Mental Health Training Workshop For Pediatric Rheumatologists: Session 1

April 4, 2023

Mental health problems, particularly anxiety and depression, are more common in children and adolescents with pediatric rheumatologic diseases than healthy peers. Identifying these problems early on is important because they are known to negatively impact disease outcomes (i.e. disease activity, pain), health related quality of life, medication adherence, and health care utilization. Despite this, routine mental health screening rates remain low in pediatric rheumatology settings. A common cited barrier by pediatric rheumatology providers is the lack of mental health training to effectively manage mental health concerns. 

To address this gap with the support of Cure JM foundation, this two-part training will provide you with the tools necessary for appropriate routine mental health screening and care. Integration of mental health care into the pediatric rheumatology setting can improve disease and mental health related outcomes and reduce disparities. 

Target Audience

The target audience for this educational series is Pediatric Rheumatologists, Fellows, Early Investigators, Nurses, Social Workers, other Support providers in Rheumatology clinics.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this educational series, participants should be able to: 

  • Review the importance of mental health (MH) in pediatric rheumatology and its impact on patients and families.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression; establish clinical knowledge and practice skills utilizing screening tools (PHQ-9 and GAD-8) for depression and anxiety. 
  • Establish clinical knowledge and skills to employ suicidal risk assessment and discuss safety planning in cases of suicidal ideation.
  • Recognize and describe coping and adjustment strategies in the context of pediatric rheumatology and examine why these strategies are beneficial.
  • Define and explain principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
  • Review when it is appropriate to offer Art Therapy or Play Therapy, and discuss how to develop a reference list of resources.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 2.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
04/04/2023 - 1:00pm MDT
Event ends: 
04/04/2023 - 3:00pm MDT
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
1:05pmClinical Scenario 1 and Introduction of Importance and Impact of Mental Health on Pediatric Rheumatology Patients
Presented by:
Dr. Andrea Knight
1:10pmScreening Tools For Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-9 & GAD-7)
Presented by:
Dr. Kaveh Ardalan
1:20pmMental Health Bedside Skills: How To Start Informal Mental Health Discussions Before Screening
Presented by
: Sharon Lorber, MSW
1:35pmBreakout Session 1: Exercise Informal Discussion and Introducing Screening
 Dr. Susan Kim, Dr. Ardalan, Dr. Knight, Dr. El Tal, Mariel Dela Paz, MSW, Dr. Leever, Sharon Lorber, MSW, Dr. Megan Curran
1:55pmClinical Scenario 2 and Suicide Risk Assessment
Presented by:
Dr. Alana Goldstein-Leever
2:25pmBreakout Session 2: Suicide Risk Assessment and Safety Planning
 Dr. Susan Kim, Dr. Ardalan, Dr. Knight, Dr. El Tal, Mariel Dela Paz, MSW, Dr. Leever, Sharon Lorber, MSW, Dr. Megan Curran
2:50pmQuestion & Answer, Wrap-Up and Adjourn


Guest Faculty & Planning Committee Members

Kaveh Ardalan, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Division of Pediatric Rheumatology)
Duke University School of Medicine

Natoshia R. Cunningham, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Megan Curran, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Co-Chair, Committee on Fellowship Education
University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics
Attending Physician, Pediatric Rheumatology
Children’s Hospital Colorado

Mariel dela Paz
Clinical Social Worker, Pediatric Rheumatology
Lupus Patient Care Liaison, Comprehensive Lupus Program for Children & Adolescence 
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Suzanne Edison, MA, MFA
Mental Health Coordinator
Cure JM Foundation

Tala El Tal, MD, MSc
Clinical Lupus Research Fellow, Division of Rheumatology
Department of Pediatrics
The Hospital for Sick Children at The University of Toronto

Michelle Itczak, MA, LMHC, ATR-BC, ATCS
Assistant Professor, Practicum and Internship Coordinator, Department of Counceling
University of Indianapolis

Alana Goldstein Leever, PsyD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
The Ohio State University
Pediatric Psychologist
Nationwide Children's Hospital

Sharon Lorber, MSW
Interprofessional Education Specialist, Mental Health Portfolio
SickKids Hospital
Adjunct Lecturer
University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

Andrea M. Knight, MD, MS
Staff Physician, (Division of Rheumatology); Assistant Professor
Department of Rheumatology
University of Toronto


Megan Curran, MD, planner for this activity, is an advisory board member for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. 

Sharon Lorber, MSW, planner for this activity, was formerly a speaker for Bayer Canada. 

Planners, faculty, and others in control of content (either individually or as a group) have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

All of the relevant financial relationships listed have been mitigated. 



This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Children’s Hospital Colorado and Cure JM Foundation.  Children’s Hospital Colorado is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

Children’s Hospital Colorado designates this Other activity (Internet Live Course) for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).™ Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


A general certificate of attendance will be provided to all other attendees.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 2.00 Attendance


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