Critical Mental Health Challenges in School

The numbers for suicide among students continue to trend upward – to the point that many states and districts now require teachers and other educators to be trained in suicide awareness. 2017’s vastly popular NetFlix series, 13 Reasons Why, served to increase the discussion about suicide but also increased online searches on how to commit suicide by 26 percent. At the same time, non-suicidal self-injury, including cutting, has increased at an alarming rate over the past decade.

Do You Know Students Who Have...

– Resistance or refusal to participate in normal school activities?
– Persistent moodiness?
– Chosen social isolation?

– Sudden declines in school performance?
– Constant worries or anxieties?
– Extreme involvement with social media and/or digital games?

– Depression, sadness or irritability?
– Self-destructive behaviors?
– Symptoms of substance abuse?
– Indifference to others’ feelings?


Overlooking emotional problems in the school can lead to grave consequences for students, parents and educators. Many students experience emotional or mental health issues at some point in their academic careers. For some students, these issues can escalate into severe behaviors – behaviors that are harmful to the student and/or to others. 

Kim Johancen will provide straightforward insights, innovative strategies and “how-to-handle” tips for real cases in classrooms and schools. Interpreting mental health behaviors according to intensity, frequency, duration and impact will also be addressed – including what to do when a student has moved into a crisis phase. Participants will develop an understanding of critical mental health issues in a way that will help both educators and students in their classrooms and schools.

See What "Critical Mental Health Challenges in Schools" Attendees Have to Say

"This was a great seminar. I didn't want it to stop! The strategies provided were extremely helpful. I'm so glad I was able to attend."
Middle School Teacher
Sacramento, CA
"This is the most engaging training I've been to in 10 years. The presenter's passion for others is remarkable and the information provided was extremely helpful and relevant."
High School Counselor
Cincinnati, OH
"I learned many very practical and research-based strategies and activities I can use with my students. The presenter is clearly extremely knowledge about mental health challenges our students face."
High School Principal
St. Louis, MO
"The presenter provided practical intervention strategies that can be used in a school setting. This was an awesome training!"
Middle School Counselor
New Orleans, LA


Critical Mental Health Challenges in Schools Presenter

Kim Johancen, M.A., LPC

accutrain education school professional development training resources conferences
Kim Johancen, M.A., LPC

*In case of an emergency, another qualified presenter will substitute

Kim Johancen, M.A., LPC is a Denver-based author and therapist who has developed specialties that include working with people at risk of suicide, survivors of suicide loss, and individuals struggling with self-injury. She has worked extensively with both adolescent and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her ability to work with people who have experienced grief and loss extends throughout her career and she remains committed to helping people resolve their post-trauma symptoms along with the events that fuel them. Over the last several years she has developed a passion for working with families through divorce. She utilizes a variety of approaches including Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Kim is at heart a strengths-based therapist. She has presented her work on self-injury at Harvard University and her work with suicidal patients at Stony Brook University in New York. She recently co-authored a book for educators entitled Traumatized Students: School-Based Interventions for Reaching Under the Surface. She has also published Coping Cards: Featuring The Planet Pals – a card deck for elementary school-aged children to help build resilience.



Questions? Let us know!

Critical Mental Health Resources

Mean Girls: 101 1/2 Creative Strategies and Actives for Working with Relational Aggression with CD

by Kaye Randall & Allyson Bowen

The strategies in this book are designed to increase awareness of Relational Aggression(RA), encourage empathy and tolerance, and improve self control and coping skills. It explores the underlying causes of RA, particularly in girls and provides professionals with 101 1/2 resources, insights, strategies and reproducible worksheets for working with girls who are Relationally Aggressive and those who have been victimized by this type of bullying.

Includes CD.

See My Pain

by Susan Bowman & Kaye Randall

This book provides a collection of strategies and activities to help children and adolescents who deliberately self-injure. A variety of hands-on creative arts approaches are featured that can be used in private practice and school settings. When working with youth who self-injure it is helpful to have a variety of creative approaches at your fingertips. The approaches and activities in this book can be used with individuals or with a small group. The activities help children/adolescents to express their feelings, understand why they self-injure, engage in a healing process, explore new methods of coping and prevention, and find new meaning and purpose in their lives. The book provides a description of self-injury in young people and its underlying causes. Then, an overview of therapeutic approaches is presented along with suggestions for the professional counselor/social worker/psychologist, teachers and parents. Sample assessment questions and activities are included.

131 Creative Strategies for Reaching Children with Anger Problems

by Tom Carr

This practical guide is full of insight, techniques and activities for managing and helping chronically angry children. It provides teachers, counselors, parents and other professionals with numerous helpful strategies for dealing with the challenges they face when attempting to reach and help these children.

Aggressive and Violent Students

by Robert Bowman, Jo Lynn Johnson, Mike Paget and Mary Thomas Williams

Aggressive and Violent Students, created originally for the nationally acclaimed seminar, presents the School-Wide-Risk Inventory for Violence along with a collection of practical strategies and programs that have been shown to be effective in working with aggressive, hostile and/or violent students.

102 Creative Strategies for Working with Depressed Children and Adolescents

by Donna Strom, Kaye Randall & Susan Bowman

Depression can have many harmful and even devastating effects on the lives of children and adolescents. It can derail school performance and lead to social and family troubles. It can also have harmful effects on a young person’s physical health. This book is a practical resource that includes a variety of strategies (including reproducible worksheets) designed to use with elementary, middle and high school youth. An at-a-glance chart is included to help you quickly locate strategies suitable for particular age groups.

Other sections include information for parents, youth, teachers and counselors. This is a practical resource guide that will help any professional effectively identify and help young people in school, family or private practice setting.

Mind Designs: Encouraging Self-Disclosure through Coloring Therapy with CD

by Angela Troppa

This book and CD will provide you with a unique, powerful tool that will help facilitate deeper personal conversations with young people. The reproducible worksheets have been field-tested with children and adolescents who are experiencing trauma and/or young people with mild to severe social/emotional/behavioral challenges.