PrairieCare Education Series August 2022

Epidemics within the COVID 19 Pandemic: Mental Health Disorders, Racial Inequality, and Polarized Political Discourse

Presenter: Charlene Myklebust, PsyD

Title: Epidemics within the COVID 19 Pandemic: Mental Health Disorders, Racial Inequality, and Polarized Political Discourse

BIO: Dr. Charlene Myklebust, Psy.D. is President and Educational Leadership Consultant with EQ Learn, LLC, a division of Stone Arch Learning, LLC. She was a regular and special education teacher, public school administrator, mental and chemical health provider, and Executive Director of Mental Health and Partnerships in Intermediate District 287. Char co-authored the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) teacher training series, “Early Warning Signs of Children’s Mental Health Disorders.” She was recognized for “Outstanding Service” by the the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) and received the “Educator of the Year” award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-MN). As a Hawn Foundation consultant and regional director, she helped to author Mind UP, a mindfulness curriculum for children and adolescents published by Scholastic. Char co-facilitated a school administration professional development series called, “A Better Way,” designed to reduce exclusionary practices that result in the suspension and exclusion of a disproportionate number of students of color and those with disabilities.  She currently coordinates a grant through the Minnesota Department of Human Services called “The Minnesota School-based Diversion Model for Students with Co-occurring Disorders.” This program is designed to dramatically reduce the school-to-prison pipeline phenomenon. Dr. Myklebust, on behalf of MACMH and MDE, developed a tiered intervention model for supporting youth with mental health disorders in the schools. She speaks at local and national conferences about topics related to children’s mental health; brain development; trauma; adverse childhood experiences; restorative justice and practices; social emotional learning; and alternatives to incarceration and punishment.

Description: Dr. Myklebust will share recent findings about how COVID-19 has had its psychological impact exacerbated with media coverage of racist attitudes and acts, polarized political discussions, and an increase in diagnosed mental health disorders, including suicidality. She will share coping strategies; particularly why mindfulness, cultural competence, cultivating optimism, practicing movement, and developing attunement (positive reactivity towards others), are all essential for strengthening relationships and promoting healing. When mental health and health professionals, teachers, and families engage in active collaboration and partnerships, resilience is strengthened, social and emotional skills are nurtured, and the healing process begins.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about:

  • How COVID has impacted the mental health of children and adults
  • The disparate impact on people of color and the LGBTQIA population
  • The exacerbation of the impact of COVID by media exposure to polarized politics and racially motivated violence
  • Effective strategies to build resilience and engage in self care
Video Recording (Available until September 30, 2022).
For those seeking the CEU certificate, complete/submit the following Attestation