2020 Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Tools for Fostering Success at Home, in School, and Throughout Life

Our 7th Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference was virtual this year. The conference featured multiple keynote speakers from across the country who addressed social emotional learning and resiliency. FCPS continued the partnerships with Kaiser Permanente, INOVA, and Our Minds Matter. INOVA hosted the Act on Addiction Summit. Our Minds Matter hosted two sessions for students. They provided great strategies for self-care and mindfulness. All virtual sessions were recorded and are available on the YouTube Playlist for the 2020 FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference


  • Monday, September 14
    • 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
      Keynote Panel moderated by Eun Yang, News4 Today
  • Tuesday, September 15
    • 6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
      Social and Emotional Learning in School and at Home: Supporting our Students’ Engagement, Resilience, and Well-Being During Challenging Times by Melissa Schlinger (CASEL)
  • Wednesday, September 16
    • 6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
      Managing Emotions: How to Talk about Feelings so Kids will Talk about Feelings by Ellen Dodge
  • Monday, September 21
    • 6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
      Talking to Kids about Race and Racism: Promoting Positive Socio-Emotional Development by Joseph Williams
  • Tuesday, September 22
    • 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
      Blending the Head and the Heart: Resiliency with the Pyramid of Success by David S. Anderson, Ph.D.
  • Wednesday, September 23
    • 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
      Mindfulness Workshop by Corinne Coppola
      Student Summit hosted by Our Minds Matter
  • Thursday, September 24
    • 5:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.
      Use of Telehealth for Substance Use Disorder Treatment by Sulman Aziz Mirza, MD
  • Wednesday, September 30
    • 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
      Making Self-Care Actionable
      Student Summit hosted by Our Minds Matter
    • 6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
      Fostering the Resilient Child by Karen Reivich

Our Minds Matter

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

Keynote Panel Moderator 

Eun Yang anchors News4 Today, the #1 rated morning news in Washington for which she won an EMMY award. Yang joined News4 as general assignment reporter specializing in covering breaking news for News4 at 11. She then anchored the weekend editions of News4 Today.

Yang has been the first to tell Washington area viewers about breaking overnight news, severe weather, and major Washington stories since 2010. Her field anchor assignments have included the Inaugurations of presidents, visits by two Popes, Opening Day at Nationals Park which she covers every year, and the Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

In addition to anchoring News4 Today, Yang files compelling community stories about people and organizations important to the Washington area. She also won an EMMY for hosting a local restaurant show called Foodies: DC for several years. 

Before joining News4, Yang worked at the National Geographic Channel in Washington and WUSA-TV. Yang was named Alumna of the Year by the University of Maryland Asian Studies Program and serves on the Board of Visitors for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She was inducted into Montgomery County’s Women’s History Archives. Washingtonian magazine has recognized Yang twice, as one of DC’s 100 People to Watch and as one of DC’s Stars of Local TV News.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Yang moved to the Washington area before she was three. She grew up in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, attended Paint Branch High School and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Maryland. She and her husband are raising their three kids in Washington, DC.

Keynote Panel Members

  • Kasey Cain, LPC, is a Resource Counselor with FCPS School Counseling Services and a therapist at The Wise Family.  She is a proud graduate of The University of Virginia for her undergraduate studies and holds a M. Ed for School Counseling and a Post Counseling Licensure Certificate in Community Counseling from George Mason University. Her professional journey has included teaching preschool, working at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum education programming department, professional school counseling, and community counseling. In all of her professional pursuits, Kasey works collaboratively with school staff, families, and children to address challenging behaviors and/or feelings. Her role in FCPS affords her the opportunity to collaborate with co-workers to design and develop meaningful professional development offerings on a variety of topics, reaching school counselors and other stakeholder groups within and outside of FCPS. Kasey believes in the power of play, that all behavior is communication, and that supporting children and families allows kids to build their own skills so they can regulate emotions, respond to challenges, and face each day with resilience and self-confidence. 
  • Nathan Onibudo has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as the student representative to the Fairfax County School Board. Nathan entered Fairfax County Public Schools after attending private schools in grades preK-4.  He currently attends South County High School. Nathan shares “I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience growing up a student in FCPS and I want to do what I can to make sure that that is the case for all current and future and FCPS students,”  Nathan wants to use his platform to advocate on behalf of the increasing number of students in FCPS who are struggling with mental health issues. Nathan is a three-year member of the South County Student Council where he witnessed firsthand the impact that students can have on their school, community, and education. Outside of school, Nathan plays soccer for the nationally ranked club Doradus FC and is an accomplished United States Soccer Referee. He happens to be the youngest referee to ever be appointed to a US Youth Soccer Regional Final and was a nominee for Virginia’s Youth Referee of the Year Award. 

