New York State Youth Mental Health Summit

June 15, 2023

New York State Youth Mental Health Summit

Agenda

Agenda

9:00 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast

10:00 a.m.: Welcome Plenary Session

  • Remarks by Governor Kathy Hochul

10:20 a.m.: Keynote Plenary Session

11:30 a.m.: Break

11:40 a.m.: Morning Breakout Sessions

12:35 p.m.: Networking Lunch

1:35 p.m.: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

2:30 p.m.: Break

2:40 p.m.: Closing Session

  • Remarks by Governor Kathy Hochul

3:15 p.m.: Summit Concludes


The State of Our Youth: Growing Up in the Social Media Era

The State of Our Youth: Growing Up in the Social Media Era

Moderator: Dr. Warren Ng, President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Warren Y. K. Ng, M.D., M.P.H., is the President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University. He is the Medical Director for Outpatient Behavioral Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC); and Director of Clinical Services, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at CUIMC; and Behavioral Health Service Line Clinical Innovation Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Ng oversees the comprehensive spectrum of clinical programs in child, adolescent, and adult outpatient and community behavioral health at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Division of Community and Population Health. He also serves on the NYS Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council.

Panelists:

Dr. Megan Jones Bell, Clinical Director of Consumer and Mental Health, Google

Dr. Megan Jones Bell is clinical director of consumer and mental health at Google and gets to think about how to improve health for billions of people. She was formerly chief strategy and science officer at Headspace and helped guide Headspace through its transformation from a meditation app into a comprehensive digital mental health platform, Headspace Health. Megan founded one of the first digital mental health start-ups, Lantern, where she pioneered blended mental health interventions leveraging software and coaching.

Megan started her career at Stanford University where she was an assistant professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. At Stanford and in her work with the European Union Megan developed and disseminated over two dozen evidence-based digital mental health interventions and conducted research in the US, Europe, India, and Brazil. Megan clinically specializes in the treatment of adolescents and young adults and is an expert in the prevention and treatment of eating disorders and obesity.

Megan serves on the Board of the Child Mind Institute, Castilleja School and the Scientific Advisory Board for HFC. Megan is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Megan earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating cum laude from University of California, San Diego. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from PGSP-Stanford University, and completed fellowships at Yale University and Stanford University School of Medicine.

Cynthia Bissett Germanotta, President and Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation

Cynthia Bissett Germanotta is president and co-founder of Born This Way Foundation, which she launched with her daughter Lady Gaga in 2012. Born This Way Foundation supports youth mental health and works with young people to build a kinder, braver world. Under Cynthia's leadership, Born This Way Foundation has reached millions of young people around the world and continues to demonstrate the transformative power of kindness and its impact on mental health through youth-driven initiatives, research-based programming, and strategic partnerships.

Cynthia and Born This Way Foundation have been the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2022 Anthem Award for the launch of the Be There Certificate with Jack.org, an honoree of the 2021 Webby Awards for their annual kindness campaign #BeKind21, the 2019 Behavior Research Foundation’s Honorary Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health for their advocacy work surrounding mental health, the 2018 Children Mending Hearts Global Changemakers’s Award for their commitment to positive change through empathy, and the National Association of School Psychologists Special Friend to Children Award.

Cynthia also serves as the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health as appointed by the United Nations in 2019. In this role, she works to educate and promote healthier lives, improved workforces, and overall mental health on a global scale. Cynthia also served on the Board of the Empowerment Initiative at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is an alumni member of the Board of Governors for the Parsons New School of Design.

Cynthia is a former telecommunications executive whose career in sales and management spanned 25 years. A graduate of West Virginia University, she earned her master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., which she considers invaluable to her work with the foundation.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Cynthia now resides in New York City with her husband, Joe Germanotta. Joe and Cynthia have two wonderful daughters, Natali and Stefani, and are owners of a charming NYC neighborhood restaurant, Joanne Trattoria. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys writing, walking, and practicing ballet, a lifelong passion. She is honored to work alongside young people, hear their stories, amplify their voices, and collaborate on ways to make the world a kinder and braver place.

