2023 Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference

///2023 Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference
2023 Child, Adolescent and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference 2023-02-13T23:44:51+00:00

Youth Mental Health Conference

Keystone Pennsylvania’s annual Child, Adolescent, and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference, Pursuit of Perfection and the Impact on Youth Mental Health, took place on Friday, February 10, 2023, at The Westin Pittsburgh. Nearly 400 people attended the conference that addressed the research and trends related to perfectionism, the challenges young people are facing, and how adults can offer support in reframing the concept.

The event featured two keynote presentations, a panel discussion, 12 workshops, an exhibitor hall, and the presentation of the Youth Mental Health Leadership Award.

Youth Mental Health Leadership Award

Congratulations to Mohammad Shedeed from South Fayette Township School District, the winner of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s 2023 Youth Mental Health Leadership Award. The award recognizes the passion and courage of young leaders, ages 13-21, who are committed to fighting the stigma of mental health conditions, providing a safe community for peers to share their own mental health experiences, and empowering peers through education.

This year, we held an essay contest and all submissions were on display at the conference. Mohammad attended the event and had the opportunity to read his essay aloud and accept his award and $1,000 scholarship.

You can read all of the submissions below.

Keynote Presentation

Perfectionism & Mental Health: Current Data and Our Role as a Community

Alexandra Salerno, LPC, NCC, Peak Performance Specialist, KPEX Consulting

Perfectionism has been a part of society and culture in many ways. Since the pandemic, we are noticing an increase in thought patterns around the “need to be perfect,” and goals around the “need to perform perfectly.” Expectations can add additional stressors to adolescents and can create a narrative and an unrealistic expectation around what “perfect” is.

We know that the demand on adolescents appears to be trending in an upward position, causing challenges with stress management. This keynote is intended to give an overview of the current data on perfectionism, identify areas that can support in re-framing the idea of perfectionism, and ways that we as a community can support our adolescents, athletes, performers, clients, and teams.

Morning Plenary

Perfectionism Paralyzes Potential

Olivia Lubarsky, former NCAA Division 1 gymnast; JD Candidate, American University Washington College of Law; TEDx Speaker 

The collegiate sports environment, while fostering numerous benefits and positive outcomes for student athletes, is an environment where it may be difficult to maintain a balanced mental state. While collegiate athletics centralizes the physical being and performance, it is essential that we prioritize the mental state in parallel by valuing mental illness as seriously as we do physical injury. This presentation will discuss the dangers of failing to take adequate care of one’s mental health and the consequences of adhering to a mentality that equates success with perfection. Participants will be given the tools to navigate their own thought processes, learning how to combat perfectionism and negativity, and instead cultivating a growth mindset that is conducive to achievement and well-being.

Panel Presentation

A Guided Discussion: Helping Youth Process Pressure 

-Charma D. Dudley, PhD, FPPR, Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services, Beacon Health Options; Board Vice President, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania

-Alexandra Salerno, LPC, NCC, Peak Performance Specialist, KPEX Consulting
-Olivia Lubarsky, former NCAA Division 1 gymnast; JD Candidate, American University Washington College of Law; TEDx Speaker

Libby Mascaro, Parent; Coach, Beadling Soccer Club, Girls Academy League; Former Division 1 Soccer Player, Penn State University
Donald Holl, Athletic Director, Gateway School District; Head Football Coach, Gateway High School; Former Football Player, United States Naval Academy

The pressure young people are facing these days is coming from all directions. From parents and peers, to teachers and coaches. And they’re putting a lot of pressure on themselves, too. Pressure can be a positive thing by motivating them to reach their goals, but too much can have the opposite effect.

Teaching young people how to process the pressure in their lives is becoming more important if we want them to become well-rounded and well-adapted. During this guided discussion, panelists will talk about the role adults play in helping young people develop a strategy to survive and thrive in what has become a high-stakes environment of growing up.

1 — The Perfect Teen: The Use of Self-Compassion to Respond to Perfectionism in Adolescents (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

2 — LGBTQIA+ Mental Health: A Frank Discussion About Child Welfare, Implications for Practice and Practical Application (Ed/SP, MHP)

3 — Engaging Youth in Digital Mental Health Interventions (Ed/SP, MHP)

4 — Addressing Cultural Barriers to Treatment: How to Be Respectfully Curious When Working With Families (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

5 — Helping or Hurting? Pushing Back on the Changing Culture of Youth Sports (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

6 — Vaping, Nicotine and Tobacco: What They Don’t Want You To Know (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

7 — Mindfulness: Youth-Led and Youth Initiatives (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

8 — Applied Tabletop Role-Playing Games: Change Through Play (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

9 — Trauma-Informed Coaching at All Levels of Play- Protecting Our Youth From Future Adversity (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

10 — The Impact of Poverty and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) On Child, Family, and Community Mental Health (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

11 — Promoting Spiritual Care and Holistic Healing for Supporting Loss and Grief for Young Children and Families (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)

12 — Providing Mental Health Supports in Schools With Acute Trauma: A Case Study (P/C, Ed/SP, MHP, S)


Breakfast Sponsor

Lunch Sponsor

Lanyard Sponsor

Afternoon Break Sponsor

Supporter Sponsors

This conference is also made possible by a NAMI Macy’s Grant.

Prior Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conferences