Digital Seminar

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

Cheryl Catron, MEd, LPCC-S, RPT-S
5 Hours
Apr 20, 2020
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


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 behaviour, which, while developmentally appropriate, makes it hard to know how to respond effectively.

Join child/adolescent behavioural expert and former educator Cheryl Catron, M.Ed., LPCC-S, RPT-S, in this compelling recording that will transform your perception of and response to emotional and behaviour problems in your classroom, including:

  • Tantrums and meltdowns
  • Impulsivity
  • Running out of the room
  • Perfectionism and rigidity
  • Suicidal ideation and behaviour
  • Sensory issues
  • Refusal to do work
  • Difficulty with transitions
  • Disrupting others
  • Irritability, lashing out, aggressive behaviour
  • 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. Purchase today!



Cheryl Catron, MEd, LPCC-S, RPT-S's Profile

Cheryl Catron, MEd, LPCC-S, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Cheryl Catron, MEd, 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 is a supervisor and clinical consultant with Whole Life Counseling Services, LLC. She is the co-founder of Foothold International. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. Cheryl has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Cheryl Catron has a family member who was diagnosed with juvenile bipolar disorder.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Differentiate between developmentally appropriate behaviour 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 behavioural 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 behavioural difficulties
  • The difference between “can’t” and “won’t”
  • How maladaptive behaviour 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 behaviour reveals a need
  • Are you (unintentionally) rewarding misbehaviour?
  • 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 behaviour problem: the neurobiology of ADHD
  • How to increase confidence and leadership skills in kids with ADHD
  • Decrease disruptions and impulsive behaviour
  • 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

Target Audience

  • 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

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