Mental Health Summit
Thank you for your interest in our Mental Health Summit! This is a project for the Citizen Scholar Institute (CSI) Diploma Seal program organized by Alexis Minae, Nicolette Surabian, and Isabella Young. We hope to educate students and parents across SVUSD on the importance of mental health in young people. Listed below are the members of our panel, an attendance question, and an opportunity to submit topic requests and/or questions to be addressed during the panel.
The event is scheduled to take place on January 26, 4:00-5:30pm. A Zoom link will be sent out the day before to those who fill out this form via their provided email address, so please make sure you enter an email address that you check regularly.
This event is open to all students, parents, or staff within SVUSD.
Dr. Loren Dittmar was born and raised in the suburbs of NYC. His professional experience began in the mental health field, then he transitioned into the school counselor role fifteen years ago and has loved every day since! Before moving to California in 2016, he spent ten years on a little island on the coast of Georgia, where he served as a high school counselor, college professor, board member with the Georgia School Counselor Association, and drummer for his local church. Currently, Dr. D is a high school counselor at Simi Valley High School and teaches graduate level college classes through California Lutheran University, and continues to play drums for church. He is also on the Board of Directors for the California Association for School Counselors and serves as the Director of Emerging Leaders for CASC. Dr. Dittmar has presented at several conferences in California and Georgia, particularly on the topics of Suicide Awareness & Prevention and Trauma Informed Practices in Schools. He has a deep-rooted passion for improving the mental health services for all students.
By the age of ten, Samantha Mavis had been “the new kid” in too many neighborhoods, and was the first person she knew with divorced parents. These dynamics spawned Sam’s interest in storytelling. She began writing about growing up in a chaotic family and performing in plays. She landed at TISCH School for the Arts at New York University. For twenty years, she worked as a writer, performer and director on stage and in film. Her intense interest in the human condition ultimately led her to a Master’s Degree in psychology. Sam’s early training focused on trauma and mindfulness. She ran groups for individuals suffering from various psychological disorders, and treated survivors of the sex trafficking industry. Under Alan Ludington’s supervision, Sam offers a systemic approach to treating children, adolescents, adults, parents, and families.
Michelle Kelly grew up in the San Fernando Valley. As the youngest of four, she learned how to navigate the dynamics of a blended family, which sparked her desire to help young people. After college graduation, she tried on other jobs, working in digital advertising in San Francisco and Boston, and teaching English in Spain. But her calling pulled her back to psychology. She then worked with foster families and became a Registered Behavior Technician. This led her to enter a graduate program in clinical psychology. Her graduate research focused on the psychosocial effects on a family of raising a child with special needs. Before joining LIFE, Michelle also gained experience at a substance abuse residential center and eating disorder outpatient centers, with adolescent and adult populations. At LIFE, she works with individuals with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and grief.
Annabelle Wiviott was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Like many, Annabelle grew up in a blended family. Her definition of childhood normalcy consisted of splitting her time equally between her two homes, four parents and five siblings. While at a young age, in therapy, Annabelle became keen at adapting to the distinct norms in each of her homes.Annabelle’s understanding of the intricate dynamics associated with a blended family system sparked her desire to study Psychology, and support others who have had similar experiences. While in her Masters program and since graduating, Annabelle worked as a School Counselor in the Las Virgenes Unified School District. She has cultivated a unique understanding of the relationship between social-emotional wellbeing and academics, and the importance of unconditional positive regard. As a part of the LIFE Team, under Alan Ludington’s supervision, Annabelle offers support to adolescents and adults.
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