WAKEFIELD — Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth (MPY) Executive Director Margie Daniels is pleased to share that MPY will be presenting a conference for educators focused on creating safe and supportive communities for addressing substance abuse and mental health issues as the pandemic continues to impact students and families. 

“It is vitally important that we all work together to find the best and most supportive practices for helping students address mental health and substance use issues amid a pandemic that has changed the landscape of public education,” Director Daniels said. “We are eager to share and develop ideas for how we can build school learning communities that are safe and supportive.”


Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School, 565 Maple St, Danvers, MA


  • Thomas O’Toole, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School
  • Tony Pierantozzi, Superintendent, Nahant Public Schools, President of MPY Board of Directors
  • Senator Jason Lewis, 5th Middlesex District
  • Patrick Tutwiler, Ph.D., Superintendent, Lynn Public Schools
  • Michelle D. Lipinski, M.Ed., Principal, Northshore Recovery High School
  • Patric Barbieri, M.Ed., Consultant


After more than 18 months of being unable to hold conferences in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth will hold its second in-person conference for educators Tuesday, with a focus on building safe and supportive communities to address substance abuse and mental health amid a pandemic.

Tony Pierantozzi, Superintendent of the Nahant Public Schools and President of the MPY Board of Directors reflected “The pandemic has challenged schools to change the methods used to address the needs of children and young adults. MPY has become a tremendous positive resource for professional educators”

“Substance Abuse and Mental Health in a Pandemic World: Grounding Ourselves in Collective and Safe and Supportive Frameworks” will include presentations on:

  • Building Supportive Communities in Massachusetts Schools
  • Stabilizing, Healing, and Transforming: Determining Steps in an Urban School District During a Pandemic
  • Addressing Substance Abuse and Mental Health in a Pandemic World
  • Grounding Ourselves in Collective and Safe and Supportive Frameworks
  • Practicing Self-Care Skills for Students and Staff

A report published this summer by the Kaiser Family Foundation found evidence that both mental health issues and substance abuse among adolescents has increased during the pandemic.

“Data on how severely the pandemic has impacted children’s mental health, and their vulnerability to substance use disorders, is still emerging, but we can’t wait for additional data as we seek to build support and resources for students in our school communities,” Director Daniels said. “Our children face even more challenges today than they faced two years ago, and we must all work together to help them address these issues as they grow.

About the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc.

Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides training, fosters collaboration, and develops programming to increase the health and safety of students. MPY is committed to bringing cutting-edge information and high-quality trainings to constituents and endeavors to provide solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to reducing and ideally eliminating risky behaviors for youth.

Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth is governed by a Board of Directors made up of school superintendents, police and fire chiefs, and other community leaders who work closely with MPY staff to deliver this mission.

To learn more, visit


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