2021 Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Strategies for Today and Beyond

The 8th Annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference and Inova Act on Addiction presents Strategies for Today and Beyond. The conference will be virtual this year September 27-October 1, 2021. The conference will feature keynote speakers who will focus on social emotional learning and resiliency. FCPS is proud to partner with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Inova, Innovation Health, and Kaiser Permanente.

Thank you to our conference sponsors: Inova, Kaiser Permanente, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Innovation Health, and Our Minds Matter.

Schedule of Events

Additional pre-recorded sessions will be available soon. 

  • Monday, September 27, 6 - 7 p.m.  
    Keynote Panel moderated by Jummy Olabanji, NBC News4 Today
    Register for the Keynote Panel
  • Tuesday, September 28, 6:30 - 7 p.m.
    The Resilient Brain: Cultivating Courage & Curiosity to Expand a Child’s Capacity to Build Inner Strength 
    Dr. Dan Siegel

    “There’s so much I want for my kids: happiness, emotional strength, academic success, social skills, a strong sense of self, and more. It’s hard to know where to even start. What characteristics are most important to focus on to help them live happy, meaningful lives?” We get some version of this question everywhere we go. 

    When facing challenges, unpleasant tasks, and contentious issues, children often act out or shut down, responding with reactivity instead of receptivity. This is what New York Times bestselling authors Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson call a No Brain response. But our kids can be taught to approach life with openness and curiosity. Parents can foster their children’s ability to say yes to the world and welcome all that life has to offer, even during difficult times. This is what it means to cultivate a Yes Brain – a resilient brain.

    Register for The Resilient Brain
  • Wednesday, September 29, 4  - 5 p.m.
    Zenit Journals Workshop (for students only) - hosted by Our Minds Matter

    The goal of this workshop is for students to learn how to use journaling as a method to support their mental health and well-being. Workshop instructor Alina Liao will go over the benefits of journaling, different modes of journaling, and tips for building a journaling routine. She will then guide students through three guided journaling activities. In each activity, students will choose a prompt, journal for 5-10 minutes, and then share reflections with each other using an interactive virtual “board,” giving students the opportunity to share and gain inspiration from one another. The three journaling activities will cover: (1) journaling to check in with your everyday feelings and needs, (2) journaling to work through stress and hardship, and (3) journaling for joy. This workshop is designed to be an inclusive, affirming space for students to experience the power of journaling in community.

    Register for the Zenit Journals Workshop (for students only)

  • Wednesday, September 29, 6 - 7 p.m.
    Inova Session
    Register for the Inova Session
  • Thursday, September 30, 6 - 7 p.m.
    Getting a handle on…ALL THIS! How to thrive in overwhelming and uncertain times
    Dr. Stacey Hardy-Chandler

    Do you feel like you need to get a handle on coping better? With everything going on – a global pandemic, racial and social injustice, economic shifts, and in general “the unknown” many people struggle to achieve or maintain a minimal sense of stability, much less reach the level of wellbeing needed to navigate the many interpersonal and systemic challenges that confront us. 

    Using a HANDy metaphor, Dr. Hardy-Chandler provides clear, concrete, and creative ways of reminding us that some basic aspects of coping are right at our fingertips.  Grounded in trauma-informed practices, this workshop will explore how we can better use our… 

    HEAD – to understand how stress impacts our emotions and thoughts
    HEART – to examine the impact of grief and how to begin to emerge from the many losses we’ve faced, and
    HANDS – to embrace our power as “resilience-driven leaders” capable of helping ourselves, our children and those around us thrive.

    Presentation attendees will come away with positive and practical action steps they can take immediately, regardless of position, age, or circumstances.

    Register for Getting a Handle on All This!
  • Friday, October 1, 12 - 1 pm.
    Lunch and Learn -  Inova Session
    Register for the Lunch and Learn Inova Session

Keynote Speakers

Daniel J. Siegel

Daniel Siegel
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Daniel Siegel

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities.

Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both the professional and lay audiences. His five New York Times bestsellers are: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D: The Whole-Brain Child, and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, and The Mindful Therapist. He has also written The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. Dr. Siegel also serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which currently contains over seventy textbooks.

For more information about his educational programs and resources, please visit: www.DrDanSiegel.com and www.mindsightinstitute.com 

Dr. Stacey Hardy-Chandler
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Stacey D. Hardy-Chandler

Stacey D. Hardy-Chandler, PhD, JD, LCSW

Dr. Hardy-Chandler’s self-prescribed job description is simple: “to cultivate a culture of learning, and to be a catalyst for individual, systemic and social change.

