Leading Emotionally Healthy Schools

Intended audience

Heads, Assistant/Associate Heads, Division Heads, Deans


60 minutes


2–3 hours (morning or afternoon)

Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues have reached record levels in the K-12 population. There is a clear relationship between emotional difficulties, academic performance, and social functioning. Students struggling with their inner lives are not fully available to learn, and their emotional challenges can affect their relationships with peers, teachers, and school communities. As a senior administrator, you are called upon to support these students -- and their families -- in some of their most difficult periods. You also oversee the faculty, coaches, dorm parents and staff who respond to distressed students “in the moment.” Finally, you play a key role in your school’s consideration of how to accommodate and engage preoccupied or complicated students effectively in their classrooms and other contexts.

During this two-part workshop, you and your colleagues will gain confidence in talking with, understanding, and managing students with relationship difficulties, identity issues, family conflicts, anxiety, and depression. You will also learn skills and strategies for communicating and collaborating with their families.

We will begin with an overview of current trends in student mental health, then discuss ways to identify problems, talk with students, partner with parents, support and collaborate with colleagues. During the second half of the session, we will divide into small groups to brainstorm and problem-solve together in response to “real world” scenarios, dilemmas and predicaments that arise in all of our schools.