Staying Connected with Students and Youth during COVID-19 Part 1: Why Social Connection is Important for Mental Health


The Great Lakes MHTTC offers this training for school mental health professionals and other behavioral health providers in HHS Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI.

Now more than ever it is crucial to connect with the people close to you and to utilize the digital tools at hand. In a climate of social distancing, human connection is important for mental health. Humans have a natural need for social connection and enjoy feeling valued, cared for, and supported by others.

In the wake of COVID-19 school closures, educators, parents, and students across the globe are coping with a new reality. In this webinar series we will explore research on belonging and connectedness, they key tenants of virtual communication for educators, and effective strategies for building virtual connectedness.

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide data on the impact of social distancing to our mental health
  • Discuss the risks of social isolation and loneliness to our health
  • Provide strategies to maintain meaningful connections


Speaker: Angela Begres

Angela BegresAngela is a licensed clinical social worker who obtained her MSW at the University of Chicago. She is an experienced trainer and presenter contracted both independently and through various nonprofits in the Chicago area, Michigan, and others, with experience integrating mental health education programs into the curriculum for students and staff within the Chicago and West Cook County public schools. In Partnership with the National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI) Metro Suburban, Angela also developed a program to help decrease student stress and implement mindfulness in the classrooms. She has also worked with Chicago Family Services (DCFS) providing parenting education, with efforts to get parents reunited with their children.



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