Dr. Mitch Prinstein, Chief Science Officer at the American Psychological Association

Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D., ABPP is the Chief Science Officer of the American Psychological Association, and at the at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the Co-Director of the Winston National Center on Technology Use, Brain, and Psychological Development. For over 25 years, and with continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, Mitch’s research has examined interpersonal models of internalizing symptoms and health risk behaviors among adolescents, with a specific focus on the unique role of off- and on-line peer relationships in the developmental psychopathology of depression and self-injury. At APA, Mitch is responsible for leading the association’s science agenda and advocating for the application of psychological research and knowledge in settings including academia, government, industry, and the law. Prior to APA and UNC, Mitch served as the Director of Clinical Psychology at UNC and Yale University. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist and scientist who has been studying child and adolescent mental health, publishing over 200 scientific manuscripts and 12 books. He is regularly featured as an expert in psychological science in consultation to government agencies and non-profit associations, as a witness testifying before the US Senate, in two TedX talks, and within hundreds of media appearances around the world in outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, the Times (UK), and CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Dr. Kara Alaimo, Associate Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of “Over the Influence: Why Social Media Is Toxic for Women and Girls — And How We Can Take It Back

Kara Alaimo, Ph.D., is an associate professor of communication at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been writing about the social impact of social media for CNN Opinion since 2016. Her book, “Over the Influence: Why Social Media Is Toxic for Women and Girls — And How We Can Take It Back,” will be published by Alcove Press in 2024. She also previously served as a communicator in the United Nations and in President Obama’s administration. For more information, visit www.karaalaimo.com and follow her on Twitter, @karaalaimo.

Dr. Jenny Radesky, Co-Medical Director for the Center for Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health at the American Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Radesky is the David G. Dickinson Collegiate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Director of the Division of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics and focuses clinically on autism, neurodiversity, and advocacy. Her NIH-funded research examines the use of mobile and interactive technology by parents and young children, parent-child relationships, and child social-emotional development. She authored the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statements Media and Young Minds and Digital Advertising to Children and is a co-Medical Director of the SAMHSA-funded AAP Center of Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health.


Finding Balance and Safety on Social Media: Is it Possible?

Finding Balance and Safety on Social Media: Is it Possible?

Moderator: Tiara Springer-Love LMSW, Director of Youth Power at Families Together in New York State

Tiara (she/her) is an ambitious leader, mental health advocate, and a community organizer who is dedicated to ensuring the voices of young people within underserved communities are not only heard, but recognized and used as a driving force to influence systemic change. Driven by her own lived experience with the child welfare and mental health systems, her goal is to advocate for access to quality and equitable care for those within historically marginalized neighborhoods. Tiara takes pride in her ability to provide skill development and create spaces where all youth and young adults can be empowered to take charge of their own lives. In addition to her primary job functions as the Director of Youth Power at Families Together in NYS, Inc. where she leads a statewide network of young leaders impacted by child serving systems, Tiara is also an alumni of Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter College where she obtained her Master of Social Work degree.

Panelists:

Dr. Madelyn Gould, Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University and Research Scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute

Dr. Madelyn Gould is an endowed Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. During the past four decades has conducted extensive research in the area of youth psychiatric epidemiology and suicide prevention, as the Principal Investigator or co-Investigator on over 25 federally funded grants from the National Institute of Health (NIMH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Dr. Gould has served as a member or consultant on numerous state and federal suicide prevention initiatives, including serving as a Leadership Consultant on the Surgeon General’s Working Group for the development of the first National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Her research — most notably in the areas of suicide contagion/clusters; screening and assessment of suicide risk; and crisis interventions — has been published in high impact journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet Psychiatry, and Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. Dr. Gould’s research on the evaluation of suicide crisis interventions — including traditional telephone crisis services as well as crisis interventions using new media (e.g., chat and text crisis services) — was used by SAMHSA and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to support the passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020, which designated 988 as the national number in the US for suicide prevention and mental health crisis response. Dr. Gould has a strong commitment to applying her research to program and policy development and over the course of her decades-long career, Dr. Gould’s research has laid the groundwork for many state, national and international suicide prevention programs.

She has been the recipient of the Shneidman Award for Research from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) in 1991, the New York State Office of Mental Health Research (NYSOMH) Award in 2002, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Research Award in 2006, the New York State Suicide Prevention Center’s Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award in 2011, the 2013 Dublin Award from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), which is a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to the field of suicide prevention, and the 2023 Lifeline Achievement Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Senior Investigator Justin Stevens, Assistant Commander of the New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force

Senior Investigator Justin Stevens has been a member of the New York State Police since June of 2013. Senior Investigator Stevens currently serves as the Assistant Commander for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and is responsible for the coordination and supervision of investigations involving the sexual exploitation of children. He was first assigned to the ICAC Task Force in 2016, where he remained until his promotion to the rank of Senior Investigator and placed in charge of the daily operations of the NYS ICAC Task Force in June of 2021. During his tenure in the ICAC Task Force, Senior Investigator Stevens has reviewed thousands of Cybertip’s received from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children which involved investigations locating predators engaged in the sexual exploitation of children and resulted in identifying, educating, and rescuing child victims. Senior Investigator Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Excelsior University and has received over five hundred hours of training in the subject matter related to the Investigation of Technology Facilitated Crimes Against Children.