To this end, she combines her background and training in social work, clinical psychology, and law to promote leadership, transformative learning, cultural humility, and organizational development and effectiveness in the diverse agencies and communities she serves. After starting her career as a mental health provider serving clients across the lifespan – from young children to older adults - she joined the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas - School of Social Work where she taught the next generation of human service professionals for over 13 years. In 2011, she joined the faculty at George Mason University, and later transitioned to Fairfax County Government.  With service as her priority, she gives back to her profession and community through an array of volunteer roles including as the current President of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work; an appointee to the Commission for Women for the City of Fairfax; an active member of the Fairfax Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and Director of Community Outreach for the Educational and Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Hardy-Chandler’s trailblazing 30+ year career journey, commitment to equity and social justice, as well as her national reputation for creative, thought-provoking and highly engaging presentations converge perfectly in her professional roles as the Director of the Center for Children and Families for the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services, and as the President and CEO of Leadership Excellence & Adaptive Development Solutions (LEADS), LLC – a Black/woman-owned consultancy practice providing innovative training, assessment and consultation services specializing in human service organizations. LEADS’ primary focus is “helping people who help people!”

Our Minds Matter

A student-led movement to change the school culture around mental health.

Panel Members

Moderator, Jummy Olabanji NBC4

Jummy Olabanji
Panel Moderator, Jummy Olabanji

Jummy Olabanji co-anchors News4 Today, the #1 morning news in Washington, D.C.

A native of Fairfax County, Olabanji has spent most of her life in Virginia, graduating from Westfield High School in Chantilly and Virginia Tech. She earned a Master's degree in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.

Olabanji started her journalism career as an intern for NBC4. She has also worked for stations in Charlottesville, Norfolk, and New York City.

She has been honored for her work with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for breaking news anchor coverage, two Virginia Associated Press Awards and eight EMMY Awards.

Olabanji is an advocate for organ donation and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Kidney Foundation. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Along with her husband, Olabanji lives in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Anderson, Executive Director of Our Minds Matter

Lauren Anderson
Panel Member, Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson is Executive Director of Our Minds Matter (formerly the Josh Anderson Foundation), a local non-profit organization working toward the day when no teen turns to suicide. She co-founded the organization in 2012 following the death of her youngest brother, Josh, by suicide at the age of seventeen. As Executive Director, Lauren oversees all programming, fundraising and operations of the organization. Her greatest accomplishment to date is seeing the impact of the Our Minds Matter program - a student-led, upstream suicide prevention program that is now in over 100 schools nationwide.

Lauren’s work has been featured in print and broadcast news, including The Today Show, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping Magazine, NBC4 Washington and WUSA 9. Furthermore, Lauren was interviewed by Deepak Chopra for his One World news show that features international thought leaders from both the public and private sector. Prior to co-founding Our Minds Matter, Lauren worked as an analyst at a boutique investment bank in Atlanta, GA.

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she majored in Finance and International Business at the McIntire School of Commerce. She currently lives in Washington, DC with her two rescue pitbulls and is also a student and teacher of yoga.

Dr. Sunil Budhrani

Dr. Sunil Budhrani
Panel Member, Dr. Sunil Budhrani

Dr. Sunil Budhrani is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Innovation Health, a joint venture between Aetna, a CVS Health Company, and Inova Health System. Since joining in 2016, Dr. Budhrani has pushed Innovation Health to deliver quality health care coverage and successfully steered the organization through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Budhrani has offered his expert advice and insights to the local community in the Washington D.C. metro area. His outreach has focused on maintaining mental health resilience during this time of stress and social isolation. Additionally, he ensures that Innovation Health provides an above-and-beyond experience for members who are at increased risk of COVID-19, offering an integrated text-based member outreach initiative, a custom mask distribution program, COVID-19 care boxes, and more.

Dr. Budhrani has practiced at several leading institutions throughout his career. They include: Inova Health System in Falls Church, Virginia; Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida; Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey and Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts. In addition to his roles in hospital settings, Dr. Budhrani also founded CareClix

Telemedicine, a national end-to-end telemedicine solutions company, and PrimeMed

Urgent Care Systems, which operated urgent care facilities throughout the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. He also served as the CMO of Evergreen Health Care, an Affordable Care Act health plan.

 Dr. Budhrani graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Neuroscience and English. He then completed his medical degree and a Master of Public Health at The George Washington University. After, he completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. Dr. Budhrani is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine. He is an American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) certified emergency physician.

To learn more, follow Dr. Sunil Budhrani on LinkedIn

Dr. Ross Goodwin, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Tracey Scott, Resource Counselor Fairfax County Public Schools

Dr. Tracey Scott
Panel Member, Dr. Tracey Scott

Dr. Tracey Scott is a resource counselor in School Counseling Services for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Tracey previously served as an FCPS middle and high school counselor, College Partnership Program (CPP) advocate, and educational specialist in School Counseling Services.  Tracey’s professional experience also includes working at the United States Department of Education on the Policy Development & Alignment Team, supporting states in their implementation of federal education policy and guidance.  Most recently, Tracey has served as an adjunct professor of counseling and development at George Mason University, helping to build the next generation of school counselors.  Tracey holds multiple degrees from Howard University and earned her doctorate in education from George Mason University. She holds a particular passion and interest in supporting the social and emotional needs of underserved students, as is reflected in her research and published articles. 

Marla Zometsky, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board