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Stress in Children: What it Looks Like and How You Can Help

  • The Donnelly Center at Aquinas College 157 Woodward Lane Southeast Grand Rapids, MI, 49506 United States (map)


Today’s world presents new kinds of stress to children, and medications like Ritalin, antidepressants, and even antipsychotics are often used to ease the symptoms. While parents are not as quick to see stress in their children as they are in themselves, schools and mental health workers are seeing it and addressing it in innovative and simple ways.  In this panel presentation, hear about the stresses our children face and learn some evidence-based, drug-free techniques to help them manage and reduce their stress.  Panel discussion followed by an audience Q&A. 


Sarah Coville, MA, TLLP

Limited License Psychologist, Hulst Psychology

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Jackie Roberts

Middle School Counselor

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Patti Ward

K-12 Mindfulness Instructor


Sarah Coville, MA, TLLP

Sarah, co-owner of Hulst Psychology, has been dedicated to the profession for more than twenty years. She began her career early as a passionate and active volunteer for Department of Human Services, helping her family make the holidays and every day special for the underprivileged.

Sarah specializes in the treatment, evaluation and psychoeducation for children who are facing challenges associated with ADHD, Tourette’s disorder, anxiety, depression, trauma, learning disabilities, autism and more.

Sarah received her Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and her Master of Arts in Psychology at Western Michigan University.   

Jackie Roberts, MEd

Jackie has been in public education for 25 years. She began her career teaching special education in elementary and middle school. For the past 16 years Jackie has been a middle school counselor dedicated to making positive mental health practices available to help students and families be school successful. More now than ever she believes there is real need for education to embrace their role in developing healthy lifelong learners. Jackie depends on her personal yoga practice and Mindfulness training to help her maintain balance in a stress filled world.

Patti Ward, MEd

Patricia has over 35 years of experience in the field of education. She has her Master’s Degree in the area of Learning Disabilities and four teaching certificates. She has been a special education teacher, a teacher consultant, curriculum director, professional learning consultant, title I director, adjunct instructor at Aquinas, CMU, and GVSU, and an educational consultant for Kent ISD. She currently is a supervisor for special education interns for GVSU and a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor.  She completed a yearlong certification process with Mindful Schools and is now teaching mindfulness to children K – 12 and is nearing completion of a yearlong certification process with Koru Mindfulness, mindfulness for emerging adults (18 – 29). She has been teaching Mindfulness to children and young adults for over four years.   


Susan Woolner, CPXP

Susan is the neuroscience patient support coordinator at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences in Grand Rapids. She provides support for patients, caregivers and families who have been impacted by a variety of neurological illnesses including dementia, Parkinson's disease, ALS, Stroke, MS and Epilepsy.

Support may include technology, assistive tools, educational programming, creative art therapy, support groups and peer mentors programs all of which help provide independence, emotional support, peer connection and quality of life for patients and families. Susan has been a pioneer in the creation and monitoring of secure online patient communities and the methodology that makes them successful. She recently was Certified as a Certified Patient Experience Professional and has a Mayo Clinic Social Media Fellowship and uses social media to connect with people and communities.