Lieutenant Felix Rivera, New York City Police Department Computer Crimes Squad

Lieutenant Felix Rivera has served the City of New York and the NYPD for over twenty five years. He is a lifelong New Yorker and second generation Police Officer. Felix graduated from the State University of New York, Albany in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree. He went on to graduate from the New York City Police Academy in the top 10 percent of his class.

He has served as a Precinct Patrol officer, Highway Patrol Officer and Supervisor of Patrol. Lt. Rivera was chosen to lead a team within the Internal Affairs Bureau investigating serious misconduct and corruption. He led a Precinct Detective squad where he supervised thousands of criminal investigations in the most populated areas of New York City such as Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Diamond and Theater Districts.

He currently Commands the NYPD, Computer Crime Squad and is the Commander of the New York City Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (NYC ICACTF). His role in the Computer Crime Squad has honored him to provide investigative assistance to some of the most sensitive investigations including those where members of the department have been killed in the line of duty. Felix’s position as the NYC ICAC Commander has allowed him to serve his community protecting our most precious resources, children.

He has successfully completed numerous courses in both computer and mobile device forensics and has managed hundreds of search warrants related to crimes against children.

He was designated Lieutenant Commander of Detectives for his outstanding service to the Department and Community.

Dr. Munmun de Choudhury, founder of the Social Dynamics and Wellbeing Lab at Georgia Tech

Munmun De Choudhury is an Associate Professor of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Dr. De Choudhury is best known for laying the foundation of a new line of research that develops computational techniques towards understanding and improving mental health outcomes, through ethical analysis of social media data. To do this work, she adopts a highly interdisciplinary approach, combining social computing, machine learning, and natural language analysis with insights and theories from the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Dr. De Choudhury has been recognized with the 2023 SIGCHI Societal Impact Award, the 2022 Web Science Trust Test-of-Time Award, the 2021 ACM-W Rising Star Award, the 2019 Complex Systems Society – Junior Scientific Award, over a dozen best paper and honorable mention awards from the ACM and AAAI, and features and coverage in popular press like the New York Times, the NPR, and the BBC. Dr. De Choudhury currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Computational Social Science and on the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Web and Social Media, the leading conference on interdisciplinary studies of social media. Currently, she is also an appointed member of a committee by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is examining research on the impact of social media on the wellbeing of young people. Earlier, Dr. De Choudhury was a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, a postdoc at Microsoft Research, and obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Arizona State University.


Classroom Well-Being: A Discussion on Student and Educator Mental Health

Classroom Well-Being: A Discussion on Student and Educator Mental Health

Moderator: Rebecca Benghiat, President and COO of The Jed Foundation

Rebecca Benghiat has dedicated her career to working in service of the mental health and well-being of children and young adults. Most recently, Rebecca served as the Chief Operating and Advancement Officer at The Quad Preparatory School, a nationally recognized K-12 independent school in New York City that integrates an academically rigorous curriculum with evidence-based social emotional learning, specifically designed to support gifted children with learning differences. Prior to Quad Prep, Rebecca served as Executive Director of Facing Addiction with NCADD, responsible for all executive management functions for this leading national opioid addiction advocacy organization. Previously, Rebecca supported the rapid scaling of citiesRISE, a multi-million-dollar international youth mental health organization, to ensure the organization’s strategic and operational success. Rebecca has also spearheaded the launch of several multi-million-dollar philanthropic organizations, including the Child Mind Institute, the Seleni Institute, and the New Space for Women’s Health. Rebecca is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, certified in alternative dispute resolution and she has mediated a wide variety of claims in New York County civil and small claims courts. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, with a focus on organizational analysis, from The University of Chicago.

Panelists:

Kyle Belokopitsky, Executive Director of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers

Kyle McCauley Belokopitsky, Esq., her husband Doug, and their two sons are longtime residents of North Greenbush. Kyle is a tireless community volunteer and leader, a mom, attorney, and child advocate, serving as Executive Director of the NYS Parent Teacher Association. She has committed her life to supporting children and families.

