Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Region 1 Office, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Regional Operations in Region 1, and the New England MHTTC’s Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative have collaborated to convene the Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective to enhance collaborations between schools and community health centers, mental and behavioral health agencies, and/or community-based organizations to support positive mental health and well-being for youth in a school-based setting.

We help teams working in schools design and refine their comprehensive, inclusive school mental health systems or to choose from a menu of options to promote holistic mental health for the entire school community.

HEART Collective Resources

Are you looking for ways to develop collaborations around comprehensive school mental health supports? Visit the HEART Collective website for resources on the impact of childhood-trauma and ways to build the critical collaborations needed to create compassionate school communities. Access tip sheets, toolkits, and a wealth of resources around trauma-skilled, recovery-oriented school mental health practices, including:

  • Comprehensive school mental health
  • Collaborations
  • Equity Considerations
  • Funding Considerations
  • Logistic Design
  • Mental Health Supports
  • Privacy Considerations
  • Staff Well-Being
  • Voice and Engagement

Join our HEART Community and stay up-to-date on HEART and New England School Mental Health Initiative events and news.

Featured Resources

Best Practices for Collaboration on School-Based Mental Health Supports for Schools and Healthcare Centers Using the Compassionate School Mental Health Model

Overcoming Barriers to Effective Collaboration On School Mental Health System and Service Delivery

HEART Webinar: Effective Collaborations for School-Based Mental Health Services

Visit our website for more HEART resources


About the HEART Collective

From September 2020 to January 2021, the HEART Committee—a group of New England leaders in community healthcare, education, and with lived experience of mental health challenges—met regularly to discuss the barriers to collaboration and brainstorm ways to better support the staff involved in these collaborations. We continued to build community with other educators with the Compassionate Conversations in Schools series, where Collective members came together to learn about staff and community wellness practices and share challenges and successes around efforts to promote positive well-being in their schools and healthcare centers. During the 2021-2022 school year, we continued to facilitate co-learning and networking among education, healthcare, and mental and behavioral health leaders in the HEART Collective and beyond with our New England School Mental Health Peer Support Hour series.

For more information about the HEART Collective, please contact the New England MHTTC’s Communications and Program Strategist Ingrid Padgett.

Take HEART: A Public Mental Health Awareness Campaign 

Help us spread the word about the importance of collaborative approaches to wraparound services that support the mental health and well-being of everyone in the school building.

Our schools need more trauma-skilled personnel—administrators, educators, behavioral health and other professionals to help youth and their families cope with the impact of trauma. Everyone in the school building can help to create and sustain a compassionate school community that fosters respect, promotes equity, and improves the resilience of students and staff so that they can lead more productive and healthier lives.

How can you help? 

  • Educate yourself and others to understand the impact of childhood-trauma and build the critical collaborations needed to create compassionate school communities that provide a sense of safety, support student and staff mental health, and cultivate a culture of joy that drives engagement, meaningful relationships, and positive connections.
  • Advocate for resources to train and support educators and better healthcare and mental health services for children and families in your community.
  • Remember to always promote hope! Fill your toolkit with a cohesive set of strategies and practices to create a school community that works together to reduce and respond compassionately to trauma.

HEART Collective Leadership and Members

We would like to thank all of the leaders in education, communications, healthcare, mental and behavioral health, family and youth advocacy, and with lived experience of mental health challenges as youth who contributed to this work. 


HEART Collective Leadership Team

Dana Asby, MA, MEd
Coordinator, LET(s)Lead Academy, Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

Capt. Christopher Bersani
Deputy Regional Administrator, Health Resources Service Administration, Region 1

Sarah Johnson
Training Project Coordinator, New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center

Elizabeth McNamee, LCSW
School Adjustment Counselor, Franklin Public Schools

Ingrid Padgett
Communications and Program Strategist, New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

Mika Salas
Operations and Communications Coordinator, New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center

Martha Staeheli, PhD
School Mental Health Director, New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

Taylor Bryan Turner
Assistant Regional Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Region 1


HEART Collective Members

Katie Attia
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, North Shore Community Health

Katie Bourque
Director of Operations and Outreach, Fireside Project

John Crocker, MEd
Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services, Methuen Public Schools

Kelly Cunniffe
Former Special Education Paraprofessional, Boston Public Schools

Kristine Irizarry
Youth Program Director, Gandara Center

Dan Johnston
Certified Peer Specialist, Edinburg Center

Molly Jordan, MSW, LICSW
Training and Access Project Manager, Boston Children's Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships

Christine Mason, PhD
Executive Director, Center for Educational Improvement

Nellie Normand
Early Childhood Coordinator, Cumberland Preschool Center

Jim O’Rourke, MEd
Principal, Hillsboro-Deering High School

Valerie Pietry, MD, MS
Medical Provider, Family Health Center of Worcester

Erika Prijitalj
Adjunct Professor, Boston College and Hellenic College Holy Cross

May Reeves
Student, Concord Carlisle Regional High School

Rachel Santa, EdD
Director of Special Services, Cumberland School District

Emily Segal, LCSW
Senior Social Worker and Clinical Supervisor at Family Centers’ School-Based Health Center in Stamford High School

Ann Smith, JD, MBA
Executive Director, AFCAMP Advocacy for Children

Taylor Spooner, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker, Staywell Health Care

Cheri Sullivan, MA
Director, Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition

Kini-Ana Tinkham
Executive Director, Maine Resilience Building Network

Tracy Thompson, LICSW, LADC
Director of Behavioral Health, Little Rivers Health Care

Rebecca Williamson, CFPS
Regional Parent Support Coordinator, GEAR Parent Network

Jennie Yamartino, LCSW
Social Work Supervisor, Greater Portland Health



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