8:15 am – 8:45 am


8:45 am – 9:00 am


9:00 am – 10:00 am

Let's Go! Community Based Approaches to Building Teen Resilience

This session will explore a framework for providing tools that clinicians, parents and educators can use to support teen mental health and resilience in community-based settings. Dr. Green will highlight innovative programming supporting youth mental health and suicide prevention at the Hope Center in Harlem, including a nationally recognized program called THRIVE.

A professional headshot of Lena Green. Lena Green, DSW, LCSW
10:00 am – 10:20 am

Fred Meservey Lifetime Achievement Award

New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan will present the Fred Meservey Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Ann Sullivan
10:20 am – 11:20 am Hear Youth Voices

Youth Bridging the Gap

Uniquely positioned to take in the wisdom of older generations and draw on their experience living through a global youth mental health pandemic, Youth Voices must be heard in the conversation of how best to support youth mental health. Isaiah Santiago, a 19-year-old youth advocate recently elected to the Rochester City School Board, will facilitate a diverse panel of youth (high school age to 25) who will share their views on what it will take to support youth mental wellness in their communities.

A professional headshot of Ashton Daley. Ashton Daley
A professional headshot of Jada Gardener. Jada Gardener
A professional headshot of Kristin Rivera. Kristin Rivera
A professional headshot of Onyx Walker. Onyx Walker
Isaiah Santiago
11:20 am – 12:30 pm Hear Parent & Caregiver Voices!

Fostering Family Resilience: Navigating Youth Mental Health Together

Join our diverse panel of parents who have experienced the New York State Mental Health system firsthand. Through their stories, gain valuable insights into navigating youth mental health challenges. Also hear from a researcher from the Born This Way Foundation who has been evaluating what makes a difference to youth and families. Discover practical strategies for communication, early recognition, and resilience-building within your family. Empower yourself to make a positive impact on your family’s mental wellness journey.

A professional headshot of Claudia-Santi Fernandes. Claudia-Santi F. Fernandes, Ed.D., LPC, MCHES
A professional headshot of Tanya Hernandez. Tanya Hernandez
A professional headshot of Stephanie Marquesano. Stephanie Marquesano
A professional headshot of TJ Curtis. TJ Curtis
A professional headshot of Simcha Weinstein. Simcha Weinstein
Professional headshot of Tiara Springer-Love. Tiara Springer-Love, LMSW
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Foyer D


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Hear Youth Voices!

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Education Through Art and Storytelling

The Directing Change Team will discuss an innovative approach to preparing young people to recognize and respond to a peer in distress by taking participants through an abbreviated experience of the program and curriculum. The Program engages youth to learn about suicide prevention and mental health delivered through art and film contests and is coming to New York. 2022 Finalist student-produced short films will be shown. Youth in attendance can vote for the best short film!

A professional headshot of Emma Spiekerman Emma Spiekerman
A professional headshot of Stan Collins Stan Collins
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Connection, Community, and Compassion: Practical Thoughts on Understanding and Addressing the Ongoing Crisis in Youth Mental Health

Professor, Vice Chair and Division Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Georgetown University Medical Center/MedStar Georgetown University Hospital The most recent high school student survey data released earlier this year from the CDC and a mental health advisory from the Surgeon General point to a real crisis in youth mental health. But thankfully there are things we all can do to address this crisis. Dr. Biel will draw on his clinical experience caring for youth and families and the latest wellness research to offer practical steps toward improving youth mental health at school, community, and family levels.

A professional headshot of Matt Biel, M.D. Matt Biel, M.D.
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Afternoon Break

3:15 pm – 4:45 pm Hear Youth Voices

Workshop #1: What Schools and Families can do to Support LGBTQ+ Students?

LGBTQ+ youth are at increased risk for mental health challenges and suicide. The focus of this discussion will be what families and schools can do to support LGBTQ+ youth mental health. Dr. Michael Paff testified before the Board of Regents on this topic earlier this year. Victor Rose contributed to new guidance issued from NYSED on “Creating a Safe, Supportive, and Affirming School Environment for Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth” in June of this year. Lilly Fiscus (she/their) is president of the Spectrum Club at Caledonia-Mumford High School. Learn about best practices and legal rights in an interactive session that includes a youth discussant.

A professional headshot of Lilly Fiscus. Lilly Fiscus
A professional headshot of Victor Rose Victor Rose
A professional headshot of Mike Paff. Mike Paff, D.Ed.
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Workshop #2: Permission To Feel: The Power of Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Well-being at Home, School, and in Life

The fields of emotional intelligence, well-being, and social and emotional learning (SEL) have been in existence for 35+ years, yet the mental wellbeing of children (and adults) is shockingly poor. With participation from a principal, teacher, and student at a school in New York that has worked with Dr. Brackett, Dr. Brackett will share his Center’s insights and research findings about what can be done at home, schools, and using technology to ensure this and future generations of children (and adults) develop the emotion skills they need to navigate their complex emotional lives and have greater mental health and well-being. He will be joined by at least one NYS school that has implemented his program.

A professional headshot of Marc Brackett, Ph.D. Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Workshop #3: Implementing Suicide Prevention Planning in Schools: Practical Tools and Guidance

Each year more than 80 school-aged children die by suicide and nearly 2,000 are hospitalized for suicide attempts in New York State. How should schools respond and what resources should be utilized? Through reallife examples of school and community partnerships, participants will learn about the components of a comprehensive approach to school suicide prevention with an emphasis on best practices and how to access resources, consultation, and training toward improving suicide safety.

A professional headshot of Lisa Goldberg. Lisa Goldberg
A professional headshot of Ann Lanoue. Ann Lanoue, R.N., BSN, MBA
A professional headshot of Pat Breux. Pat Breux
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Jay Carruthers, M.D., the Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Center will provide the conference’s closing remarks.

A professional headshot of Jay Carruthers, M.D. Jay Carruthers, M.D.