Kyle was named a NYS Senate Women of Distinction, honored as a “Hometown Hero” by former NYS Senator Daphne Jordan, named a "Power Players in Education" and honored as a “Education Power 100”. She has been awarded the prestigious NYS PTA Distinguished Service Award and the NYS PTA Lifetime Membership Award. Kyle continues PTA’s commitment to making every child’s potential a reality, focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, family engagement, mental health support for all children, student wellness, and the highest quality education of ALL NYS students. She is extremely proud that under her 7-year tenure with NYS PTA, National PTA has awarded NYS PTA: the Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award twice, the Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award, a Silver Membership Growth Medal, a Silver Local Unit Connection Membership Award, the Hispanic and Latino Outreach Award, the Family Engagement Innovation Award, and most recently, a Family Engagement Grant.

Kyle specializes in education, law and policy after years of working in both the New York State Senate and Assembly. Before her service to the state’s Parent Teacher Association, she represented the NYS United Teachers, the NYS Council of School Superintendents, and the NYS Catholic Conference. Since 2006, she has taught Law and Criminal Justice at Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College and The College of St Rose Graduate School of Education.

Kyle was named to the State's Reimagine Education Advisory Council, and served as staff to Chief Judge Judith Kaye's New York State Commission to Promote Confidence in Judicial Elections, and was Research Assistant for Judge James P. King, Law Clerk to Honorable Thomas W. Keegan.

Kyle is wholly devoted to her greater community and her son’s school. Kyle lives by her favorite Dr. Seuss quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

She is extremely active in PTAs at Gardner Dickinson, leading family engagement programs, wellness programs, and worked with school officials to support the ability for Gardner Dickinson to remain open full time during the pandemic. She also serves on the school’s policy review committee, and is a true collaborator with parent and school leaders in North Greenbush.

She is Past President of Twin Town Little League, and currently serves on the Board of Directors as Secretary. As President, she focused on community outreach, and when COVID-19 struck, she quickly mobilized a successful food drive program - supporting Twin Town families in need, the Hope 7 Food Pantry, and multiple senior housing centers. During the pandemic, she also spearheaded collections of needed donations for St. Joseph’s House, Unity House, Hope 7, Vanderheyden Hall, and Rensselaer County Seniors.

Kyle continues to be a member of the Junior League of Troy, currently serving as Treasurer, offering her leadership and experience to younger women and members. She previously served as President, and was named Volunteer of the Year. She also volunteered with North Greenbush Youth Makes a Difference, and organized events and programs for children in town.

Kyle serves as Vice Chair of the NYS Educational Conference Board, on the WMHT Community Advisory Board, she is a past Knight in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for Rensselaer Lodge 2073, and was the past fundraising chair for the East Greenbush Miracle League for Disabled Children.

She is a past firefighter and EMT at Defreestville and Menands Fire Departments, and she proudly served on the NYS Urban Technical Search and Rescue Team, NY Regional Response Team-1, and was deployed to Ground Zero on 9/11. Suffering from multiple 9/11 illnesses herself, she now dedicates her time to support other 9/11 responders in their health journey, ensuring they have adequate medical care and services.

She has also served on the NYS Bar Association Committee on Women in the Law, Women’s Bar Association of NY Convention Committee, Capital District Women’s Bar Association, National Association of Legislative and Political Education Specialists, and the NYS Management Association for School Law Attorneys.

She received her Juris Doctorate in 2005 from Albany Law School of Union University, with dual concentrations in civil litigation and criminal justice. At Albany Law, she served as Managing Editor of Symposium for the Environmental Outlook Journal, and senior editor of the Government, Law and Policy Journal. Kyle served on the Student Bar Association, and was a 2005 Inductee to Who’s Who in American Law Students.

She received her Masters of Arts from Nelson Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy in 2001, and her Bachelors of Arts in 2000 in criminal justice and psychology from SUNY Albany, graduating magna cum laude.

Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. As a researcher for over 20 years, Marc has focused on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. Marc is the author of the bestselling book, Permission To Feel (Celadon/Macmillan), which has been translated into 22 languages. Most recently, with Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann, Marc and his team co-created the Apple award-winning app, HowWeFeel, that was designed to teach emotion skills and enhance well-being.

Marc has published over 150 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning and an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. He is on the board of directors of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Mental Health Coalition program board, founded by Kenneth Cole, and the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, founded by Selena Gomez.

Marc is the lead developer of RULER, a systemic, evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 4,500 schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. RULER, which has reached over 4 million children, infuses social and emotion learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent.

Marc regularly consults with large companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft on best practices for integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into training and product design. He is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems for emotional intelligence. Marc also holds a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art.

