Online Panel Discussions

Maintaining Mental Health in Schools During Social Distancing:
an MTSS approach

The MHANYS School Mental Health Resource and Training Center has gathered three impressive panels of school personnel and subject matter experts to respond to questions about how schools can best maintain the mental health and wellness of students, families and staff during these challenging times.

We’ve organized our conversations by addressing the issue through the lens of a multi-tiered system of supports consistent with a school intervention framework.


Discussion topics: how to support coping strategies and SEL, establish realistic expectations, and strategies to identify and meet the rapidly changing needs of students, families and staff.


Panelists:  Jessica Wright, Health Educator, Monroe-Woodbury School District; Sue Wollner, MHANYS Education Consultant; Jessica Rossetti, Queensbury Elementary School Principal; and Dana Pierce, Fayetteville-Manlius High School Counselor


Discussion topics: how to support students with pre-existing or emerging mental health problems and maintain contact with students for whom safety is a concern.


Panelists: Susan McGowan, School Social Worker, Geneva City School District; Sarah Miles, School Mental Health Training Coordinator, NYC Office of School Health; Whitney Closson, Family Education Specialist, MHANYS; Deb Faust, Director of Family Engagement and Support, MHANYS

TIER 3 with Special Guest, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul

Discussion topics: strategies to maintain school-based student support services during remote learning, respond to crisis situations, and prepare for the return to school, including increases in trauma and grief.


Panelists: Pat Breux, Director of Youth and School Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Center of NY; John Kelly, School Psychologist, Past-President NASP; Cheryl Mayer, School Social Worker, Syracuse City School District

Contact Us

Please contact us at or call 518.434.0439 from 8 am to 5 pm.

To contact a specific staff member, click here.

Inquiry Form

Please select the New York State school district you are associated with. If you are statewide organization, regional organization or from outside New York State, please select the appropriate option at the end of the list.

Please select the New York State county where the school district or agency you are associated with resides. If you are from outside New York State, please let us know where you are from.

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