NAMI Ask the Expert: In-Person, Virtual and Everything In Between – Supporting Families and Children

AUG. 17, 2020

NAMI Ask the Expert: In-Person, Virtual and Everything In Between – Supporting Families and Children Returning to School

As any new school year approaches, there is stress for families – students and parents. Back to school 2020 brings totally new stressors into the mix. Because of COVID-19, returning to school looks different in every district, for private and public schools, and around the country, which creates important issues to be addressed for all families. These issues include complications of pandemic and mental health difficulties, as well as the usual day-to-day stressors, all of which should be acknowledged. Walls-Headshot_WebEx-editv2.jpg

This webinar will address the following topics:

  • How parents, caregivers, and teachers can prepare themselves for the return to school.
  • Modeling appropriate coping skills.
  • How to talk to children and teens about the plan for returning to school, and how to keep the conversation going.
  • How to help children and teens become resilient in a difficult and disappointing time.
  • Starting new routines and schedules for the new school year.
  • How to talk to and prepare kids for the changes they may experience if they go back to school in-person, including social distancing, wearing masks and following different rules.
  • How to plan for virtual learning.
  • Stress and mental health difficulties during COVID-19 and transition times.
  • How to access mental health support for children and teens when difficulties affect their functioning.

After the presentation, NAMI’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ken Duckworth, will moderate a Q&A session. This session will be recorded and posted to our website within 1-2 days of the webinar ending. A typed transcription of the audio will also be provided within 1 week of the webinar ending.

Our Expert

Meghan Walls, PsyD, is a pediatric psychologist in the Division of Behavioral Health at Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children and holds an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with Sydney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Walls completed her doctorate degree in clinical psychology at LaSalle University, residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and fellowship at Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children. Dr. Walls provides services at Nemours duPont Pediatrics in Wilmington, where she believes a focus on social determinants of health, understanding toxic stress and positive parenting are important pieces of treating youth and families. She currently serves as the Advocacy and Media Leads in the division. In 2019, she was selected for the Nemours Physician Excellence in Community Service Award as well as the award for 2019 NAMI Delaware Healthcare Professional of the Year. She also received the Delaware KidsCOUNT 2020 professional leader/volunteer award for advocating for Delaware’s children. Recently, Dr. Walls was appointed as Legislative and Policy Advisor within External Affairs at Nemours, where she will advocate for policies that benefit children by making healthcare more accessible, especially for vulnerable populations.

She is the State Advocacy Chair for the Executive Council of the Delaware Psychological Association and Co-Chairs the Data and Policy Committee for the Lt. Governor’s Behavioral Health Consortium. She is involved in a number of other mental health efforts in the state including serving on the ACCEL grants (Accelerated Clinical and Translational Research) Community Advisory Committee, and the Take Care Delaware steering committee. Dr. Walls also holds an appointment to the Board of Directors of the Society of Pediatric Psychology.

She lives in Hockessin, Delaware with her husband, two daughters and their two rescue dogs.



Read the Transcript

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