Marc’s mission is to educate the world about the value of emotions and the skills associated with using them wisely. “I want everyone to become an emotion scientist”, he says. “We need to be curious explorers of our own and others’ emotions so they can help us achieve our goals and improve our lives.”

Dr. Sharon Hoover, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health

Sharon A. Hoover, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Hoover is Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH, https://www.schoolmentalhealth.org/) and Director of the National Center for Safe Supportive Schools (NCS, https://www.ncs3.org/).

She currently leads national efforts to support states, districts, and schools in the adoption of national performance standards of comprehensive school mental health systems (see https://theshapesystem.com/). Dr. Hoover has led and collaborated on multiple federal and state grants, with a commitment to the study and implementation of quality children’s mental health services.

Currently, she co-leads two large, randomized trials of school mental health efforts, one focused on reducing exclusionary discipline practices by installing mental health and restorative practice approaches and one on improving school mental health services with best practices in family engagement, educator mental health literacy, and modularized evidence-based clinical practices. Creating safe, supportive, and resilient schools has been a major emphasis of Dr. Hoover’s research, education, and clinical work.

She has worked for two decades, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and the World Health Organization to train state and community education and behavioral health leaders and professionals in multi-tiered systems of support for mental health and psychological trauma.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Dr. Hoover has worked with education and mental health leaders as they support educators, students, and their families with social, emotional, and academic needs amidst the global pandemic.

Dr. Michael Lindsey, Dean of the Silver School of Social Work at New York University

Dr. Michael A. Lindsey is a noted scholar in the fields of child and adolescent mental health, as well as a leader in the search for knowledge and solutions to generational poverty and inequality. He is the Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor of Social Work at NYU Silver School of Social Work, and an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow. Additionally, Dr. Lindsey led the working group of experts supporting the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health, which created the report Ring the Alarm: The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America. He serves on the New York City Board of Health. Among many other honors, Dr. Lindsey is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Social Work and Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Isaiah Santiago, Peer & young adult mentor

Isaiah Santiago is 19 years old and a sophomore at St. John Fisher University studying political science. Isaiah has advocated for communities in New York State, fighting youth gun violence and the stigma against mental health. Isaiah founded the We Got This organization, an organization working to end gun violence by allowing youth to get involved in arts and music.

At 16 years old, he started a free after-school program for at-risk youth to experience the process of creating and recording music. The youth got to develop their track and learn the process of sound engineering and studio recording. But most importantly, the organization provided an avenue for youth to get off the streets, featuring Isaiah's youth-to-youth mentorship.

Isaiah also created the mental health literacy curriculum to enter the Rochester City School District after seeing the rise in drug overdose and youth violence. He noticed that the lack of mental health services in his community is one of the root causes of many issues. He currently sits on the board of directors for families together NYS as a board member and the Student advisory committee for the New York State board of regents.

In the past years, Isaiah has been traveling around New York State, speaking to systems of governments about how to better cater to communities. One of his most recent engagements was testifying at the New York State Senate Education Committee.

Isaiah has worked closely with senators, council members, and county legislators to help bring young people to the table to create innovative legislation and policies.

Through his work, he has been awarded the New York State commendation award, The Monroe County youth of the year award, and the Triple C award from the attorney general's office.

Isaiah is currently the youngest candidate for the Rochester City School Board and, if elected, the youngest to ever fill the role.


Social and Emotional Learning: Pathway to Healthy, Caring, and Successful Students

Social and Emotional Learning: Pathway to Healthy, Caring, and Successful Students

Speaker: Dr. Marc Brackett, Founding Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. As a researcher for over 20 years, Marc has focused on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. Marc is the author of the bestselling book, Permission To Feel (Celadon/Macmillan), which has been translated into 22 languages. Most recently, with Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann, Marc and his team co-created the Apple award-winning app, HowWeFeel, that was designed to teach emotion skills and enhance well-being.

Marc has published over 150 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning and an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. He is on the board of directors of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Mental Health Coalition program board, founded by Kenneth Cole, and the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, founded by Selena Gomez.

Marc is the lead developer of RULER, a systemic, evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 4,500 schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. RULER, which has reached over 4 million children, infuses social and emotion learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent.

Marc regularly consults with large companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft on best practices for integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into training and product design. He is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems for emotional intelligence. Marc also holds a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art.

Marc’s mission is to educate the world about the value of emotions and the skills associated with using them wisely. “I want everyone to become an emotion scientist”, he says. “We need to be curious explorers of our own and others’ emotions so they can help us achieve our goals and improve our lives.”

