The Safe Community Coalition has hosted critical presentations on anxiety, stress, teen depression, resilience, dating abuse, drug and alcohol prevention, safe technology use, positive discipline, and parenting. We work with a Youth Advisory Council in middle schools, and hold a variety of school- and community-based events.

The SCC’s community meetings and programs focus on youth mental wellness, coping mechanisms, and current issues of concern that are raised by members of the community. We are able to do all of this by partnering with mental health practitioners, law enforcement, faith organizations, parents, students, and administration from our local schools.

In conjunction with our annual speaker event, we organize book talks in schools prior to the event featuring the speaker’s works. We have brought national bestselling authors and experts such as Lynn Lyons, Madeline Levine, Brad Sachs, Julie Lythcott-Haims, and Catherine Steiner-Adair. Our speakers have discussed topics such as resiliency, grit, the perils of over-parenting, and disconnecting from technology to connect with one another.

The SCC offers resources for those programs and speakers we have worked with and partnered with in the past. Due to the constraints on our volunteers involved in reviewing additional resources and the inherent conflicts of interest, we cannot advertise additional programs. The inclusion of links from external sites does not imply endorsement or support of any of the linked information, services, products, or providers. The SCC makes no effort to verify, or to exert any editorial control or influence over, information on pages outside of the “” domain.


The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) provides a number of resources year-round for parents, caregivers, school staff, and others around a variety of topics, including academic support, mental health and wellness, parenting, distance learning, and special education. These go well beyond the pandemic, but are especially helpful in this time. It offers the following:
  • A library of hardcopy books to check out or have delivered to your school, including books for children on these issues
  • Online resources from FCPS and the community on a wide variety of topics to help families and educators support student success
  • Free and confidential consultations, which are helpful for parents who need to identify whom in their school or FCPS to contact for assistance
  • Free live webinars, most are recorded and posted on the PRC YouTube channel
  • A News You Choose newsletter just for the Parent Resource Center
  • A Tutor List with names of current FCPS teachers who want to tutor after their contracted school day
Contact the PRC (703-204-3941) for the tutor list and any other questions.

Fairfax Prevention Coalition (FPC) is a partnership of parents, youth, schools, healthcare providers, government agencies, law enforcement, faith-based organizations, media, nonprofits, businesses, policymakers and volunteers, working together, to combat substance misuse in our community. The vision of the FPC is for a healthy and safe community free of substance misuse.  The mission is to empower the community to understand, prevent, and reduce substance misuse.

The Fairfax Prevention Coalition collaborates with community partners in its endeavors to reduce substance abuse in the community. Each community sector can provide valuable support and feedback that can help the coalition implement more effective and relevant strategies. FPC follows the model of the Communities Coalition Anti-Drug of America (CADCA) to include as many potential partners as possible. Strong representation from all community sectors can harness our community’s power to create change and ensure sustained action.

FPC provides numerous resources for mental health, emergency services, recovery groups, family support, and many more.

The Fairfax County Youth Survey is a comprehensive, anonymous and voluntary survey given each year to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 that examines behaviors, experiences and other factors that influence the health and well-being of Fairfax County’s youth. The results provide a snapshot of the county’s youth and serve as a barometer of the community’s effectiveness in fostering healthy choices in young people. The Youth Survey is a collaboration between Fairfax County Government and Fairfax County Public Schools.

2019-2020 Findings Report


Thanks to everyone who attended our webinar with Ana Homayoun. Ana’s presentation was changed from the SCC’s 2019-2020 focus on social media wellness to our 2020-2021 theme, Managing the Moments. We hope you found the talk as engaging and practical as we did!

Key Takeaways from Setting the Tone: Habits for a Smooth Virtual Learning Experience

Key Concepts:

  • Focus on what we can control: Your physical space, your attitude, your health.
  • Build our emotional tool kits: What you need to stay focused and positive. 
  • Remember stability points that keep us grounded:  Nature walks, texting with friends, etc. 
  • Acknowledge losses in our lives and don’t gloss over them: It’s OK to mourn the loss of sports, clubs, social outings, etc. 

What Ana asks her students:

  1. What’s something you have time for now that you didn’t’ when you were busy with lots of activities? 
  2. How can you be of service to your family and your community?
  3. What do you need for your mental health?

Kids need these things this year:

  1. Autonomy: some sense of control (where they set up studying, how they are going to structure their exercise, etc.)
  2. Competence: they need a sense that they are capable of making decisions and of trying new things.
  3. Belonging: they need to feel they are part of a group.
  4. Connection: they need to feel connected to that group.

How to keep students engaged? We as parents need to help them reframe the problem. Instead of dictating how you would do something or get something done, ask them open ended questions and let them answer without interruption. Offer a sense of grace instead of frustration. Think of this year as a blank slate and let go of expectations of what the year is “supposed” to be like. Be flexible with planning and have a plan A, B, and C. 

Setting up space to learn is key. Kids need some sense of control over this. Getting them outside their bedrooms might be key. Reassess if what you are doing now isn’t working. Collaborate with them to create a learning space. Help them identify outside supporters like friends to help them study. And outsource if you need to by reaching out to older kids in your neighborhood or even grandparents and family members. Help them identify things they want to master or learn this year instead of just “getting through it.”

How to manage the easily distracted student? Get up early enough to get at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise before school begins. Encourage them to get up every 30 minutes to move around (maybe use a kitchen timer or phone timer). Keep fluids like fresh water handy. Use a paper planner instead of just online planners. Create checklists of projects and encourage the physical checking off of completed items and work that is turned in. Create binders for each subject or use one big binder with dividers. Graduating seniors should keep one binder for each college to which they are applying. Teach kids how to use electronic folders to organize school work and emails.

