Faculty + Staff

Staff news: Geffen Academy wellness director to speak at global health summit

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Ross Szabo
UCLA Geffen Academy

Ross Szabo

Ross Szabo, wellness director at the Geffen Academy at UCLA, will be speaking at the second Global Summit for Mental Health Culture Change in London on Oct. 12.

At the Geffen Academy, Szabo is tasked with reconceiving what a school looks like with wellness at the forefront of its curriculum. Entering its second year, the Geffen Academy at UCLA was founded on the idea that wellness of all kinds — emotional, physical and mental — is a vital key to adolescent development and success.

To that end, students have the opportunity to engage in discussions to empower them to address their wellness by identifying solutions to reduce stress. The wellness program also coordinates with members from UCLA’s Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, who have developed evidence-based approaches that help students apply tangible skills they have learned in real time and in their own situations.

The summit will feature U.K. government officials as well as renowned mental health advocates including former Vice President Joe Biden. Szabo will focus his talk on best practices for schools to use to innovate the way they teach about mental health and use the opportunity to showcase the new approach that educators under his mentorship are deploying at Geffen Academy to discuss the challenges and barriers that need to break down in order to make mental health education inextricably linked to traditional academic education.

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