The Power of Families and Communities

The Power of Families and Communities

Moderator: Sarah Kuriakose, PhD, BCBA-D Associate Commissioner Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families, New York State Office of Mental Health

Dr. Kuriakose is the Associate Commissioner of the Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families for the New York State Office of Mental Health. She is a licensed psychologist and licensed behavior analyst. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She completed her training at Harvard Medical School, where she was a psychology intern at Boston Children's Hospital and a post-doctoral fellow at McLean Hospital. She is a clinical associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine. Her research and clinical expertise is in the assessment and treatment of co-occurring disorders in children, youth, and adults.

Panelists:

Glenn Liebman, Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Association in New York State

Glenn Liebman has been CEO of the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS) since 2004. MHANYS is a member-driven organization working with affiliates across New York to educate the public about mental wellness while advocating to improve the Mental Health System, and reducing stigma surrounding mental health. Mr Liebman serves as chair of the Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council and is a member of the NYS Justice Center Advisory Council. During Mr. Liebman’s tenure, multiple initiatives have been implemented including Mental Health Education in School (New York being the first in the nation to have this mandated), and many other public policy reforms. He lives with his wife and son in Albany, New York Dr. Rosa Gil, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Comunilife, Inc.

Dr. Rosa Gil, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Comunilife, Inc.

Dr. Rosa M. Gil, Comunilife’s Founder, President and CEO, has had a distinguished career in New York City’s health, mental health, higher education, social service and supportive housing development sectors. At Comunilife, she has developed more than 3,000 units of affordable and supportive housing for the City’s hardest to reach residents. Under her leadership, Comunilife started Life is Precious™, a nationally recognized suicide prevention program for Latina teens, which opened in 2008 and New York City’s premier Medical Respite Program, which opened in 2011.

Dr. Gil has been appointed to numerous Federal, State and City commissions and boards including Federal Reserve Bank of New York Board of Directors (Vice Chair), NYS Suicide Prevention Council, Board of Health (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene), The Commission of Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (The Berger Commission). Dr. Gil is a member of the President Carter Mental Health Task Force and the Board of Trustees of EmblemHealth.

In addition to her tenure at Comunilife, Dr. Gil was, among many positions, the Chairperson of the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation, Health Policy Advisor to the Mayor, Executive Director of Woodhull Medical Center and Metropolitan Hospital and the University Dean for Health Sciences at CUNY.

Dr. Sidney Hankerson, Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Hankerson is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Community Engagement in the Department of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also Director of Mental Health Equity Research in the Institute for Health Equity Research (IHER) at Mount Sinai. His research focuses on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in mental health treatment. He is a nationally recognized expert at engaging faith- and community-based organizations to increase access to culturally relevant mental health care.

Dr. Hankerson has presented at the White House, United Nations, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Gracie Mansion (NYC Mayor’s Office), and numerous national academic conferences. He currently serves on the National Football League’s (NFL) Mental Wellness Committee. The National Academy of Medicine selected Dr. Hankerson as one of 10 physicians in the U.S. for its Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Program in 2021. He was an inaugural member of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Council of Faith and Community Partnerships and served on the APA Council of Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.

He has been featured on several TV series: the PBS Documentary Mysteries of Mental Illness; a Pix11 News Special focused on mental health in the Black community; and a CBS segment about Mount Sinai’s partnerships with faith-based organizations.

Dr. Hankerson completed a dual MD/MBA program from Emory University, where he was Medical School Class President. He completed his psychiatry residency at Emory and was appointed Chief Resident of Psychiatry at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He then completed a NIMH-funded research fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center and was on faculty at Columbia for 12 years before transitioning to his current leadership roles at Mount Sinai.

Paige Pierce, Chief Executive Officer in Families Together New York State

Paige Pierce has been with Families Together in New York State since 1999. As CEO, she works in shaping policy and implementing systems change at the state and national level and serves as a liaison between families and policy makers.

Recognized as a leader throughout New York State in the children’s mental health and family peer support movement, Ms. Pierce has been successful in developing and sustaining relationships with policymakers and non-profit organization leaders and serves on several committees and coalitions, forging alliances with a wide range of stakeholders.

A strong advocate for children and families, Ms. Pierce leads Families Together in New York State in addressing health care reform, mental health, juvenile justice, special education, child welfare, and many other issues facing children and families.

Ms. Pierce earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College. She is the mother of four children and has personal experience advocating and navigating multiple systems to meet her child’s needs.