Conference Participants Learn Mental Health and Wellness Strategies


More than 340 Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) parents, staff and community members attended One LCPS: United for Wellness, the fifth annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Lightridge High School. The conference featured community and school-based mental health specialists as well as a resource fair, guest speakers, demonstrations and a raffle.

This conference was supported by LCPS staff and students and more than 100 community and school-based partners. Lightridge High student volunteers welcomed participants upon arrival at the conference, and the sounds of the Lightridge Jazz Band filled the hallways. Participants enjoyed healthy smoothies in a variety of fruit flavors provided by LCPS Nutrition Services. Student leaders from Broad Run, Rock Ridge and Stone Bridge high schools sold treats with sale proceeds supporting student activities at these schools.

Hall of Fame football legends Ken Harvey, a linebacker with the Washington Redskins from 1988 to 1998, and Charles Mann, a defensive end with the Redskins from 1983 to 1994, shared personal stories and their approaches to maintaining wellness. Both guest speakers, who are connected with the Williams Center for Wellness and Recovery, a local counseling service, stated how pleased they were to see so many parents and community members attending the conference. “Most things in life are caught not taught,” said Mann, explaining how it is important for parents to model good wellness approaches and to be engaged with their families.  

The three 50-minute information sessions and the resource fair were the signature events of the conference. Throughout the conference, Lightridge’s main entrance and hallways were lined with more than 65 community vendors and representatives from LCPS departments, all of whom offered information about their services. During the information sessions, 46 presenters shared information on mental health and wellness strategies. Fitness, yoga and stretching demonstrations were offered between the information sessions.

“This year’s event was very successful. We had a great turnout, both in terms of participants, vendors and overall community support. I think everyone left the conference with information or strategies that will help them better navigate their and their families wellness journeys. I am already looking forward to next year’s event!” said Jen Evans, LCPS’ Director of Student Mental Health Services and lead coordinator of the LCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference.

Published February 10, 2023