Breakout Sessions

Stress in the Digital Age: Social Media and Mindfulness

Adam Birkenstock, LCSW, Clinical Director, Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

The Digital Age is upon us -- cell phones keep us connected to a rapidly growing world of technology and social media platforms that blink in and out of our lives faster than ever before. For the developing minds of students, technologies like phones, video games, and social media present new opportunities and challenges for learning and socialization. This workshop explores the impact of technology, how professionals and parents can relate and help students to manage technology use, and how mindfulness can mediate the negative effects of social media.

Understanding Self Injury: A Behavior on the Rise

Laura A. Campbell, Director of Education, Long Island Crisis Center

With the rising rates of teen depression, anxiety, and suicide, it's understandable that self-injury has been on the rise as well. Recent data has revealed that one in four adolescent girls deliberately harmed herself in the previous year, without suicide intent, compared to about one in ten boys. Join us as we uncover the two most common reasons youth self-harm, the addictive nature it can have, the most common methods we see on Long Island, and how to best help those who self-harm. We will also be exploring healthy coping strategies and resiliency builders to allow students to lead their best life in the face of adversity.

Understanding the Needs of the Suicidal Student

Meryl Cassidy, Executive Director, Response Crisis Center, Response/ Suffolk Community College

Participants will learn the scope of the public health crisis of suicide and will understand the complex risk factors and warning signs that lead to elevated risk. Participants will also learn how to engage in the assessment of risk, and how to collaboratively safety plan with clients. 

Resources for Educators to Keep Immigrant Students and their Families Together

Eliana Fernandez, Lead Organizer, Make The Road New York

This workshop will provide an overview of the current immigration climate and resources to help immigrant families deal with some of the most common issues impacting Long Island youth and families including: unaccompanied minors, immigration fraud "10 year law", gang-related accusations, mental health/addiction issues, and other discipline or law enforcement threats including unlicensed driving.

Staying Connected In An Uncertain World: Creating More Emotionally Healthy School Communities

Dan Guerra, Psy.D., Psychologist/Author/Executive Coach/Presenter, 

In the wake of violence in our schools and recent school shootings, there is a need to address the anxiety and stress that naturally emerges from such uncontrollable and tragic events. How can we begin to help our students cope with the anxiety (and a sense of powerlessness) that they may be experiencing in light of recent events? Perhaps more importantly, how can we begin to change the conversation from one of information-driven solutions to one that addresses engagement and creating the conditions that allow for the development of more emotionally connected school communities? This talk will address the impact of recent events on students and teachers with respect to anxiety and trauma.

Seeing Clearly Through a Trauma Lens: Understanding the Impact of Trauma on Children

Daniel Hoffman, PhD, ABPP, Psychologist, LIJMC/STRYDD Center, Northwell Health

This workshop will provide counselors with a grounding in applying trauma theory towards working with children. Participants will learn about the impacts of trauma such as the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and common behavioral presentations for children impacted by trauma, which is often confused with other conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Additionally, participants will learn about resources for assessing trauma exposure and trauma symptoms as well as how to consider the impact of trauma in special populations such as children with developmental disabilities and children impacted by families exposed to military service.

Working with LGBTQ Youth

Aiden Jay Kaplan, LMSW, LGBTQ Youth Services Manager, Pride for Youth-Division of Long Island Crisis Center

LGBTQ adolescents face particular challenges. Service providers, social workers, and mental health professionals are introduced to the dynamics of growing up LGBTQ. Specific emphasis is placed on transgender youth and young men who have sex with men. Learn how your organization can become more responsive to this population.

Elementary Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Program

Linda Karman, Retired Director of Guidance and Student Data, LLK Consulting, INC

Every NYS school district is now required to develop a comprehensive developmental school counseling program K-12. Many of our elementary schools have multiple personnel meeting the needs of their elementary students. This workshop will focus on how to bring staff together to develop a meaningful program that helps to define the school climate and support the ever-growing and changing needs of our elementary students.

