AIR School and Mental Health Experts to Present at Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health

Washington, D.C. – Experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will present on a variety of issues at the Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA, October 3-5, 2013. AIR presentation topics will include engaging youth voice, safe supportive schools, meeting the needs of LGBT students, trauma-informed schools, and more.

The conference will be hosted by the University of Maryland’s Center for School Mental Health (CSMH) and the IDEA Partnership (funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

The theme of the conference is “What Works in School Mental Health: Collaboration from the Inside Out,” and features a multi-track conference agenda that conveys information on high-quality and evidence-based mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention to students and families. Conference participants include educators, youth, family, administrators, researchers, primary care providers, clinicians, advocates, and other youth-serving professionals.

Sessions involving AIR presenters include:

Thursday, October 3

Supporting Military Families in Systems of Care
10:00–11:00 a.m.
AIR Presenter: Debra Grabill

Engaging Youth Voice on Harsh School Discipline Policies
1:40–2:40 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Mary Thorngren & Reyhan Reid

No Youth Left Behind: Improving Educational Outcomes through Interagency Collaboration
2:50–3:50 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Richard Weisgal & Simon Gonsoulin

Connecting Kids to Coverage: School-Based Approaches
4:00–5:30 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Frank Rider & Elizabeth V. Freeman

Friday, October 4

Schools are Essential Partners in Systems of Care!
1:40–2:40 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Debra Grabill & Sandra Keenan Williamson

Safe Supportive Schools for LGBT Students: Standards, Strategies and Action Planning to Promote Their Well-Being
4:00–5:30 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Jeffrey Poirier, Debra Grabill & Sandra Keenan Williamson

Strategies for Fostering Safe, Supportive Schools for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students
5:30–6:30 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Jeffrey Poirier & Debra Grabill

Saturday, October 5

Trauma-Informed Schools: Meeting the Needs of Our Most Vulnerable Children
8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Kathleen Guarino, AIR’s National Center on Family Homelessness

Finding Funding: There IS A Way to Finance School Mental Health
8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Elizabeth V. Freeman, Kelly Wells & Mary Thorngren

Creating a Safe and Respective Environment in Our Nation's Classrooms
8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
AIR Presenters: Sandra Keenan Williamson & Greta Colombi

For details about the conference, visit

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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