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Mental Health Awareness: Strategies to Support Inclusive and Innovative Care of Students Year Round

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

A black teenage girl wears headphones and looks at a screen.

Presented by Stephanie Taylor, Vice President of Clinical Innovation and Outreach, Presence; Phyllis Wolfram, Executive Director, Council of Administrators of Special Education; Sasha Pudelski, Director of Advocacy, AASA, The School Superintendents Association; Caitlin Ruppel, Public Health Advisor, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General; and Tara García Mathewson, Education Reporter, Languages Editor, The Hechinger Report

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As we conclude Mental Health Awareness Month, over a year into the declaration of youth mental health as a national crisis, it’s clear that mental health will continue to be a primary focus of our nation’s education system—throughout the year and across educational settings. Given the compounding effects of isolation and trauma coming out of the pandemic, it is essential to understand how policymakers, school leaders, educators, and communities can work together to provide the care all students need.

This edWebinar explores the challenges and opportunities of providing mental health supports for students in a post-pandemic era. The presenters go beyond discussing generalities and deep dive into real issues schools are facing. They discuss inclusive care practices and innovative delivery models that ensure students have equitable access to critical supports that enable their long-term growth and success. This session covers:

  • Recent policy and funding updates at the federal, state, and local levels
  • Strategies for addressing barriers to accessing mental health care for underserved students
  • Recent data on what support parents are looking to schools to offer
  • Takeaways on the future of providing mental health supports to students

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to teachers and school and district leaders of the elementary through high school grades.

Stephanie TaylorAbout the Presenters

Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S., NCSP is a licensed school psychologist and serves as Vice President of Clinical Innovation and Outreach for Presence. Working in education for two decades, Stephanie has experienced all aspects of the school system, working as a high school English teacher, special education teacher, school psychologist, director of special education, and state school psychology consultant for the state of Idaho. She joined Presence in 2014 to develop the company’s leading remote evaluation service and technology offerings.

Phyllis WolframPhyllis Wolfram is the Executive Director for CASE, the Council of Administrators of Special Education. Phyllis’ experience spans 29 years in special education administration. She has been a local special education director in three different districts ranging in size from a small, rural district to the largest urban district in the state of Missouri. She has experience in the areas of gifted education, Section 504, ELL, and early childhood education.

Phyllis served as the President of CASE from July 2018 to March 2020. She also served as the chair of the CASE Policy and Legislation Committee and the CASE Ad Hoc Committee on IDEA Reauthorization; a member of the CASE Task Force, Design for the Future; and a member of the Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children and the CEC IDEA Reauthorization Workgroup. Most recently, Phyllis serves on the board for Brightli, one of the nation’s largest behavioral healthcare centers.

Sasha PudelskiSasha Pudelski is the Director of Advocacy for AASA, The School Superintendents Association and has been with AASA since 2010. She focuses on federal education issues pertaining to school vouchers, career and technical education, special education, Medicaid, and rural schools. Sasha is also the co-chair for the National Coalition for Public Education, a coalition of 50+ national education, civil rights, religious, and civil organizations committed to keeping public dollars in public schools. Sasha is frequently quoted by media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Education Week, and Politico. Sasha resides in Virginia with her husband and young daughters.

Caitlin RuppelCaitlin Ruppel, MPH joined the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General in June 2022 as a Public Health Advisor on the Science and Policy Team. She brings a decade of experience working in program planning and health policy advocacy to her role. Most recently, Caitlin served as the Government and Public Programs Manager at Primary Diagnostics, Inc., supporting the operations of COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites nationwide. Caitlin earned her B.A. in urban and environmental policy from Occidental College and her MPH in health policy and management from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tara García MathewsonAbout the Moderator

Tara García Mathewson is an award-winning reporter who has covered a range of beats since she got her start in daily news in 2010, but she has always gravitated toward the complexity and urgency inherent in covering the nation’s schools. At The Hechinger Report, she covers inequality and innovation in K-12 education, nationally, and she oversees coverage for Hechinger en Español as the languages editor. Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and national news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe Magazine, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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

PresencePresence is the leading provider of remote evaluations and online therapy solutions for children with diverse needs. At the heart of the company is a purpose-built therapy platform, designed by clinicians for clinicians, that allows school teams to serve children both in and out of school. It also allows schools to extend their teams with a highly skilled, licensed clinician from Presence’s national network of more than 2,200 speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals. To date, Presence has delivered more than 5 million therapy sessions to schools and districts in every region of the U.S. Presence is supported by Spectrum Equity, TPG’s The Rise Fund, Bain Capital Double Impact, and Catalyst Investors. For more information, visit

Expand your mental health services and behavioral supports. Partner with a leader in PreK-12 teletherapy services. Learn more. Presence


Wednesday, May 31, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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