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26th Annual Symposium

Live In-person Event

Friday, March 1, 2024 | 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Cocoanut Grove, Santa Cruz, CA

Cultivating Understanding & Belonging: Positively Impacting Youth Mental Health

Keynote Speaker • Meena Srinivasan

Founding Executive Director of Transformative Educational Leadership

*CME/CEUs approved


Focus topics included


Drawing on research and evidence-based practices, this symposium explores the detrimental effects of stigma, discrimination, and societal pressures on the mental health of young individuals. We focus on the profound impact that a supportive and inclusive environment has on fostering resilience, mental well-being, and positive youth development. Symposium attendees will acquire actionable strategies for their personal and professional lives to positively impact youth mental health.

Featured Speakers

Meena Srinivasan, MA, (she/her) Founding Executive Director of Transformative Educational Leadership is a seasoned educational leader, professional developer and author in the field of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). She serves on the State of California’s Transformative SEL Council and is an instructor of graduate level SEL courses in UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. Meena holds a Clear Administrative Services Credential in the state of California and is the author of numerous books and publications including Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom and SEL Every Day: Integrating SEL with Instruction in Secondary Classrooms which was chosen as a Favorite Books for Educators by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

Julie Norton, LMFT, (she/her) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapist. She approaches her work with compassion, curiosity, playfulness and depth. She is a Behavioral Health Program Manager at Central California Alliance for Health, the local Managed Medi-Cal provider. Julie serves on the board of Santa Cruz California Marriage and Family Therapist, was the chapter President between 2017-2022, and is a CAMFT Certified Clinical Supervisor. Julie was the Director of Social and Emotional Learning at New Teacher Center and the Director of the Resilience Program at Acknowledge Alliance. Julie has a private practice providing counseling and psychotherapy for youth and adults.

Featured Keynote Speaker

Meena Srinivasan, MA
Founding Executive Director of Transformative Educational Leadership


8:00 – 8:45 am
*Late sign-ins will not receive CE/CEUs*

8:45 – 9:00 am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Karen Gosling
Director of Health and Rehabilitation, Dignity Health
Nicholas Calciano, MBA (Board Member)

9:00 – 10:30 am

Meena Srinivasan, MA

Cultivating Understanding & Belonging: Positively Impacting Youth Mental Health

10:30  – 10:50 am

10:50 am – 12:20 pm
Facilitated Interactive Learning

with Meena Srinivasan, MA, assisted by Jen Hastings, MD, Christina Borbely, PhD, Michael Paynter, PhD, Diane Bridgeman, PhD, Julie Norton, LMFT, Suzanne Nicholas, PhD, and Gabriel Ramirez, MA

12:20 – 1:20 pm
Provided Lunch (with vegetarian option)

1:20 – 2:20 pm

Julie Norton, LMFT

Practice and Implementation: Deepening Compassion in Support of Our Youth

2:20 – 2:40 pm

2:40 – 3:40 pm
Panel Discussion

Moderated by Jen Hastings, MD

3:40 – 4:00 pm
Course Evaluation and Check-out Instructions

Course Credit for CEU/CME:

Continuing Education (CEs)

The following CEs are provided by Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health:

Continuing education hours are not offered for breaks or lunch hour; no partial credit is available. Eligible participants must provide license type(s) and numbers(s); demonstrate 5 hours of attendance with a sign in/out documentation; and complete the required evaluation feedback form by the designated deadline. Certificates for continuing education will be issued via email within 30 days of the event.

  • SCC Behavioral Health Services is a provider approved by California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professions credentialing (CCAPP-EI), Provider Number #4S-99-419-0220, for 5 CEH’S.
  • SCC Behavioral Health is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor 5 hours continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. SCC Behavioral Health maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Course meets the qualifications for 5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  CAMFT Provider #71620.
  • Questions regarding CE/CME/CEU: please reach out to [email protected]

Grievance Policy for participants requesting CCAPP-EI or CAMFT CEs:

For grievances about this CE course content or delivery, please submit in writing via email to within one week of the event.


The following CEs/CMEs are offered by other providers:

MD, DO, PhD, PsyD, PA: The AAFP has been reviewed Cultivating Understanding & Belonging: Positively Impacting Youth Mental Health and deemed it acceptable for up to 5.00 Live AAFP Prescribed credits. Term of Approval is from 03/01/2024 to 03/01/2024. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

RN, CNA, LVN, PCT, OT. ST: Provider approved from Dominican Santa Cruz Board of Registered Nursing #881 (CE)

PT: Provider approved from The Physical Therapy Board of California

Cancellation Policy:

Requests for refunds made at least five days before the start of the symposium will be granted. We reserve the right to cancel any class within five days prior to the class start date with a full refund to participants. We reserve the right to make program changes in the event of speaker illness, natural, or unforeseen disaster. No refunds will be made if the registrant does not attend the conference.


To request an accommodation, please reach out to

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify up to four strategies for cultivating empathy and compassion that are essential to addressing youth mental health challenges.
  2. Engage in three effective practices to reduce stigmatization and build inclusivity that promote a culture of belonging for youth.
  3. Apply at least three research-based tools and/or resources for creating safe and supportive spaces for vulnerable youth.
  4. Practice two strategies that promote youth resilience and reduce risk of youth mental health challenges.