Healthy Minds Podcast

By FCPS Communication and Community Relations
April 16, 2021

Being apart from each other hasn’t been easy for anyone.

Welcome to the Healthy Minds Podcast from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Hear about how we are all handling uncertainty; get new ideas to help your child, friends and families feel better; and learn to help yourself feel stronger and more energized.

If you need a little help to feel OK, it’s OK--the Healthy Minds podcast is here for you.

‘Speak Up; Be Safe’ During Child Abuse Awareness Month (April 16, 2021) - Listen to podcast

Join Francesca Watson, Dept. of Family Services’ Body Safety Program coordinator, and Lori Harkin Huse, LCSW, London Towne Elementary School, as they discuss how adults can engage in important conversations with children about body safety. Hear about boundaries, choices, big feelings, mandatory reporting, the impacts of trauma, and adverse childhood experiences during this powerful podcast. (40 minutes)

More information and resources are here:

Purposeful Conversations (March 12, 2021) - Listen to podcast

In recognition of National Social Work Week, join Sharita Crawford, a social worker in Region III. Sharita shares a day in the life of a social worker and discusses the importance of purposeful conversations as we continue to process our thoughts around the pandemic. Listen here.

Grants Available to Help Students Stop Mental Health Stigma (February 5, 2021) - Listen to podcast 

Prevention Specialist Chad Christian talks this week about opportunities for students to earn mini-grants of up to $1,000. Grants will be awarded to students who design creative, innovative projects that aim to reduce the perceived stigma of mental health issues and substance use disorders. The deadline is Feb. 11. (28 minutes) Transcript

New Year, New Outlook (January 8, 2021) - Listen to podcast

Deborah Callsen, a physical education teacher from Haycock Elementary School, shares lessons of positivity and health boosters. She explains the Health Triangle of physical, mental and social health. She offers concrete ways to increase overall well-being for students, staff, and all listeners. (35 minutes)

How to Experience Joy Through Giving This “Different” Holiday Season (December 5, 2020) - Listen to podcast

Maria Genova, FCPS psychology supervisor, shares unique ways we can all give through “connections” this holiday season and reap the results of added joy in our lives. She addresses how we can learn to flex our “happiness” muscles and how we can look for the micro-moments to feel and demonstrate and cultivate optimism. (31 minutes)

More Episodes

Recognizing National School Psychology Week (November 13, 2020)

Dr. Ronne Lancaster, school psychologist at Herndon HS, shares actions families can take to help students cope with the ongoing pandemic--managing screen time, building personal resilience, and turning current challenges into positive opportunities to move forward. (35 minutes)
Transcript  Listen to podcast

Healthy Minds Supports Youth & Teens in Fairfax County (November 6, 2020)

Learn how Healthy Minds’ short-term behavioral health resources and peer support partners (available at low or no cost) can help struggling children and teens. Our guest is James Gillespie, director of Youth Services for Healthy Minds Fairfax. (32 minutes)
Transcript  Listen to podcast

Key Takeaways from the Fairfax County Youth Survey (October 30, 2020)

Jesse Ellis of Fairfax County’s Neighborhood & Community Services shares the five key takeaways from Fairfax County’s most recent annual youth survey. The survey gives insight about how parents and caring adults can help students succeed and avoid or reduce risky behaviors. (36 minutes) 
Transcript  Listen to podcast 

Online All the Time: Finding Balance in our Virtual World (October 23, 2020)

Join FCPS Instructional Technology Specialist Tammy Sisk for a conversation on how to create balance and well-being within our current virtual learning and living environment. (29 minutes). Transcript.  Listen to podcast

Activating Empathy in Children (October 16, 2020)

Today's podcast teaches us ways to activate empathy in children. Empathy is an essential component for all of us to build strong relationships. Join Bethany Koszelak, FCPS’ Mental Health and Wellness Specialist, to hear about action strategies on how to model empathy and open caring dialogues with children, or anyone, during these challenging times. (27 minutes)Transcript.  Listen to podcast 

Warning Signs of Addiction (October 9, 2020)

In today's podcast, we meet Whitney McDonough, a social worker at West Potomac High School. She provides information and resources about teen suicide prevention and a program available to FCPS parents and students called SOS - Signs of Suicide. Participants learn how to Acknowledge, Care, and Tell or ACT. (28 minutes)
Transcript.  Listen to podcast 


