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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
September 3, 2020

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals:

2020 California Student Mental Wellness Conference

We invite you to participate in the annual California Student Mental Wellness Conference: Promoting Student Mental Wellness and Improving School Climate. The conference is co-sponsored by Wellness Together and the California Department of Education and will take place virtually on September 8–10, 2020.

Before COVID-19, we were keenly aware that many of our students were struggling with their mental health. We recognized that there was a high percentage of students whose issues went undetected, undiagnosed, and unaddressed. The impacts of COVID-19 and the social unrest have magnified the need for supports and services. The delivery of these supports and services has also changed, and there are new barriers we face as we attempt to connect to them. Our Wellness Together partners have been providing telebehavioral health services before COVID-19 and are leaders in the state on this practice.

Without a doubt, we must lean in and find effective and equitable ways to support our students so they are empowered to unpack the myriad challenges brought on by our current health and racial crises. As we join together to navigate these challenging times, we must place mental health as a top priority.

The principal focus of this three-day conference is to learn about interventions and resources to successfully support students who may have mental health needs and to discover new ways to keep our students engaged in learning despite any behavioral difficulties they may be experiencing. This conference will help us learn strategies to improve mental wellness for students, staff, and families.

Our collaborative efforts to support student academic success are more effective when individual mental health needs are met. This conference will both inspire and assist education and community partners to identify systematic strategies that support student and staff mental wellness. State and national subject matter experts will share the latest research, evidence-based programs, and promising practices designed to create safe and nurturing environments.

Together, we can continue to advocate for the mental wellness of California's students, families, and educators!

For more information on the conference, please visit the Wellness Together Conference web page at https://www.wellnesstogether.org/conference.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Monica Nepomuceno, Education Programs Consultant, School Health and Safety Office, by email at mnepomuceno@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

TT:mn
2020-05646

Last Reviewed: Friday, September 4, 2020

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