This session highlights the collaborative partnership between the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and the Sacramento County Department of Health Services (DHS). An innovative collective impact approach, placing a mental health clinician in every school in the county to work within a continuum of care at the school site transforms schools into “Centers of Wellness.” The presenters will address both the why and how to integrate mental health and wellness through an MTSS lens and to build community- and county-wide partnerships to support whole-child development.
Watch the session recording:
Christopher Williams, Ed.L.D., MSW, Director, School-Based Mental Health and Wellness, Sacramento County Office of Education
Dr. Christopher Williams is the Director of School-Based Mental Health and Wellness at the Sacramento County Office of Education. He leads a team intent on bringing the health and education systems together as partners to create a continuum of care for mental health and wellness throughout Sacramento County. The team’s mission is to intervene as early as possible to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, reduce the number of “system-involved” adults and adolescents, and mitigate the onset and impact of mental health disorders in Sacramento County.
For close to 20 years, Chris has been involved in education, mental health, and youth development. He is currently a member of the California State Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup and the California State Student Attendance Review Board (SARB). Before relocating to the West Coast, Chris was a founder and Executive Director of P2L: Pathways to Leadership as well as the Vice President of Social Emotional Learning for The Leadership Program, both in New York City. Chris’ work there centered on students who were at risk of dropping out, focusing on altering the trajectory of their lives. Chris has taught at Columbia University, NYU, and Harvard, where he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching distinction. He holds a master’s degree in Social Work from New York University and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He lives in Roseville, CA, with his wife, two boys, and Lexie, a 70 lb. rescue shepherd-mutt whose goal in life is to be a lap dog.
Marcella Rodriguez, MS, PPSC, APCC
Marcella Rodriguez is a Coordinator of School Based Mental Health and Wellness for Sacramento County Office of Education. Marcella has worked in schools within Sacramento County since 2009 and more specifically in school-based mental health services since 2012. She has supported the creation and development of various programs in the county, integrating behavioral health systems and educational systems to build sustainable systems and services for all community members. Marcella is a bilingual, first-generation Latina-Americana who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Science in Counseling, a Pupil Personnel Service Credential, and an Administrative Credential. She is also a registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor with the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Marcella lives in Lincoln, CA, alongside her husband, two energetic and heart-filled kids, and Luke, a first-generation labradoodle named after the one and only Luke Skywalker.