groups help teens to feel a sense of connection to their community, their peers, and safe and healthy adults. Being part of a group can give them a sense of identity. Involvement in community groups also gives teens a sense of purpose. Adolescents often feel like they have a lack of control over their lives (parents, legally being a minor, etc.) and giving them an avenue to make a difference gives them a voice. How can we support trauma-responsive practices better in our schools across AZ?


    How can we support trauma-responsive practices better in our schools across AZ?

    Morgan Phillips, Teen Lifeline:  We can support trauma-sensitive practices in schools by advocating for more (and better!) training for school staff. Advocate for better legislation at the state level and lobby school districts to be more trauma-informed. We can also better support students who have experienced trauma by treating all students with more compassion and empathy. 


    Closing thoughts: 

    Setting aside the noise of the news, hearing these professionals today we realize there are adults in the room that care for students, that care for families, that care for communities and they are unshaken.   There is a whole backbone of professionals that are right there and they are on the front lines just as much as a nurse, just as much as a grocery clerk, just as much as all those others that are often underappreciated.  We heard today from an army of competent, caring professionals who are listening with a heart, listening with intention, listening to understand each other and the intergenerational challenges that students, educators, and parents are facing during this pandemic. 

    Dr. James Zaharis' closing remarks start at 2:14:37

  • What attendees are saying.

    "It is wonderful to know that there are businesses that take an active interest in our schools, young people, and educators.  Bringing together such a great group of presenters on such an important topic was so necessary and appreciated.  Thank you so much for caring about our future." 

    "Good call, this is really powerful."


    Excellent information!


    Thank you ABEC and for the critical sharing from all the panelists.  This is so needed and provided excellent information and resources. I so appreciate bringing together adults who care about youth and want to see change between business and education and mental health.


    Thank you for a quality conversation!


    Thanks to all the panelists.  Excellent and pertinent information. 


    Excellent and priceless information.


    Excellent Discussion & information, thank you for thinking about the mental health needs in our schools.


    Thank you!  Appreciate the time dedicated to this topic.  


    Great conversation, and resources.


    A great conversation, thanks panelists!


    Great job Suhan.  I am so very impressed with you.


    Great Points Shannon! Administrator, Staff and Teacher mental wellness is so important right now, more than ever.  Students are missing their peers (social isolation) and experiencing issues around grief and anxiety.  Equity continues to be a challenge educators are faced with.  


    Thank you, Jennifer, for brining up academic and behavioral regression. I feel like that has been an elephant in the room when discussing transition back to campus.


    Thank you, this has been wonderful.