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Mental Health First Aid in Schools: Connecting Public Health, Policy, and Equity in COVID-19

December 15, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

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Tuesday, December, 15, 2020
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM Pacific
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Eastern


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of all age groups. Students and adolescents report that the pandemic has had significant impacts on their mental health, as they’ve missed out on major life events and adjusted to distance learning. At the same time, the pandemic has exacerbated mental health inequities across minority and vulnerable groups, particularly among Black and Latino youth. Schools have been instrumental in providing mental health supports and interventions, even before the pandemic, and communities, policymakers, and researchers also play a role in implementing school-based mental health services. Mental Health First Aid is one such intervention that has helped schools respond to students’ mental health needs in both a low-cost and high-impact manner. How have schools and others adapted during the pandemic to address students’ mental health needs, and what will change going forward?
In this Web Forum, our speakers will address:

  • Lessons learned from the 2020 school year and potential approaches for 2021
  • How communities, advocates, researchers, and policymakers can partner with one another to implement Mental Health First Aid during the pandemic; and
  • Evidence-based strategies to improve mental health equity through Mental Health First Aid.

This one-hour discussion is the second in the Web Forum series Equity in COVID-19: Bridging the Gap Between Public Health and Policy, brought to you by the Public Health Institute and IMPAQ, a subsidiary of the American Institutes for Research. The series explores “in-the-news” topics, such as mental health; housing and health outcomes; and environmental health and climate change, and provides actionable insights to address equity issues by translating research into policy and practice.

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Kimberly Kendziora, PhD, Managing Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Brooke Briggance, Deputy Director, FACES for the Future Coalition
JeriKay Wynn, School Counselor, Corbin Elementary School


Mary Pittman, DrPH, President and CEO, Public Health Institute

Dialogue4Health, a project of the Public Health Institute, is a community that conceives, builds, and shares strategies to improve the public’s health. We partner with local, national and global organizations to host Web Forums and share critical resources.


December 15, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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