Expert Offers Tools & Strategies to Foster Resilience
The first-ever Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the Boston Public Health Commission visited Brunswick to speak with parents and Upper School students about resiliency, grit, and growth mindset on October 17.
Kevin M. Simon, M.D., M.P.H, is a Harvard-trained, board-certified psychiatrist with a special expertise on the mental health needs of children and teens. A widely recognized expert, he has served as an assistant in psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, a Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Health Policy at Harvard University, and the medical director of Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, a child welfare and community behavioral health agency.
Clinically, he practices as a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist at the Adolescent Substance Use & Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Simon spoke to parents in an evening forum moderated by Marcie Molloy, M.D., Brunswick’s director of health and wellness.
“I just want to say, thank you for coming,” Simon told parents. “A decade ago, I am not sure we could get this many people in a room to talk about mental and behavioral health.”
Simon, who also spoke to students earlier in the day, offered three strategies parents can use to encourage resilience in their children. The first would be to adopt personal grounding activities, like meditation. The second would be to help children understand and speak the language of emotions. And the third would be to create space and time each week to listen to your child, to “be a receptacle and allow them to share.”
Simon said to resist quick solutions. Resiliency and recovery, he noted, usually do not happen all in one day.
“Resiliency is not a pinpoint in time,” he said. “It’s longitudinal.”
Simon’s visit served as the first installment of this years’ ’WICK Center Speaker Series, which brings leading health and wellness thinkers to campus.