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Lecture on April 19 focuses on child and adolescent mental health

BOONE—The lecture “Transforming Child and Adolescent Mental Health” will be presented April 19 as part of the University Forum Series at Appalachian State University.

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Dr. Mark Weist, from the University of South Carolina’s Department of Psychology, will present the talk beginning at 3 p.m. in Belk Library and Information Common’s Room 114. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

The program is sponsored by Appalachian’s Department of Psychology and the Carolina Network for School Mental Health, with funding from a University Forum Committee External Scholars Grant.

According to Weist, “Child and adolescent mental health is the most significant unmet health need in the United States, with around one in five youth presenting more challenging emotional/behavioral problems and only a small percentage of these youth receiving effective services.”

His presentation will review problems in child and adolescent mental health and innovative strategies to promote and improve youth mental health, with an emphasis on the role of schools in this work. Improving and expanding effective school mental health programs is increasingly recognized as a critically important societal agenda related to their role in reducing academic and non-academic barriers to learning, improving student behavior and school adjustment, and promoting academic achievement and life success.

Weist has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech. He was on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine for 19 years where he helped found and direct the Center for School Mental Health, one of two national centers providing leadership to the advancement of school mental health policies and programs in the United States.

He has led a number of federally funded research grants, advised national research and policy oriented committees, testified before Congress, and presented to the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. He helped found the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Schools.

Weist has published and presented widely in the school mental health field and in the areas of trauma, violence and youth, evidence-based practice and cognitive behavioral therapy. Weist, along with colleagues in North and South Carolina, including faculty from Appalachian, established the Carolina Network for School Mental Health ( The network’s primary function is to facilitate productive school mental health collaborations within and between states, including clinical activities, empirical endeavors, grant writing, policy development, and dissemination of evidence-based practice.