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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 8, 2024

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

Eighth Annual Wellness Together Student Mental Wellness Conference: October 9–11, 2024

It is my pleasure to invite you and your staff to the eighth annual Wellness Together Student Mental Wellness Conference, an event specifically designed to prioritize student and educator mental health. It is hosted by Wellness Together in partnership with the California Department of Education at the Anaheim Convention Center in Orange County on October 9 through 11, 2024. Attend in-person or virtually.

According to the Youth Mental Health Needs and Supports Survey for the 2022–23 school year, “Fifty-five percent of staff survey respondents reported that student depression or other mental health problems were ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ at their schools.” As school and district leaders, you are acutely aware of the fact that student mental health is a significant barrier to learning, and the demands for meeting student mental health needs compound the already-overwhelming roles of school leaders and staff.

My administration and the State of California are committed to helping our schools by expanding funding for much-needed programs such as the California Community Schools Partnership and teacher and school counselor residencies created to improve student outcomes by supporting the whole child—including mental and behavioral health.

Working with the Wellness Together Student Mental Wellness Conference provides evidence-based trainings and peer-to-peer conversations to equip you and your staff to manage your own mental health while being champions for your students’ well-being. The value of connecting with other passionate leaders, educators, and clinicians cannot be stressed enough.

The annual conference focuses on improving mental health in our schools—your workplace—and beyond by empowering and equipping school leaders, counselors, educators, and changemakers through session tracks designed specifically for those groups. Whether listening to one of the inspiring speakers or expert panels or taking part in the extended breakout sessions, you will gain insight and tools that you can take back to your home districts to lead and encourage others.

This year, author, activist, and podcast host Glennon Doyle joins the conference, along with internet safety and data protection experts Fareedah Shaheed and Joe Toscano. More speakers, panelists, and breakout sessions will be announced soon.

As most of you move into the final weeks of school, I hope you will make plans to send a team from your county, district, or school to the conference. For more information and to register, visit the Wellness Together Student Mental Wellness Conference web page at https://www.wellnesstogether.org/conference.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction


California Department of Education and WestEd. California School Staff Survey: Student Wellness Module (n=8,900): https://calschls.org/about/the-surveys/#csss
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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