By Coleen Vanderbeek, Psy.D, LPC

The widespread media coverage of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks will likely stir up an overabundance of emotions for many of us. While 9/11 is a national tragedy, for those on the east coast (especially NY, NJ, CT, PA, and Washington, D.C.) the impact is most profound.

It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday in September that changed the landscape of our nation forever. Many educators were settling in for the school day when news about the attacks began to roll in. On this day, teachers became consolers and protectors for children…

By Melissa Tooles, Director of Consulting

“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.”- Unknown

As the new school year unfolds, students may be filled with excitement, anxiety, or questions about the unknown. The above quote was shared in an article promoting suicide prevention and awareness and it is an excellent reminder of the importance of maintaining a keen eye on students as they return to school. …

By Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD & Jerry Barone, ESS Chief Clinical Officer

This September, for the first time in over 18 months, many students in the United States rejoined all their classmates and teachers for 5 full days per week of in-person learning. While many students were eager to return to bustling classrooms, gyms, and cafeterias, and to reconnect with peers and teachers, others were dreading the first day of the fall semester and all its inherent stimulation. Both full quarantine and hybrid schedules necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic allowed previously school avoidant youngsters to be removed from in-school academic and…

By Lisa Ciappi, Executive Director and Jerry Barone, Chief Clinical Officer

As June rolls around each year, students and teachers alike are typically counting the days until summer break. This year, given the challenges associated with learning and teaching over the last 15 months, the need for a period of rest and renewal is greater than ever. At the same time, the pandemic-induced exacerbation of mental health problems calls for a greater level of vigilance and planning as educators dismiss their students for the summer.

Every year at this time, as students and educators are winding down, Effective School Solutions

By Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD

Since March 2020 when life’s routines were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have struggled to keep their children safe and healthy in a time of enormous fear and uncertainty. No “How to Survive a Quarantine” guidebooks were available to help navigate the challenges of keeping children emotionally healthy while dealing with the stress of remote learning, social isolation, and the loss of recreational activities. Many parents found it especially hard to strike a balance with their children: What routines and structures should be kept, and which ones changed? …

by Jerry Barone, Chief Clinical Officer, Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD, and Coleen Vanderbeek, Psy.D, LPC

Long before school districts were confronted with the challenge of rising mental health problems in K-12 students, they were incorporating some form of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into their curricula. According to Jager, et al., the SEL field has emerged over the last 25 years, and since that time the accumulated research evidence is so compelling that educators, researchers, and practitioners have advocated strongly for the universal adoption of such programs both in and out of school settings.

The pressure to address the growing youth mental…

By Duncan Young, CEO

As districts look to return to more normal in-person schooling, many of them are examining the strength of the mental health safety net that awaits students. An increasing volume of research points to the fact that students will likely face both an increased intensity and increased frequency of mental health challenges as schools re-open. Part of this district self-assessment involves a review of gaps in the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Framework that districts have in place, including:

· Roles and responsibilities that are sometimes ill-defined.

· Lack of consistency in mental health interventions across buildings.

Offsetting the Emotional and Financial Costs of ER Visits & Higher Levels of Care

By Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD and Jerry Barone, ESS Chief Clinical Officer

The pressure to return American students to the classroom safely and swiftly is high. Academic setbacks are bad enough, but the impact of pandemic-related school closures and remote learning on students’ mental health and well-being has reached crisis proportions. School districts are gearing up as never before to offer school-based mental health services to accommodate the anticipated groundswell of students who may be struggling with various trauma responses triggered by the pandemic.

The Scope of…

By Coleen Vanderbeek, Psy.D., LPC

Schools all over the country are preparing to welcome students back into the classroom after a full year of remote learning, hybrid schedules, and shortened school days. A year without in-person learning has exacted a heavy toll on students’ motivation to learn, and on their ability to focus, to self-regulate, to tolerate distress, and to interact with others. Many students are eager to resume their typical school schedules, while others are highly resistant to the idea, and are already showing signs of increased anxiety as plans to return to full school days are discussed.


By Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD

Spring is traditionally a time of hope and renewal. COVID-19 vaccination rates are accelerating, and the possibility of achieving herd immunity in the United States by late summer may be within reach. The relief from living in a constant state of threat cannot come soon enough, and school professionals will need that relief as they tackle the educational setbacks and mental health challenges of students returning from fully remote or hybrid schedules.

Many school districts have already begun preparations to deliver enhanced mental health services, evaluating the various tiers of support already offered, as well as…

Effective School Solutions

Reinventing K-12 Mental Health Care. Effective School Solution partners with school districts to help develop K-12 whole-school mental health programs.

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