Get To Know:  Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS)

Briefinar Recorded Date: Wednesday, April 28th at 2:00PM - 2:30PM
Register Here!
NYSED & OMH Guidance on Supporting Student Mental Health
MHANYS Toolkit for Mental Health Awareness Month

In July 2018, NY became the first state in the nation to require mental health instruction as part of the K-12 Health Curriculum.

School Libraries and Library Media Specialists are essential to ensuring the success of mental health education - providing information for students, resources for teachers, and connections to community providers for families and caregivers.

Join us to learn about the law, as well as resources to support the mental health and wellness of the entire school community.  Not sure if you can make it? Register anyway to receive follow-up resources.


Your Panelists

Whitney Closson, MS, Family Education Specialist, School Mental Health Resource & Training Center at Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Whitney joined the MHANYS team in early 2019 as the Family Education Specialist.  She holds a  Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Trauma & Crisis, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is engaged with several local agencies, and serves on United Way of the Greater Capital Region’s 518 Women United Board and New Emerging Leader committee, and is also a volunteer with the Albany Damien Center, working to end the AIDS Epidemic. Whitney was recently accepted into the 2021 session of the Capital Region Chamber Executive Mentorship Program. Whitney enjoys relaxing in the hammock, gardening, yoga, and making friends with any dog that passes by. She currently resides in Saratoga County, New York. 




Ariela Perez-Wallach, MSW, Project Coordinator, School Mental Health Resource & Training Center at Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Ariela Perez-Wallach, MSW, is a Black Boricua femme and community organizer located in the Capital District of NY. She is a founding member of Black Lives Matter Upstate NY and an Executive Board member of the Albany Social Justice Center. Her current community work is centered around transformative justice and creating safety outside of the system. Ariela is an alumni of and speaker for the Soul Fire Farm BIPOC Immersion Program and is committed to land and food sovereignty for BIPOC communities. She currently works at the Mental Health Association in NYS, focusing on the intersection of race and mental health.