Building Capacity for Safety and Wellness
Educators at all levels are facing unprecedented challenges as students and staff navigate life after the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Statistics reveal a growing need for behavioral health support amid increases in fights, weapons on campuses, mass shootings, and suicide among adolescents and young adults. Society is also experiencing an opioid crisis, which further reflects the need for behavioral health interventions. Consequently, the retention rate for educators, academics, and other school and university personnel has decreased and recruitment efforts are not as successful. Staff who remain express a growing need for adult wellness support to cope and resist burnout while the community as a whole demands the implementation of more aggressive safety measures.
Since 2016, WIELS has facilitated the sharing of ideas, experiences, challenges, and skills among women in educational leadership. Considering the increasing demands for safety and the need for wellness interventions among staff and students, the conference theme for this year is Building Capacity for Safety and Wellness. Despite the aforementioned challenges, there are strategic and powerful women who have courageously led school districts and college campuses through tough times, such as a campus shooting, natural disaster, mental health crisis, etc. WIELS 2023 will serve as a space to share our experiences and insights as we continue to provide leadership during these challenging times.