NEARI Mental Health Summit

Final Statement from the 2018 NEARI Mental Health Report

In November of 2018, NEARI hosted a Mental Health Summit with hundreds of educators and members. At that event, we collectively identified the areas of need to support mental health for Rhode Island students. A smaller committee then met and put together this final document. It is our hope that with community partners we can use these recommendations to guide mental health advocacy for our students on the state and local level. We are in the midst of a mental health crisis and our students are counting on us.

Read the full document online

Read in PDF format

July 24, 2019 - Visit this space for information on the 2019 Mental Health Summit to be announced in the coming weeks!  

2018 Mental Health Summit Agenda

8:30 a.m. Registration 

9:00 a.m. Welcome Remarks - NEARI President Larry Purtill

9:15 a.m. Opening Speaker M. Teresa Paiva Weed, president Hospital Association RI, Campaign to Change Direction

9:30 a.m. Morning Workshops (1 1/2 hours, repeating twice)

  • Trauma-Informed Practices for Schools  
    As educators and school-based professionals we are encountering more students who have experienced trauma, or who experience heightened levels of anxiety on an ongoing basis. Brief exposure to a traumatic event can impact a community, and repeated chronic exposure to trauma both can have lasting impacts on the individual through numerous pathways, including brain-based changes, social factors, and educational performance.  This presentation will explore how trauma and anxiety affects our students, and ourselves, and will provide practical strategies for creating a safe environment for students, helping students regulate their emotions to foster learning, and self-care skills for teachers working with chronically stressed students.  
  • Self-Care Strategies to Prevent Professional Burnout  

    People in the support services sector, such as nurses and teachers, choose these caring roles because they want to help others. It is rewarding but stressful work, often leading to compassion fatigue and professional burnout. Individuals who engage in service work tend to neglect their own needs in order to meet the needs of others. The majority of such workers report having a poor work-life balance, do not use much vacation or sick time, neglect exercise, eat poorly, and do not get enough sleep. This workshop provides an overview of research on the importance of self-care, describes the symptoms of compassion fatigue and how to address it, and provides practical strategies to enhance the work-life balance as well as decrease stress and anxiety. Presenter: Kate Fields
  • Suicide Prevention and Intervention in Schools: QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) QPR Gatekeeper Training for Educators in and out of the Classroom

    Participants will learn: The scope of problem of youth suicide, risk and protective factors, behavioral  and situational queues, common myths and facts, resources and media campaigns available, QPR-How to ask the “S” question, who to refer to in the school and beyond for help
    Presenter: Leigh A. Reposa, MSW, LICSW 
  • Restorative Practices in Schools 
    Schools are continuing to strive to create positive and healthy climates that connect with and improve communication between students, teachers, families, administrators and the local/global community.  Restorative practices are processes that can be applied within the classroom, as well as the school as a whole, to prevent and address conflict.  Educators work to create a safe, nurturing environment through the use of  “Circles” to teach students how to learn from their mistakes, resolve conflict, hold individuals and groups accountable while repairing harm and restoring relationships.  This workshop will outline the various tools and strategies that can be easily brought to the individual class, as well as larger groups--from the school to the district to the community.  Restorative skills go hand-in-hand with social and emotional learning, and can be used together with Self-Regulation Skills programs, Kingian Nonviolence Philosophy, Zones of Regulation and PBIS. 
    Presenters: Christi Saurette, LICSW, ACSW; Susan Casey; Karen Buetens LICSW
  • LGBTQ+ Students, Families, and Faculty: Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment 
    Presenters:  Dr. Susan Brand, Lisa Parker, LICSW
    • Gain an understanding of sex and gender terminology.
    • Become aware of the need for non-binary language.
    • Learn how support for LGBTQ persons can make life-altering, positive impacts.
    • Become aware of how Federal and State law guide our own policies.
    • Learn how to create an inclusive school and classroom.
    • Hear one family’s complex emotional and physical journey to gender affirmation.

12:30 p.m. Lunch (Community Partners join us for the afternoon)

1:15 p.m. Large Group Strategy Session to Create NEARI Mental Health Advocacy Platform with Facilitators:  Sarah Markey, Mary Barden, Pat Crowley, Linda LaClair

1:45 p.m. Closing Speaker: Tom Coderre, senior adviser to Governor Raimondo, national leader in addiction recovery


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National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI)

99 Bald Hill Road
Cranston, RI 02920-2631

P: 401-463-9630
F: 401-463-5337

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