We hope you enjoyed the 10th annual When Life Hands You Teenagers conference and came away with resources and tools to address teen mental health and wellness in your community. The speaker presentations are now available for you below.

Thank you for making this year's event such a success!

Featured Speakers

Nora McInerny Purmort

Not *Just* a Sad Story

Nora McInerny
Podcast Host and Author

First comes love. Then comes a brain tumor. That’s not exactly how the rhyme is supposed to go, but that’s how it went for Nora and Aaron. Nearly five years after her husband’s death, Nora is now an author and podcast host known for bringing heart and humor to life’s hardest topics. She’s also a mother to two teenagers. In this funny, engaging talk, Nora explores how her own pain changed her family, her parenting, and her approach to life, and how our most painful moments can create opportunities for change, connection, and growth.

Erin Walsh, M.A.

It’s Complicated: Teenagers, Social Media, Mental Health

Erin Walsh, M.A.
Spark & Stitch Institute

In this interactive and energizing presentation, Erin uses brain science, stories, and humor to explain how technology is changing the ways that teenagers grow up, socialize, and forge their identities. Erin helps professionals understand the key ingredients for wellness in the digital age and provides practical tools and strategies that help teenagers build on their strengths.

Linda Rodriguez, Ed.D

Developing Positive Relationships through Safety and Connection

Linda Rodriguez, Ed.D
Senior Director for School Behavioral Health
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Linda uses research, humor, personal stories and examples to answer the question “Why do some children and youth find it so hard to manage life and connect, and what can I do to be helpful?” With more than 31 years in education, Linda brings boots-on-the-ground” experience in behavioral management, social and emotional learning, trauma, and mental health to create practical strategies that help to develop more positive relationships through safety and connection.

Dexter 72PPI-03.jpg

ME: The Intersection of Mental Health and Education

Dexter A. Chaney II
KIPP Destiny Elementary

As a principal, Dexter sees the power of the connection between mental health and education to create a full academic experience that allows young people to thrive. Regardless of the community, cause, or severity of trauma, we have to solve for it if we want to move forward in a healthy way. Find out how prioritizing mental health can positively impact teachers, students, and academic achievement, and learn strategies for building a strong social-emotional learning environment.

TeenED Talks
Travis Moore

How Getting Outside Helps Heal the Inside

Travis Moore, LPC
Vale Counseling

We all know that spending time outside in the fresh air and sunshine is good for our health. But what about the benefits to our mental health? A therapist and outdoorsman at heart, Travis will discuss the importance of nature to our mental and emotional health, especially for teens. He’ll also talk about the benefits of integrating nature and therapy, as well as sharing outdoors strategies he utilizes with clients in North Texas. 


Rise: Change Your World  

Sierra Sanchez
Grant Halliburton Foundation

This abbreviated presentation is designed to help unravel the behaviors, consequences, and outcomes of bullying and cyberbullying. Attendees will learn about the different types of bullying while understanding the impact of bullying on the victim and bully.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

When Life Hands You Teenagers Sponsors