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Healthy Minds

Healthy Minds

By FCPS Healthy Minds
Being apart from each other hasn’t been easy for anyone. Listen to Fairfax County Public Schools’ Healthy Minds podcast to hear how we are all handling uncertainty, get new ideas how to help your child, friends and families feel better, and learn about how to help yourself feel stronger and more energized. If you need a little help to feel ok, it’s ok- the Healthy Minds podcast is here for you.
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Online All the Time: Finding Balance in our Virtual World

Healthy Minds

‘Speak Up; Be Safe’ During Child Abuse Awareness Month
Join Francesca Watson, Dept. of Family Services’ Body Safety Program Coordinator, and Lori Harkin Huse, LCSW, London Towne Elementary School as they discuss how adults can engage in important conversations with children about body safety. Hear about boundaries, choices, big feelings, mandatory reporting, the impacts of trauma, and adverse childhood experiences during this powerful podcast. More information and resources are here:
April 16, 2021
Purposeful Conversations
In recognition of School Social Work Week, we are joined by Sharita Crawford, a social worker in Region 3. Sharita shares a day in the life of a social worker, and discusses the importance of purposeful conversations as we continue to process our thoughts around the pandemic.
March 12, 2021
Grants Available to Help Students Stop Mental Health Stigma
Join Prevention Specialist Chad Christian to hear about opportunities for students to earn mini-grants this week. Grants up to $1,000 will be awarded to students who design creative, innovative projects that aim to reduce the perceived stigma of mental health issues and substance use disorders. The deadline is Feb. 11 so listen to Healthy Minds podcast today!
February 05, 2021
New Year; New Outlook
As we turn the calendar onto a new year, Deborah Callsen, a physical education teacher from Haycock Elementary School, shares lessons of positivity and health boosters for all of us. She explains the Health Triangle of physical, mental and social health along with concrete, creative, and actionable ways to meet (or surpass) these needs for students, staff, and all listeners.
January 08, 2021
How to Experience Joy Through Giving This “Different” Holiday Season
Maria Genova, FCPS psychology supervisor, shares unique ways we can all give through “connections” this holiday season and reap the results of added joy in our lives. She addresses how we can learn to flex our “happiness” muscles and how we can look for the micro-moments to feel and demonstrate and cultivate optimism.
December 05, 2020
Recognizing National School Psychology Week
Ronne Lancaster, school psychologist at Herndon HS shares important information on actions families can take to help their students cope with the ongoing pandemic. Action strategies relating to managing screen time, building personal resilience, and the importance of recognizing one another’s positive strengths and seizing times to turn current challenges into positive opportunities to move forward.
November 13, 2020
Healthy Minds Supports Youth & Teens in Fairfax County
Learn how Healthy Minds’ short term behavioral health resources and peer support partners (available at low or no cost) can help struggling children and teens across Fairfax County. James Gillespie, Director of Youth Services for Healthy Minds Fairfax, addresses some of the mental health trends underway during the current pandemic and how parents can access help for their children and themselves.
November 06, 2020
Key Takeaways from the Fairfax County Youth Survey
Jesse Ellis of Fairfax County’s Neighborhood & Community Services shares the five key takeaways from Fairfax County’s most recent annual youth survey. FCPS students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 have been voluntarily sharing their anonymous, honest thoughts and feelings for more than 20 years. The survey sheds light on the health and well-being of our student population, and gives insight on what parents and caring adults need to know about how they can help students succeed and avoid or reduce risky behaviors. Information is used to help prioritize focus for prevention and youth programming efforts throughout Fairfax County communities.
October 30, 2020
Online All the Time: Finding Balance in our Virtual World
Join FCPS Instructional Technology Specialist Tammy Sisk; a 26 year veteran, for a conversation on how to create balance and well-being within our current virtual learning and living environment. Tammi shares practical strategies for students, families, and educators, who are looking for ways to find balance and increase their knowledge of digital citizenship.