Meet Our Presenters

Ellen Pritchard Dodge
Ellen Pritchard Dodge, M.ED CCC-SLP

Ellen Pritchard Dodge, M.ED CCC-SLP, is a recognized leader in character education and communication skills in the classroom. Ellen has published numerous books and articles in the area of social emotional learning. Ellen’s interactive workshop style and effective communication strategies and passion for raising children’s social and emotional intelligence makes her a sought-after speaker. Ellen has extensively taught in public schools in Northern California where her communication curriculum won a National Character Education award. Ellen with Dr.William Pollack, author of Real Boys, collaborated to create classrooms that are academically and socially engaging for boys through Supporting Our Sons. Since 2008, she has been the educational director and curriculum author for Kimochis®. In 2013, Ellen served on Parenting Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. In 2017, Ellen recently launched, www.TheParentingPartner.org to help schools and homes partner to raise emotionally strong and resilient kids.  The California Speech Language and Hearing Association bestowed Ellen, Honors of the Association which is the highest honor as a significant contributor to the field of Speech and Language Pathology and to the CSHA organization. Ellen is the mother of three daughters and lives in Northern California but treasures her midwestern roots and large extended family in Chicago.

Karen Reivich
Karen Reivich, Ph.D.

Karen Reivich, Ph.D., is the Director of Resilience and Positive Psychology Training at the Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania where she also serves as an instructor for the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program. She is a leader in the fields of resilience and positive psychology and travels the globe delivering customized workshops and providing consultation to organizations looking to create and maintain resilient and thriving organizations.

Dr. Reivich completed her B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Reivich’s work focuses on helping educators, organizations, healthcare professionals, the US Army and first responders promote resilience and well-being in themselves and those they serve. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Department of Education. 

Melissa Schlinger
Melissa Schlinger 

Melissa Schlinger leads CASEL’s efforts to advance systemic implementation of evidence-based social and emotional learning in school districts across the nation. She oversees CASEL’s Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI), which has grown under her leadership from eight to twenty large urban districts implementing systemic SEL. She also oversees the development of school and district resources based on CDI learnings, as well as CASEL support services. As a key member of CASEL’s leadership team, Melissa collaborates with foundations, program providers, state and federal departments of education, school districts, community-based organizations, and university partners to advance CASEL’s mission of helping to make SEL an integral part of PreK-12 education for all students in the nation. Before joining CASEL, Melissa served as vice president of education services for ScholarCentric, vice president of strategic initiatives for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and began her education career as a teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. She taught fifth and sixth grades at Cub Run Elementary and Centre Ridge Elementary, and supported the central office during summer months in the Social Studies department.

Joseph Williams
Joseph Williams, Ph.D.

Joseph Williams, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Virginia. He is a faculty affiliate with Youth-Nex: The UVa Center to Promote Effective Youth Development and with the Center for Race and Public Education in the South. His professional interest include multicultural and social justice training practices for (K-12) counselors, educators, and other helping professionals. In 2019, he started Affirm Consulting, LLC to provide comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings and workshops for K-12 schools, community organizations, businesses, associations, and colleges and universities all across the nation. His presentations are interactive, challenging, informative and practical. Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in Education and his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Minnesota State University.

2019 Conference Keynote Session: Dr. Marc Brackett - Permission to Feel