Dr. Safdar Medina
Adolescent Substance Use: Screening, Prevention, and Treatment
Adolescent Substance Use is a major public health concern. Use of nicotine products, cannabis products, and alcohol, continue to be prevalent among teens. Some go on to use other drugs, including opioids. Screening and prevention are key. Treatment options exist, including motivational interviewing and medication. This presentation will provide an overview of recent trends and discuss strategies to help parents and educators.
Dr. Safdar Medina is the Pediatric Director at Tri River Heatlh Center in Uxbridge and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UMassChan Medical School. He currently serves as the school physician for the Northborough/Southborough School District. He is Medical Consultant for the School Health Unit at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He was awarded a grant by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008 to work with community partners on teen substance use prevention. He treats youth who struggle with mental health conditions and addiction, including providing medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
Breakout Sessions 1:
Supporting the Well-Being of LGBTQIA+ Youth and Families
Join Kimm Topping for an interactive and engaging program about supporting LGBTQIA+ students and families in and outside of the school building. Across the country, LGBTQIA+ students consistently experience higher rates of mental health challenges and rates of suicide, but this can be interrupted with the help of supportive adults and improved school and community climates. Participants will learn how they can truly be a support.
Building Bridges: The Art and Science of Connecting with Adolescents
This presentation will offer five foundational principles to support and encourage meaningful relationships between adults and adolescents. We will explore the science behind belonging, consider how our facial expressions may or may not represent our feelings and thoughts, learn ways to build social skills, and dive into the often-overlooked realm of adolescent boys. Participants will walk away with clear and actionable strategies to support their engagement with adolescents in schools, the community, and at home.
Supporting the Whole Child: Putting Local Wellness Policies into Practice
Nicole Good, Judith Crocker & Sarah Littmann
Investing time in school wellness helps students thrive in the classroom and community. While many Massachusetts schools have a Local Wellness Policy, putting policy into practice can be challenging. Join Massachusetts’ Safe Routes to School, DESE’s School Wellness Specialist, and Triton Regional Schools as they dive into best policy practices around nutrition, physical education, and active transportation.
Peace Play in Urban Settings
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
Peace play is a form of sandtray therapy where individuals are encouraged to reflect on their own strengths and struggles without using words. The workshop we will be providing is a hands on healing modality based on sand tray world play therapy and the use of miniatures. This is a culturally relevant modality that offers an alternative to traditional talk therapy. We will be going through a Peace play session, explain the clinical side, how our organization has adapted it and an experiential section where participants try on the process.
Breakout Sessions 2:
Working Together to Advocate for Healthy Communities Where All Children Can Flourish
Senator Sal DiDomenico
We cannot do this work alone! This presentation will address how communities can come together as one for the health, safety and well being of our children. Senator DiDomenico will address advocacy work, collaboration and the process of building coalitions to bring communities together in support of all. Attendees will explore how to do it, when to do it and why we do it. None of us can do this work individually; we have to work as a team.
Saving Lives With Mental Health Literacy Education
Mental Health Collaborative is a 501(c)3 dedicated to building resilient communities through mental health education & awareness. At this session, learn the basics of mental health literacy: decreasing stigma, understanding illnesses, promoting positive mental health, and accessing care. In addition to teaching you the core concepts of mental health literacy, we will review our evidence-based school programming, including our educator training, student curriculum, coaches training, and parent/caregiver training.
PTA Connected: Take Charge of Your Digital Life
Raising children can be fraught with challenges, especially in an evolving digital world. PTA Connected provides tools, workshops and support to help families in your community navigate raising children in the digital age. This presentation will highlight how families can work together to find balance and digital wellness through these free National PTA programs, as well as program help available across the state with our PTA Connected State Champion.
Accessibility and Belonging in Schools and Fitness
Liam Riley and Karen DeRoche
This presentation delves into ideas, stories, and reflection involving how we can use our strengths and backgrounds to better cultivate a sense of inclusivity and affirmation of students across schools nationwide in academic and athletic contexts.