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Meet our keynote speakers

2024 Mid-America School Mental Health Conference & Nebraska School Mental Health Conference

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2024 Middle America School Mental Health Conference

Elizabeth Connors, PhD

Dr. Connors is a Clinical Child and Community Psychologist and Director of School Mental Health Implementation Consultation and Research at The Consultation Center at Yale. Her work focuses on improving the quality of mental health promotion, prevention and intervention services for underserved and minoritized children, adolescents and their families in critical access points such as schools, community clinics and primary care settings. Dr. Connors studies implementation strategies to increase the use of measurement-based care and other evidence-based approaches among school mental health clinicians to promote student social and emotional wellbeing and resilience to adversity, stress and trauma. Dr. Connors has expertise with national and state learning collaboratives, effective training/technical assistance and ongoing consultation in schools, quality improvement and implementation science within education, health and mental health sectors. Dr. Connors is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center at Yale and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine National Center for School Mental Health.

John K. Coyle

Keynote speaker John K. Coyle combines the exhilarating stories of a champion athlete with the data and intellect of a successful business leader, Emmy-award winner, innovation professor and best-selling author.

With John you get:

  • World-Leading Innovation and Design Thinking Expert (Stanford, Northwestern-Kellogg, Marquette, former Fortune 500 Head of Innovation)
  • Olympic Medalist (speedskating, and world class cyclist)
  • Emmy award-winning associate producer and analyst for NBC Olympics
  • Masterful Storyteller (award-winning and best-selling author and globetrotting adventurer)
  • Powerful Stage Presence (5X TEDx speaker, stages in 15+ countries, virtual virtuoso)
  • Founder of the online Design Thinking Academy executive/management education program

Saun-Toy Latifa Trotter, LMFT

Ms. Trotter is a healer and psychotherapist who brings over 20 years of experience providing trauma-informed and culturally responsive services to adolescents and families. She has experience practicing in school health centers, residential treatment facilities, in-patient, and psychiatric units. Her practice is rooted in youth development principles. As the Clinical Director of School-Based Behavioral Health Services at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, she has expanded school-based services to include health education and a youth wellness advisory board. Ms. Trotter is a contributing author to School Social Work: Engaging Social Justice and Racial Equity from Practitioners’ Perspectives. She has provided training and consultation for many child-serving organizations, including Castlemont and McClymond’s High Schools, Alameda County, MISSEY, New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Huckleberry Youth Programs. She is committed to evidence-based and culturally rooted practices that foster individual and collective health, wellbeing, and liberation.

2024 Nebraska School Mental Health Conference

Kyler Erickson

Kyler Erickson is a professional speaker, director of suicide prevention, and an NCAA All-American. He’s been featured in the New York Times, ABC News, USA Today, and Yahoo Sports. He’s a member of the 2016 ‘Allstate Good Works Team,’ given to only five basketball players across the country. After witnessing a shooting at his high school, his mission has become very simple; to help as many people as possible, and to erase the stigma associated with mental illness.