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The Black Hole of School Avoidance: Strategies to Move Ahead

School avoidance describes students whose chronic absence from school is associated with some degree of psychiatric symptoms. Chronic absenteeism is a risk factor for a number of behaviors including suicidality, substance use, unsafe sexual behavior, and school drop-out. Early recognition of school avoidance, diagnosis and treatment of any underlying concerns, understanding of school and family dynamics, and targeted accommodations and interventions are vital to prevent increasing problems. Using case examples, Dr. Rappaport will give an overview of school avoidance, review disorders that may underlie it (including anxiety and mood disorders and neurological and medical conditions), describe concrete accommodations that schools can make to support the school avoidant child, and discuss approaches to successful collaboration between family, school, and health care providers.

Supporting Youth with Depression During the Pandemic and Beyond: What Families, Schools, and Communities Can Do

Nancy Rapport, M.D., will discuss what depression may look like in teens at home and at school, how to proceed when concerned a teen may be suicidal, and how to connect with and support teens with depression during the pandemic and beyond. She will also discuss how building resilience in both ourselves and in teens boosts our, and their, capacity to endure and perhaps even thrive during uncertain and challenging times. Her talk is based on her many years of clinical experience and experience translating psychiatric concepts into easy actionable steps for educators and families.

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Taking Care of All of our Children: Addressing Harsh Realities and Cultivating Hope

Presented by:
Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, PhD
Nancy Rappaport, MD
Martha Vibbert, PhD

An interactive panel drawing on the backgrounds and expertise of a clinical psychologist, a pediatric psychologist, and a child psychiatrist, bringing their extensive experience to address the hardships children face while also accentuating practical steps towards building strong partnerships with parents, addressing power differentials, promoting equity, and cultivating empathy.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the complex multifactorial stressors confronting children
  2. Identify ways to build strength and capacity in systems of care, in order to foster resilience and address power differentials.
  3. Discuss how to increase empathy in parents, children, and providers.
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Safety Assessment Teams

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