Sensory Processing and Mental Health: A Trauma Informed Approach

Training Overview

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) presents a training opportunity with Jessica Villery, OTS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist at PrairieCare and Instructional Support Staff at University of Minnesota. This training is suited for juvenile/restorative justice professionals, education professionals, Health Care professionals, and mental health professionals and will address working with children at six-years-old to adults.

Sensory Processing and Mental Health teaches participants the basics of sensory processing differences and how they impact daily functioning. These concepts will be related to various common mental health diagnoses, life circumstances, and impact on behavior. This presentation will promote an understanding of preventative strategies and optimize function for children with sensory processing differences and mental health challenges to create a positive and predictable environment. Participants increase their understanding of Winnie Dunn’s theory of sensory processing including eight sensory systems, realistic interventions to promote improvement in daily functioning, and the connection between sensory processing challenges and common mental health disorders. The information in this presentation aims to assist educators in reducing behavioral challenges rooted in sensory processing differences, improving their ability to anticipate the needs of students before behaviors become disruptive to classroom functioning, and build confidence in addressing sensory needs of all students.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand The Trauma-Informed Mindset and How it Relates to Sensory Processing
  • Explore The 4 Sensory Processing Quadrants
  • Explore The 8 Sensory Systems
  • Discover Realistic Interventions
  • Understand Sensory Processing in Relation to Cognition
  • Understand Sensory Processing in Relation to Common Mental Health

About the Presenter

Jess is an occupational therapist who has worked in outpatient pediatrics, school-based practice, and currently in mental health, partial hospitalization and academia. Her areas of specialty include sensory processing differences, trauma informed care, challenging behaviors, mental health, neurodivergence, and program development. She is currently the occupational therapist at PrairieCare Mankato and provides instructional support for professional development and program development courses in the occupational therapy department at University of Minnesota on the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses. In her free time, she enjoys crafting (quilting, stained glass, and crocheting), gardening, spending time with her husband and pets, and spending time with friends.

Register through MACMH

This training is approved for 2.5 hours of clinical content and is anticipated to be approved for 0.5 hours of cultural competency content.


November 15, 2023
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
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