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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
July 20, 2022

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

Student Mental Wellness Conference: Promoting Student and Staff Mental Wellness and Improving School Climate

I am excited to invite you to the Sixth Annual Student Mental Wellness Conference: Promoting Student and Staff Mental Wellness and Improving School Climate, sponsored by Wellness Together School Mental Health and the California Department of Education (CDE). The conference will be held in person at the San Diego Convention Center on September 14–15, 2022, with an option for virtual attendance.

We know that many students, family members, and school staff were struggling with mental health issues well before the onset of the pandemic. Systemic inequities in our educational, health care, and economic systems had already caused major disparities in education and health outcomes for children of color and children living in conditions of poverty. The unimaginable impacts of the pandemic in vulnerable communities have left our schools facing an unprecedented wellness crisis. In addition, the consequences of social isolation and learning loss caused in part by prolonged school closures have led the U.S. Surgeon General to declare a mental health state of emergency for our nation’s children.

There has never been a more important moment for us to come together to gather strength, share resources, and elevate the priority of student and staff mental health. I urge you to consider sending a team from your county, district, and/or school site to this important convening, which will focus on fostering healing and building the foundation of wellness for our school communities. The conference will include workshops, panels, and presentations from leading experts at the intersection of educational, familial, and communal mental health. Conference attendees will also have a chance to learn how to expand best practices, establish networks of support, and maximize community mental health resources in the school setting.

I am proud that the CDE is co-hosting this event with Wellness Together, and I encourage the participation of local educational agencies from across our state. For more information on the conference, please visit the Wellness Together Student Mental Wellness Conference web page at https://www.wellnesstogether.org/conference.

For questions, information, or guidance from our new Office of School-Based Health Programs or the Whole Child Division at the CDE, please contact Monica Nepomuceno, Education Administrator, Office of School-Based Health Programs, at mnepomuceno@cde.ca.gov, or Lisa Borrego, Division Director, Whole Child Division, at LBorrego@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

TT:mn
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 20, 2022

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