October 23, 2020
Activating Empathy in Children
Today's Healthy Minds podcast teaches us ways to activate empathy in children. Empathy is an essential component for all of us to build strong relationships. Join Bethany Koszelak, FCPS’ Mental Health and Wellness Specialist to hear about action strategies on how to model empathy and open caring dialogues with children, or anyone, during these challenging times.
October 16, 2020
Warning Signs of Addiction
Join us for a conversation with substance abuse counselor Kelly Rankin. We talk about the early signs of substance use disorder, and how to have an important conversation with your child about addiction.
October 09, 2020
Preventing Youth Suicide
In today's podcast, we meet Whitney McDonough, a social worker at West Potomac High School and FCPS employee for more than 25 years. Whitney provides information and resources about teen suicide prevention and a program available to FCPS parents and students called SOS - Signs of Suicide. Participants learn how to Acknowledge, Care, and Tell or ACT.
October 02, 2020
Social-Emotional Learning
Meet Olde Creek Elementary School psychologist Ellen Goldberger. Ellen addresses the important issue of self control; knowing how to recognize when children (and adults) are losing self-control and tips on how to regain it. These strategies can also help families during the ongoing virtual learning days and into the future.
September 25, 2020
Practicing Coping Skills with Executive Functioning
We chat with Langley High School psychologist Anna Davis about executive functioning. Executive functioning is a set of skills and mental processes that help us to plan, focus our attention, manage tasks, and control our impulses.
September 18, 2020
Our Minds Matter: Changing the School Culture Around Mental Health
We’re talking with Lauren Anderson, the Executive Director of Our Minds Matter – a local non-profit organization working toward the day when no teens turn to suicide.  She co-founded the organization in 2012 after the death of her brother Josh. Lauren shares information about Our Minds Matter club activities, and her thoughts about important conversations for young people to have. Learn more:
September 11, 2020
Ease Your Mind with Exercise
We're joined by FCPS Social Worker Supervisor Stephanie Herman. She walks us through some easy mindfulness exercises, and explains how these simple acts can help reduce worry or anxiety as we begin the new school year.
September 04, 2020
A Healthy Start to the School Year
As we countdown to the first day of virtual school, some families may be feeling anxious about this change to the normal routine. Today we sit down with Bethany Koszelak, a Mental Health Specialist for FCPS. Bethany talks to us about self-care and mental wellness practices families can use to cope with any stress they might be experiencing. She also has some advice for parents about how to speak with their children about their feelings.
August 28, 2020
Finding Someone to Listen
Today's podcast features a conversation with Laura Mayer, Director of PRS CrisisLink, the 24/7/365 crisis hotline and provider of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline – an important partner with FCPS. The Crisis Text Service launched in April 2014, in collaboration with FCPS, and was so successful the service became regional later that year. The textline helps connect students with their community and school resources as well as improving coping skills and learning about resiliency. PRS is a local responder and is connected to the school system and behavioral health providers. PRS prides on being in the community and for the community as advocates and supporters of youth. If you call 703-527-4077 or 1-800-273-TALK, you’ll be connected with a crisis worker trained to help you cope with the challenge you are facing. Our textline is reached by texting the word NEEDHELP to 855-11.
August 21, 2020
Managing Feelings Around Uncertainty
In our first "Healthy Minds" podcast, we talk to school psychologist Beth Werfel about managing feelings around uncertainty. How can we help our children to be in a place where we accept uncertainty and don't let the feelings overwhelm us.
August 13, 2020
Healthy Minds Trailer
Being apart from each other hasn’t been easy for anyone. Listen to Fairfax County Public Schools' Healthy Minds podcast to hear how we are all handling uncertainty, get new ideas how to help your child, friends and families feel better, and learn about how to help yourself feel stronger and more energized. If you need a little help to feel ok, it’s ok- the Healthy Minds podcast is here for you!
August 12, 2020