Seminar Detail

Mental Health Issues in the K-5 Classroom: Practical Strategies for Helping Young Students Succeed at School

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 8:30 AM - 3:15 PM

This event is no longer available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

As the leader of a K-5 classroom, you know more about your students throughout the year than anyone in the building (and sometimes even the parents). Your careful eye is crucial to the academic, social, and emotional development of your students – and you know when something is “off”.

Students who are struggling with mental health issues are often first identified through their behavior, which, while developmentally appropriate, makes it hard to know how to respond effectively.

Join child/adolescent behavioral expert and former educator Cheryl Catron, M.Ed., LPCC-S, RPT-S, for this compelling one-day program that will transform your perception of and response to emotional and behavior problems in your classroom, including:
  • Tantrums and meltdowns
  • Impulsivity
  • Running out of the room
  • Perfectionism and rigidity
  • Suicidal ideation and behavior
  • Sensory issues
  • Refusal to do work
  • Difficulty with transitions
  • Disrupting others
  • Irritability, lashing out, aggressive behavior
  • Overt self-harm (head banging, hitting self)
  • School avoidance
Don’t miss this unique training that’s sure to have you furiously writing down notes, ideas, and plans to transform your approach with the students who need you the most.

Sign up today!

  1. Differentiate between developmentally appropriate behavior and that which may be in response to a mental health condition.
  2. Apply de-escalation strategies with students who are behaving in an oppositional manner.
  3. Implement school-based strategies to effectively respond to behavioral issues that arise from mental health conditions.
  4. Develop skills to identify signs of anxiety and/or depression in young students.
  5. Apply the knowledge gained from the ACEs study to recognize and respond to students who may be experiencing traumatic stress.
  6. Utilize effective communication skills for discussing risk of suicide with students, staff and parents.

K-5 Students with Mental Health Issues
  • When you know something’s going on, but you don’t know what it is
  • Characteristics of at-risk students
  • Why children are not small adults
  • How skill deficits from mental health issues create behavioral difficulties
  • The difference between “can’t” and “won’t”
  • How maladaptive behavior serves as protection for the child
  • Common myths and limitations about diagnoses
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • What adults should never say (but usually do)
  • How behavior reveals a need
  • Are you (unintentionally) rewarding misbehavior?
  • Kids who don’t feel bad
  • Arguing with a defiant child – who is that about?
  • De-escalation strategies that work
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • The unique needs of children with ADHD
  • More than a behavior problem: the neurobiology of ADHD
  • How to increase confidence and leadership skills in kids with ADHD
  • Decrease disruptions and impulsive behavior
  • Improve transitions, social skills, and self-regulation
  • ADHD medications: What do teachers need to know?
  • What we know about kids who worry too much
  • School anxiety – types, characteristics
  • What to do about separation anxiety
  • The perfectionistic student
  • Drawing out the anxious student in a safe way
Depression & Mood Dysregulation
  • How depression shows up in young children
  • Helping students overcome helplessness
  • When is it more than moodiness?
  • Helping depressed kids change their inner self-talk
Trauma and Other Significant Life Events
  • What the ACEs study has taught us about trauma
  • The fight, flight, or freeze response in the classroom
  • How to recognize and respond to traumatic stress
  • What if you don’t know the child’s history?
  • Incorporating trauma-informed practices into your day
Suicide, Self-Harm and Bullying
  • How we talk about suicide is important
  • Head banging, hitting, scratching, and other “self-punishment”
  • Helping ostracized children feel connected
  • Why traditional discipline doesn’t work for bullies
  • Making your classroom an emotionally safe space
Other School-Based Considerations
  • Collaborating with student support staff and outside clinicians
  • Working with non-cooperative/reluctant parents
  • Identifying your own triggers, choosing your battles
  • Discipline – IDEA, special education consideration
  • Screen time in the classroom – why reward systems don’t work
  • Limitations of research and potential risks
Designed For You!

  • K-5 Classroom Teachers
  • School Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists
  • Instructional Specialists and Coaches
  • School Occupational Therapists
  • School Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Special Education Staff
  • Behavior Intervention Specialists
  • Instructional Assistants/Paraprofessionals
  • Administrators Serving Grades K-5


Cheryl Catron, M.Ed., LPCC-S, RPT-S, is a long-time educator and mental health clinician who has over 19 years serving students with a wide variety of academic and mental health needs. In her most recent role as a school-based mental health clinician, she provided therapy and support services for K-5 students with differing clinical issues including depression, anxiety, social skills, ADHD, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. In addition to this, Ms. Catron also served as a consultant for and collaborator with teachers, paraprofessionals and other school staff members. Drawing on her experience as a teacher, school counselor, and mental health clinician, Ms. Catron provided insightful guidance to develop and implement effective classroom-based strategies that facilitate improved behavioral and academic performance for students with a variety of needs including giftedness, learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disturbances.

Cheryl is licensed as both a Professional Clinical Counselor and Supervisor in the state of Ohio and a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor through The Association for Play Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education and her Master of Education degree in School Counseling & Professional Counseling from Ohio University.

She and her husband have recently founded a nonprofit organization, Foothold International, that serves indigenous communities in Kenya, East Africa. Ms. Catron is collaborating with the local government to develop community mental health response systems as well as trauma sensitivity to their outreach programs. She provides mental health training to teachers, health workers, and law enforcement personnel.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Cheryl Catron has an employment relationship with Foothold International. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Cheryl Catron has a family member who was diagnosed with juvenile bipolar disorder.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

This intermediate activity consists of 5.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

This activity qualifies for 305 minutes of instructional content as required by many national and state licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants
PESI, Inc. is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. Provider #: 3322. Full attendance at this course qualifies for 5.0 contact hours or .5 CEUs in the Category of Domain of OT and Occupational Therapy Process. Partial credit will be issued for partial attendance. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Course Level: Intermediate.

Psychologists/School Psychologists: PESI, Inc. is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to offer professional development for school psychologists. PESI maintains responsibility for the program. Provider #1140. PESI is offering this activity for 5.0 hours of continuing education credit. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance.

Speech-Language Pathologists

This course is offered for .5 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

** Please note that Speech-Language Pathologists must complete the post-test and evaluation within two weeks of attending the live event if they would like their participation submitted to the ASHA CE Registry. Detailed instructions will be provided the day of the program under the Handouts section of the online program.

School Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2020 - January 27, 2023. Social Workers completing this course receive 5.0 General continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 305 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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