Therapeutic Implications When Working With Latino Immigrant Youth and Their Families

Vilma E. Matos, LCSW, Bilingual School Social Worker, Syosset School District

This workshop will review the Pre-Migration, Migration and Post-Migration experiences of the Latino immigrant youth and its impact on their lives. Factors that are causing this exodus from Central America to the United States, as well as the arduous and life-threatening month-long journey from Central America to the U.S., will be covered. Post-migration will review issues such as family reunification, acculturation, cultural bereavement and other factors that may cause maladaptive behaviors, depression, anxiety, anger, PTSD, etc. The presentation will conclude by reviewing culturally relevant engagement and interventions.

Identifying Students in Distress

Michael Miles, Program Administrator of Human Support Services, Eastern Suffolk BOCES

A practical examination of the clinical indicators for differentiating students in mild, moderate and severe levels of distress based upon the empirical evidence and findings of current research. Later, group participation will focus on potential local community resources, effective interventions and current theoretical models such techniques as trauma-informed practice, applications of Mindfulness and other strategies that best align with the practitioner's individual style and approach.

Diploma and Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

Cathy Pantelides, Administrative Coordinator for Transition, LI RSE-TASC

There have been a variety of changes and additions regarding diploma and graduation options available to students, particularly for students with disabilities. This workshop will provide an overview of the major changes and additions, including the new Multiple Pathways (4+1 Option) as well as the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential and the Career Development & Occupational Studies Commencement Credential. Participants will leave the workshop with a working definition of Self-Determination Skills and Transition Assessment; as well as an understanding of the process for how to utilize both to identify students' strengths, preferences and interests to inform the development of an individualized pathway to graduation.

Supporting Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE): An Overview

Heather Parris-Fitzpatrick, Resource Specialist, NYSED Regional Bilingual/ENL Resource Network at Eastern Suffolk BOCES

This presentation will provide Guidance Counselors and Student Support Personnel with an overview of the NYS Department of Education protocols and guidelines regarding the instructional needs of Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education. The discussion will include: Screening and Identification of SIFE, Programming and Placement of SIFE and Addressing the Language and Literacy Needs of SIFE-ELLs.

Opioids and Beyond: The Changing Nature of Addiction on Long Island

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President/CEO, Family and Children's Association

Dr. Reynolds will provide an overview of the latest trends in substance use among young people, including emergent data about opioids, marijuana, synthetic drugs, benzodiazepines and of course, alcohol. He'll discuss evidence-based prevention programs, new treatment options for kids and families on Long Island and the local mobilization of young people in recovery.

Mindfulness, Movement, Breath and Social Emotional Learning in our Classrooms

Angela Ruggiero, Workshop Leader, Education Alive

Discover easily integrated Mindfulness, Movement, Breath and Social Emotional Learning activities and tools that help students to cultivate self-awareness, inner resilience and emotional intelligence. Participants will explore the theory and science, and experience mindfulness, breathing and SEL activities to implement immediately. In a world where we see our children experiencing exponential increases in obesity, chronic illness, bullying, depression, anxiety, hyper connectivity and stress, we believe these tools are essential for optimal learning and the well being of our youth. Education Alive is an approved CTLE provider and our programs are aligned with the learning standards for mental health in NYS.

The Importance of Health Relationship Education for Youth

Kristie Schwarz, Program Director, CN Guidance & Counseling Services

A workshop to help professionals understand the importance of healthy relationship education for youth, young people and couples. We will highlight the issues, the impacts, and the programs providing prevention and intervention in our communities. In addition, learning about other resources that can be provided by CN Guidance & Counseling to those you serve, including Integrated Care, Care Coordination, and Residential services.

The Role of the Mental Health Staff in the New Mental Health Regulations

Dr. Ronald Smith, Psychologist and Former Superintendent of Schools, 

Chapter 390 of the laws of 2016 requires that starting July 1, 2018, schools will provide instruction in Mental Health (K-12). The new regulations required that instruction in Mental Health is a vital component of the required instruction curricula. In addition, the NYSED has recommended that districts support and help develop a positive school climate and culture. Topics: Review of the New Mental Health Regulations, including Educational and SEL Frameworks. What are the roles of the Mental Health staff members related to this mandate? Addressing awareness, prevention, treatment and the stigma associated with students Mental Health problems and needs.


Yolanda Turner, Police Officer, Nassau County Police Department

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