Admit you don’t know all the answers and keep exploring with your student! 

Click HERE for a printable sheet.

Ana Homayoun is an educator and the author of three books: That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last WeekThe Myth of the Perfect Girl, and Social Media Wellness. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News, as well as on Fast Company, CNBC, and ABC News, among others, and she is a frequent guest on NPR.
In 2001, Ana founded Green Ivy Educational Consulting, LLC, an internationally recognized organization that works with parents, students, educators, and employers. She works with schools, universities and corporations consulting with parents, students, educators and employers about promoting intrinsic motivation, authentic engagement, and overall wellness. In early 2019, with the support of the Foundation for the Carolinas, she launched the Life Navigator Middle School Program, a school advisory curriculum and school coaching program designed to promote executing functioning skills and student wellness as well as social and economic mobility. To learn more about her work, visit

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Spring Speaker event on April 1st with Lynn Lyons! Lynn’s visit was the highlight of the SCC’s yearlong focus on anxiety in families. We hope you found the talk as engaging and practical as we did.

Five key takeaways from the evening are summarized below–

  1. Anxiety feeds off two things: certainty and comfort. The type of anxiety or root cause doesn’t matter. When you learn how anxiety works in the brain and body and take a few steps back, you can see that worry follows a fairly consistent pattern — you can see the traps and the exits.
  2. Despite our best intentions, parents often unwittingly plant the seeds of worry.  We want our child’s worry to go away, so we reassure and make arrangements for things to run smoothly. Yet the more we try to accommodate and provide certainty, the more we inadvertently reinforce the fear and avoidance. Reassurance is a bottomless pit. By embracing new strategies you can alter the pattern.
  3. Anxiety has a genetic component, with anxious parents up to seven times more likely to have an anxious child. There’s no anxiety gene, so how parents model behaviors around anxiety– taking the time to notice our own tendencies to worry and how we manage stress — sets the tone.
  4. The goal is not to prevent worries; it is to keep anxious fears from dominating families. To do that, change your reaction to it —
    • Expect it.  Use “of course” a lot. “Of course you are going to be nervous about…How are you going to respond when worry shows up?”
    • Externalize it. For younger children, name the anxiety. If “Fred” or “Stella” shows up, talk to it. “Look, Stella. I can’t deal with you today. I want to go to my friend’s party and I don’t want you around making me worry.”
    • Experiment. Choose action over avoidance. By seeking out discomfort and uncertainty you can lessen the effects of the body’s fight-or-flight alarms and lay down new track in the brain.
  5. Action, not avoidance, is the key to success in helping children and teens push through their fears, worries, and phobias to ultimately become more resilient, independent, and happy.

Details can be found in Lynn’s slides as well as on her website. The discussion on April 1st was based on her groundbreaking book, “Anxious Kids Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children.” And scroll through pics from the event below!

Dr. Mogel’s mission is the protection and promotion of self-reliance, resilience, accountability and exuberance in children. She is the author of two parenting classics, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B-Minus, that have guided thousands of parents through the joys and trials of child rearing.  In her newest book Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Listen, released in April 2018, Dr. Mogel shows parents how to cultivate the art of conversation with their kids–from infancy to adulthood–and demonstrates how a shift in tone, tempo, and body language can open up avenues of communication, even in the age of digital distraction.

Visit Dr. Mogel’s site here: or watch some videos or read reviews.

Dr. Steiner-Adair examines ways in which the wonders of technology and media also change how children learn and grow, and shows parents and educators how to reap the benefits of tech while reducing the risks it poses at every stage of child development.

Visit Dr. Steiner-Adair’s site:

In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.

Visit Julie’s site here:

Dr. Sachs offers hands-on exercises that guide parents to a greater understanding of how they can be good enough, rather than perfect, parents, and how they can attain a healthier dynamic within the family. Learn to: understand the family dynamics that either impede or nurture self-sufficiency and resiliency; foster a higher degree of academic, professional, and fiscal responsibility; and effectively encourage young adults to establish realistic goals and create a meaningful vision for their future and how to achieve them.

Visit Dr. Sach’s website here:

Parenting Mission Statement: While we all hope that our children will do well in school, we hope with even greater fervor that they will do well in life. Our job is to help them know and appreciate themselves deeply, to be resilient in the face of adversity, to approach the world with zest, to find work that is satisfying, friends and spouses who are loving and loyal, and to hold a deep belief that they have something meaningful to contribute to the world.

Visit Madeline’s site:

Minding Your Mind’s (MYM) primary objective is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers and school administrators. Our goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. Treatment is available, yet only 3 out of 10 individuals needing help actually seek help. Minding Your Mind Programs move away from crisis based response to prevention through education.

Visit Minding Your Mind’s site:

DASH stands for Dating Abuse Stops Here. We strive to: Raise awareness in our community of the magnitude, proliferation and dangers of teen dating abuse; Educate and encourage teens to engage in healthy relationship behavior; Help teens, and parents, to recognize and act upon warning signs; Provide resources to identify places of help for teens in distress, or in potentially dangerous dating situations.

Visit DASH’s site:


The Madeira School:

The Potomac School:

McLean Chamber of Commerce:

Rotary Club of McLean:

New Dominion Women’s Club:

McLean Citizens Association:

McLean Community Foundation:


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