Preventing Youth Suicide (October 2, 2020)

In today's podcast, we meet Whitney McDonough, a social worker at West Potomac High School. She provides information and resources about teen suicide prevention and a program available to FCPS parents and students called SOS - Signs of Suicide. Participants learn how to Acknowledge, Care, and Tell or ACT. (28 minutes)
Transcript.  Listen to podcast

Social-Emotional Learning (September 25, 2020)

Meet Olde Creek Elementary School psychologist Ellen Goldberger. Ellen addresses the important issue of self control--knowing how to recognize when children (and adults) are losing self-control and tips on how to regain it. (26 minutes). Listen to podcast

Practicing Coping Skills with Executive Functioning (September 18, 2020)

We chat with Langley High School psychologist Anna Davis about executive functioning. Executive functioning is a set of skills and mental processes that help us to plan, focus our attention, manage tasks, and control our impulses. (25 minutes).  Listen to podcast

Our Minds Matter: Changing the School Culture Around Mental Health (September 11, 2020)

This week we’re talking with Lauren Anderson, the executive director of Our Minds Matter, a local non-profit organization working toward the day when no teens turn to suicide.  She co-founded the organization in 2012 after the death of her brother Josh. Anderson shares information about Our Minds Matter club activities, and her thoughts about important conversations for young people to have. (30 minutes). Listen to podcast

Ease Your Mind with Exercise (September 4, 2020)

This week's podcast features a conversation with FCPS Social Worker Supervisor Stephanie Herman. She walks us through some easy mindfulness exercises, and explains how these simple acts can help reduce worry or anxiety as we begin the new school year. (26 minutes).  Listen to podcast


A Healthy Start to the School Year (August 28, 2020)

As we countdown to the first day of virtual school, some families may be feeling anxious about this change to the normal routine. Bethany Koszelak, a mental health specialist for FCPS, talks about practices families can use to cope with stress. She also has advice for parents about how to speak with their children about their feelings. (30 minutes)
Transcript.  Listen to podcast

Finding Someone to Listen (August 21, 2020)

Today's podcast features a conversation with Laura Mayer, Director of PRS CrisisLink, an important FCPS community partner. PRS CrisisLink helps students improve coping and resiliency skills and connects them with school and community resources. Call 703-527-4077 or 1-800-273-TALK to be connected with a trained crisis worker. The textline is reached by texting the word NEEDHELP to 855-11. (26 minutes)
Transcript. Listen to podcast

Managing Feelings Around Uncertainty (August 13, 2020)

In our first Healthy Minds Podcast, we talk to school psychologist Beth Werfel about how we can help our children be more accepting of uncertainty and be less overwhelmed by those feelings. (29 minutes). Listen to podcast

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Suggestions or Questions

Want to suggest a podcast topic? Have a question you'd like answered? We'd love to hear from you! Contact us

Podcast Guests

The Healthy Minds podcast is an opportunity to learn from some of the top psychologists, social workers, school counselors, and leaders in the field of education.

Guests on the podcast work on the front lines in our school division of over 189,000 students. They support the well being of children (and their families), helping equip them with the knowledge and skills to cope with everyday struggles and, sometimes, extraordinary adversity. And they often witness inspiring stories of bravery, courage and strength among our diverse students and staff.

Host Lucy Caldwell, an FCPS employee and parent of two FCPS graduates, guides the conversation.

Each week, you’ll hear interviews with our team and, hopefully, take away information that can help YOU be a better parent--or friend or neighbor. Or perhaps just feel a little bit better yourself. 

Other Healthy Minds Resources

Healthy Minds Blog 

The Healthy Minds Blog shares information related to youth mental health and wellness for an audience of parent, educators and community-based providers. Articles include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school and in the community.

The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaborative project between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. It is part of the Healthy Minds Fairfax (see below) initiative, designed to support emotional wellness in youth and families.

Healthy Minds Fairfax

​Healthy Minds Fairfax​ logoIt can be hard to know whether you need to reach out to a professional when you are worried about your child’s behavior or if you see that your child is struggling. And if you do reach out, what type of specialist and treatment are right for your child?

Healthy Minds Fairfax helps youth and families in the Fairfax-Falls Church community access mental health and substance abuse services. 

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