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Wellness Strategies for All: Support in and Out of the Classroom

Thursday, August 1, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Mental Health and Wellness Week

Presented by Angela Searcy, Ed.D., Author, Adjunct Instructor, and Mental Health Consultant, Erikson Institute and Simple Solutions Educational Services; Surbhi Alaigh Vyas, LPC, ACS, Founder, Healing Lotus Mental Health, and Former School Counselor; Brenda Peña, MSW, Director of Social Work, SEL, and Specialized Student Supports, Chelsea Public Schools (MA); and Natalie Tung, Co-Founder & Executive Director, HomeWorks Trenton

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This presentation is the fourth edWebinar in edWeb’s Mental Health & Wellness Week, a series to help drive awareness and support for educator and student wellness.

In this edWebinar, mental health professionals and school leaders will share their feedback and strategies to help educators and students:

  • Manage emotions and provide language to verbalize or express their needs
  • Engage in positive relationship building to support wellness at school and at home
  • Explore more ways to implement coping strategies for anxiety, burnout, and challenging behaviors

This edWebinar will be of interest to PreK-12 educators, counselors, and administrators who want to learn more for their own self-care and for the mental health and wellness of their students. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Angela Searcy

About the Presenters

Dr. Angela Searcy holds a B.A. degree in English and secondary education with a teacher certification through the state of Illinois, an M.S. degree in early childhood development from Erikson Institute with a specialization in infant studies, and a Doctor of Education with a specialization in assessment and response to intervention. Her research revolves around brain-based learning as assessed by CLASS and its correlation to aggressive behaviors in preschool children. Dr. Searcy has a developmental therapy credential through the early intervention systems of Illinois and an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate from Erikson Institute.

An educator since 1990, Dr. Searcy is the owner and founder of Simple Solutions Educational Services and has experience at all levels of education. Dr. Searcy is currently a seminar leader and adjunct faculty at Erikson Institute, a professional development provider for Discovery Source, a CLASS Pre-K Affiliate Trainer for Teachstone, a mental health and educational consultant, and the author of Push Past It! A Positive Approach to Challenging Classroom Behaviors and Elevating Equity: Advice for Navigating Challenging Conversations in Early Childhood Programs.

Surbhi Alaigh Vyas

Surbhi Alaigh Vyas, LPC, ACS is a former school counselor and the founder of Healing Lotus Mental Health, a private telehealth practice serving New Jersey clients ages 12 and up including adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Surbhi earned her Bachelor of Science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and her master’s in counseling psychology and school counselor certificate from Centenary University in Hackettstown, NJ. Surbhi is also an Approved Clinical Supervisor and served in public education for over 10 years with a majority of those years being a school counselor. She is also a proud advisor of the Healthy Body Healthy Mind initiative which is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide access to mental health resources to the community and a volunteer for South Asian Americans for Change (SAAFC) with a mission to end the mental health stigma amongst the South Asian Diaspora. Surbhi lives in East Windsor, NJ with her husband and two kids.

Brenda Peña

Brenda Peña, MSW serves as the Director of Mental Health, Social and Emotional Learning, and Specialized Student Supports at Chelsea Public Schools just outside Boston, MA. She has two decades of experience in education, starting as a social worker and school adjustment counselor and transitioning to leadership in 2014, when she began working as Head of Community Engagement and Dean of Students at Bentley Academy in Salem. Since then, Brenda has served as the first Latinx administrator in Waltham Public Schools when she took the role of Associate Principal, and later became the first woman and Latina to be Principal of Waltham High School. She has long been an advocate for mental health, social-emotional learning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, serving on multiple statewide boards and commissions, and most recently was appointed Essex County Commissioner for the Status of Women.

Natalie Tung

Natalie Tung is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of HomeWorks Trenton, a free community-based after-school boarding program. Growing up in a numbers-driven public school system in Hong Kong, Natalie had an unhealthy relationship with learning. This relationship changed when she had the opportunity to attend a boarding school in New Jersey. More importantly, living with 40 girls at such a young age empowered her to become more empathetic and confident, and these women are still her support system today. While earning her teaching certificate as a sophomore at Princeton University, Natalie started HomeWorks with the idea of replicating this experience for girls in marginalized communities around the world. Since 2016, she has built a diverse team of nine staff members and over 50 volunteers. Together, they have expanded from a summer pilot to a school-year program with 70 participants and raised over $4 million in cash and in-kind donations. Natalie and HomeWorks have been recognized by McKinsey & Company, Camelback Ventures, Barclays, Comcast, Hollister, TRESemmé, Vital Voices, Penn Graduate School of Education, Princeton University, The Rachael Ray Show, New Jersey State Legislature, and more.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Mental Health and Wellness community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Mental Health and Wellness Week

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