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Addressing Student Mental Health: Mental Health, Behavior Screening, and Support Planning

  • 28 Apr 2023
  • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Hotel Northampton, 36 King Street, Northampton, MA 01060


Registration is closed

Massachusetts School Psychologist Association

Addressing Student Mental Health: Mental Health, Behavior Screening, Support Planning

Haner Hernandez, Ph.D., Brian Daniels, Ph.D., & Melissa M. Pearrow, Ph.D.

Friday, April 28, 2023, Hotel Northampton

As the social, emotional and behavioral needs of students seem to be increasing, it becomes even more important to develop ways to use resources to best meet the needs of students. 

The Western MA Chapter of MSPA spring conference will focus on:

Promoting health equity to reduce disparities in access to behavioral health.

Using screening information to plan for supporting students.

Sharing resources available through the BIRCh Project resource center.

Fostering ways to facilitate collaboration between schools, community agencies and other support providers.

Small group planning for how to carry the learning forward into your settings.

The behavioral and mental health needs of children have been characterized as a ‘silent epidemic’ with serious implications for students, families, schools, and communities. Despite substantial empirical evidence supporting universal screening procedures to support students’ behavioral health, districts most often rely upon teacher referral or discipline data to identify student need. These procedures recognize acting out behaviors, while universal screening systematically identifies students at risk for a range of mental health problems and decreases the risk of overlooking internalizing concerns. This workshop focuses on processes to effectively (a) implement universal social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) screening and (b) use assessment data to make decisions regarding SEB intervention and supports for students.


As a result of this conference, participants will:

1. Understand prevalence rates of mental and behavioral health disorders in children

2. Identify advantages and opportunities of screening all students

3. Describe research and outcomes of early screening and intervention

4. Outline procedures to support screening data collection and analysis

5. Use assessment data to make decisions regarding evidence-based SEB intervention for students

6. Explore strategies for community-based partnerships to enhance service options

This workshop can be available to school teams and audiences of school behavioral-health professionals. Interspersed throughout the day is small group coaching and problem-solving sessions. It will also address considerations for administrators and student support professionals. This can include identifying effective screeners for targeted school concerns.

Presenter Bios 


Haner Hernandez, Ph.D., CPS, CADCII, LADCI is Puerto Rican, bilingual and has worked for over 33 years in the health and human service field developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally and linguistically diverse youth and adult health prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support programs. He is a master trainer and facilitator and is committed to eliminating health disparities by participating in processes the build equity. He has also served as a consultant to a number of local and state health departments with a focus on disparities, building health equity, addiction treatment, and recovery supports. 

Brian Daniels, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research focuses on partnering with districts to help school personnel (a) maximize the feasibility and treatment utility of screening tools for social-emotional and behavior problems, (b) implement feasible targeted academic and behavioral interventions, and (c) use and improve methods for monitoring student progress in response to social-emotional and behavioral intervention. Prior to joining the UMass Boston faculty, he worked as a school psychologist in two public school districts in Massachusetts.

Melissa M. Pearrow, Ph.D., serves as the executive director of the BIRCh Project and has been a professor in the School Psychology Program at UMass Boston for 15 years. As the program director over the last seven years, she has managed courses for the program of study, overseen admissions, secured field placements for practicum students and interns, and obtained program approval to meet state and national credentialing standards. Prior to joining the faculty, she spent 10 years as a school psychologist, in which she coordinated the program for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Her training in inpatient, outpatient, and community mental health settings informs her research on school-based mental health, including her partnership with the Boston Public Schools and Boston Children’s Hospital in the development of the Comprehensive Behavioral Health Model. She is a past president of the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association and serves as cochair of the Ethics Committee of the National Association of School Psychologists. She is the author of Identifying, assessing, and treating early onset schizophrenia at school and serves on the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission.

Accommodations & Other Information

The Location is handicap accessible and arrangements can be made to provide necessary accommodations.

A light breakfast and lunch is served. Please email any needed accommodations or dietary restrictions to at least one week PRIOR to the workshop.

Payment Information

Payment by personal check:  Complete the registration form, print invoice, and mail check (with invoice) made out to MSPA at least one week PRIOR to the event:

Payment by personal check:  Complete the registration form, print invoice, and mail check (with invoice) made out to MSPA at least one week PRIOR to the event:


C/O Dana Engle, Treasurer

10 Emerson Place, Apartment 10B

Boston, MA 02114

Payment by district-funded purchase order:  Complete registration, print or save invoice, share invoice with your district, and have district e/mail purchase order at least one week PRIOR to the event:


C/O Alex Freeman, Program Committee

9 Park Street, Unit 7

Boston, MA 02122

Please note, MSPA charges a $75 cancellation fee for cancellations received less than seven days prior to the conference.

Continuing Education Policy

The Massachusetts School Psychologists Association is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to offer contact hours. The DESE requires the completion of a pre-test, which is to be completed prior to the workshop start time. A post-test is also required and will be given at the end of the workshop. Participants must attend the ENTIRE CONFERENCE and satisfy state regulations in order to receive contact hours. Each participant is responsible for knowing and meeting the DESE licensure requirements.

CE HOURS: The Massachusetts School Psychologists Association is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to sponsor continuing education (CE) for psychologists. In keeping with NASP requirements, these are awarded in contact hours only. CE hours will be awarded at the close of the workshop.  MSPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Arriving more than 15 minutes late or failing to stay for the entire program will result in the inability to obtain a PD certificate. Certificates will only be distributed at the conclusion of the program to individuals who have arranged for payment.



For general inquiries, please contact


Massachusetts School Psychologists Association (MSPA)
1 Wells Avenue,  Suite 007.
Newton, MA 02459

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