Building Capacity of School Personnel to Promote Positive Mental Health in Native American Children and Youth - Spring 2021 Part 3

3:00pm - March 3, 2021 | Timezone: US/Mountain
Mountain Plains MHTTC
Registration Deadline: December 15, 2020
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Building Capacity of School Personnel to Promote Positive Mental Health in Native American Children and Youth - Spring 2021 Part 3

This free series consists of five separate two-hour sessions from January 2021 to May 2021. Attendance is critical, so please carefully consider your availability to attend all five sessions.


The goal of this multi-state initiative is to build capacity of school teams to promote positive mental health in children/youth throughout the school day using a multi-tiered approach. Specifically, the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) will build capacity of school personnel to learn about and implement model programs, such as Every Moment Counts and Circle of Courage, and embedded strategies emphasizing mental health promotion and prevention.


Read about Turtle Mountain Elementary School's positive experience with this series!


Please think about the benefits of participating in this project and your availability to attend the five virtual sessions. Please contact LaVonne Fox at or Sarah Nielsen at or at 701 777-2208 to indicate your interest in participating no later than December 15, 2020.


Please note that enrollment in this training is open only to school teams in HHS Region 8 states (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming). Only applications by school teams will be accepted. 


If you agree to participate, you will be expected to:

  • Identify 3-6 interdisciplinary team members to be a part of a Community of Practice (CoP) at your school. The CoP should be an interdisciplinary team including any of the following: teacher, paraprofessional, occupational therapist, administrator/counselor, nurse, speech language pathologists, social workers or school psychologists. It is strongly recommended that the team include a classroom teacher and be interdisciplinary in nature as training emphasizes application in the classroom and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • The CoP will participate in all five, two-hour virtual training sessions (see schedule overview below). Attendance is critical.
  • Each CoP will develop a strategic plan identifying gaps or opportunities to improve mental health promotion throughout the school day and identify strategies to implement change.



Mountain Plains MHTTC will:

  • Provide the training described above and any technical assistance during development of the strategic plan and implementation.
  • Provide continuing education credits to the CoP members (20 hours). If your state requires transcripted credit, the Mountain Plains MHTTC will have the training approved, but the transcripted fee is the responsibility of the teacher.
  • Provide required readings and resources to the CoP.
  • Follow up on the implementation plan.



Benefits to you include:

  • Enhanced capacity of all school personnel through enhanced understanding of how to apply knowledge about children’s mental health in the school.
  • Free resources for each CoP.
  • Free educational sessions and online discussions regarding mental health promotion.
  • Feeling connected to other schools implementing the projects.
  • Continuing education credits (20 contact hours for CoP team members).



Part One: Introduction to Intergenerational Trauma, Historical Loss, and Communities of Practice Process

January 13, 2021

4:00pm - 6:00pm CST | 3:00pm - 5:00pm MST

Part Two: Understanding Multi-Tiered Approaches to School Mental Health and Embedded Service Delivery

February 10, 2021

4:00pm - 6:00pm CST | 3:00pm - 5:00pm MST

Part Three: Culturally Relevant Embedded Programs that Support Social and Emotional Well-being

March 3, 2021

4:00pm - 6:00pm CST | 3:00pm - 5:00pm MST

Part Four: Mental Health Literacy

April 14, 2021

4:00pm - 6:00pm CST | 3:00pm - 5:00pm MST

Part Five: Indigenous Programs to Support Students and Final Reflections

May 12, 2021

4:00pm - 6:00pm CST | 3:00pm - 5:00pm MST



LaVonne Fox, PhD, OTR/L 

Dr. LaVonne (Poitra) Fox was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa reservation. She taught for over 26 years at the University of North Dakota and is currently employed at the Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt, ND. She is currently developing a Master in Education program that will emphasize the decolonization of the educational institutions and related educational processes both at school and in the community. The Mission is to prepare reflective leaders, as change agents, who will promote the development of Indigneous culture-based education within the school, home and community.  She has considerable experience researching Indigenous Youth programs for positive mental health and wellness connected to identity.

Sarah Nielsen, PhD, OTR/L

Dr. Nielsen is an associate professor at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, in the Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Sarah has over 20 years of experience working with children, youth, and young adults with mental health issues in communities and schools. Her clinical practice included developing and implementing trauma-informed approaches in mental health care. She assisted students transitioning from mental health programs back to public schools where she trained and assisted schools in this effort.