Family Education Webinar Series: Recorded Sessions

Disordered Eating and its Impact on Adolescents

For this webinar, the staff from the Western NY Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders reviewed the emotional and nutritional impact of disordered eating on adolescents.

During our discussion  strategies that promote adolescent physical and mental well-being, as well as resources for care and support for adolescents and their families are covered.

The evenings panelist included:

– Dr. Tantillo – Director of the WNYCCCED

– Michelle Morales – Parent Peer Mentor

– Jennifer Dry De Santo, MSEd – Care Manager Coordinator and 2017 Teacher of the Year

Resource: Eating Disorders

Understanding & Supporting Teen Emotional, Mental & Sexual Health

Teens face unique and complex challenges everyday. At times, as families , caregivers and educators we may feel uncertain of how to best support them or we may feel disconnected from the specific challenges they are navigating.

During our conversation we shared ways families and caregivers can help support the emotional, mental and sexual health of the teens in their care. Panelists shared tips on how to connect with school and community resources, as well as approach sensitive topics with their teens.

The evenings panelist included:

– Mark Mason – Past NYSSCA President & High School Counselor in Syracuse

– Brooke Strauss, LCSW – Manager of Behavioral Health & Program Coordinator – Specialized Care Center for Adolescents & Young Adults

– Amy Hysick – High School Science Teacher at CNS High School in Cicero, NYS PTA Wellness Coordinator and 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Beyond Pride: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health

June was Pride Month where we celebrated the beautiful diversity, struggle for justice and importance of inclusion and representation for the rainbow that is the LGBTQ+ community. But beyond the parades, rainbows, flags and celebrations there are young people who struggle every day as a result of beliefs, actions and words that deny their very existence.

View the latest installment in the Family Education Webinar series, Beyond Pride: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health.  During our time together we  explore ways parents and caregivers can create affirming and supportive family environments for youth.


Signy Furiya, LCSW, Director of Well Being Institute of the Hudson Valley Pride Center
James Baptiste, Program Coordinator of the Hudson Valley Pride Center
April Heyman – President and Founder of LI Pride PTSA , Parent Advocate

Resource Guide: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health

Supporting Teens After High School: Tips for Helping Students Navigate What’s Next

Congratulations! Your teen graduated high school… now what? Join our conversation where we will hear from mental health professionals and youth voices on how to be proactive and support teen mental health as they start their next journey after high school.

Panelists will share their insight as mental health champions and youth with first hand experience navigating life after high school and provide some insight on how to proactively support your student and set them up for success in whatever path they choose after graduation.

Social Media and Mental Health: What Families Need to Know

It is no secret that over the last 15 years that internet and media use has skyrocketed. Today, 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online almost constantly. As a result, many caregivers, educators and individuals are left wondering about the impacts of social media and the digital world on their overall wellbeing.

Information covered includes:

  • How to start the conversation around internet use
  • How to set healthy media boundaries
  • Data to help understand psychological risks and emotional impacts
  • Understanding risks and how to respond to cyberbullying and more

Additional Resources: Resource Guide -Social Media Resources for Families and Caregivers

Let’s Talk: Mental Health and Special Education

Students who have disabilities experience mental health issues at higher rates than peers without. Understanding the relationship between mental health and special education is an important piece to providing the best level of support to students and loved ones managing dual diagnoses.

In this panel discussion you will learn:

  • What types of resources are available
  • How to advocate for your child’s needs at school and in the community
  • Where to connect with other family members for support

Event Panelists:

  • Donna Bradbury, MA, LMHC – Associate Commissioner NYS OMH – Office of Prevention and Health Initiatives – NYS Office of Mental Health
  • Michael Gilberg – Special Education Attorney
  • Kathy Kieffer, MS – Retired District Special Education Administrator / Educator
  • Chris Van Houten, MA/CAS – President Elect, NY Association of School Psychologists

Additional Resources: Resource Guide – Let’s Talk- Mental Health & Special Education

Winter Wellness for Families

The holiday season can be a cheerful time filled with fun, laughter and togetherness but for some it may bring with it additional stress and hardship. We know that in order to enhance our wellness during difficult times, we must focus on our mind, body and spirit.

Check out these resources as we highlight each of The 8 Dimensions of Wellness and share some practical ways for families and caregivers to stay connected, celebrate and promote wellness with their children this holiday season and all winter long.

Fostering Wellness: Starting with the Brain

MHANYS has partnered with Pathways to Empower.  Join guest speaker Dr. Donna Volpitta in learning about Neuroscience 101, the Resilient Mindset Model, Mental Health Literacy and Brain Based Leadership.

This presentation will help you to:

  • Gain a brain based understanding of the “WHY” behind behaviors
  • Learn a framework for using any challenge to build resilience
  • Confidently reinforce healthy, mindful decision making
  • Develop a common language and strategies for discussing difficult situations, aiding in conflict resolution and prevention.

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Mindful Moments

Mindful Moments is a series of videos highlighting mindfulness strategies. They are easy to follow and demonstrate practices that can reduce stress and share with the people we love, to support their mental wellness too.

Wellness Backpack

Learn how to recognize when we need to focus on stress relief and self-care, and build a ‘backpack’ of tools you can use to support your mental health and overall wellness.

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