Sustaining School Mental Health at the State-level: Panel Discussion

12:00pm - February 2, 2022 thru 1:30pm - February 2, 2022 | Timezone: US/Eastern
Collaborating TTC: Southeast MHTTC
Registration Deadline:
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Intended Audience:

This session is designed for state education agencies (SEA) and their partners who want to gain an insight into the process of sustaining school mental health initiatives. It is ideal for those with a leadership role in the design and longevity of school mental health systems and policies. This is an opportunity to learn from SEA peers, including those leading long-term transformation to school and student wellness.

Learning Objectives

Participants who join this session will be able to:

  1. Learn from other state’s examples of design and implementation of long-term school mental health prioritization.
  2. Adopt or adapt sustainability practices that will contribute the longevity of school mental health initiatives.
  3. Advance systems transformation approaches that establish school mental health policies and practices as statewide standards.

Session overview

How do we ensure the long-lasting impact of what we’ve achieved through our school mental health grant? What do we need to have in place to sustain school mental health infrastructure moving forward? This panel discussion will focus on state-level examples of the planning, design, and implementation process that supports sustainable and scalable school mental health systems. Panelists include leaders from two state education agencies with experience navigating the navigating changing landscape needs and availability of resources; building statewide school mental health infrastructure; and coordinating a variety of federally funded initiatives (e.g., AWARE, School Climate Transformation grants). There will be specific examples related to social emotional learning (SEL) in schools, and multi-tiered systems of support (i.e., PBIS). In this virtual learning session, panelists will share lessons learned and participants will engage in peer-to-peer discussion.



MaribelMaribel O. Saimre, Ed.S. Maribel O. Saimre is the Director of Student Services for the Virginia Department of Education.  She has dedicated her career to advancing the healthy social-emotional, behavioral, and mental wellness of all children. With over 20 years of experience in the field of education, Maribel has served as an early childhood special educator, school psychologist, and administrator in a variety of settings across Georgia, Florida, and most recently Virginia. She currently serves as Project Director for Virginia’s State Personnel Development Grant and Virginia’s School Climate Transformation Grant from the US Department of Education.  Ms. Saimre received her BA in Psychology at Emory University and her Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degrees in School Psychology at Georgia State University. 


PatPat Sanborn, M.A Pat Sanborn is the Health and Wellness State Coordinator at the Nevada Department of Education’s Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment. She has worked for over 20 years coordinating and managing federal and state grants focused on school mental health and wellness, including Safe Schools Healthy Students, School Climate Transformation Project, and Project AWARE grants in California and Nevada. Her work with collaborative state and community partners continue to sustain Nevada’s quest to improve student mental health and wellness. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology/Organization Development from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA. She currently resides in Carson City, Nevada.



MonicaMonica Caldwell, LCSW Monica leads and supports the innovative mental health programs at RISE Wisconsin in Madison. She is the former SEA Project Director of Wisconsin’s Project AWARE grant. With 35 years of experience in schools, mental health and child welfare, she remains passionate about high quality services and supports for youth and families living with mental health challenges. Monica believes that collaboration and collective care can change the trajectory of our children’s system of care.