SEL Watch: How to Approach Young Students Who May Be In Emotional Distress


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In this segment, we talk about spotting elementary school students in distress and how to approach those who may on the edge. Join us as we identify behavioral indicators and practical intervention strategies.

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Lynsay Ayer, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who conducts research on youth mental health. She is a member of the suicide prevention research team at the National Institute of Mental Health and is also a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation.

Robert C. Schmidt, Ed.D, LCPC, NCC is a national speaker and consultant on building sustainable school mental health and suicide prevention programs centered on data collection, outcomes, quality of services, and student achievement. With interests embedded in research, Dr. Schmidt has published chapters in recognized books including the award-winning book by Dr. Kathryn Seifert, How Children Become Violent (2006) and Youth Violence (2011). He has led studies in the field of youth suicide, school mental health and was a contributor to Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools: Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In 2009 Dr. Schmidt published and is the author of the Risk Identification Suicide Kit (RISK) and in 2018 the RISK2, a suicide assessment instrument for ages 7-24. Dr. Schmidt previously worked at Johns Hopkins BayView Campus in Baltimore, Maryland and provided coverage to the Johns Hopkins Psychiatric Children’s Center, Baltimore Adolescent Treatment Program, Outpatient Clinic, and 24-hour Baltimore Child & Adolescent Crisis.

Shawn Thomas is in her 20th year of teaching in the largest county in Georgia. She has taught Kindergarten, Second and Third Grade, and ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) K-5.

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