The Emotional Wellness Newsletter

Teen Empathy and Family Relationships

Teenagers who have close, secure relationships with their families are more likely to extend empathy to their peers, according to a new study.

More specifically, when teens feel safe, supported by and connected to parents or other adult caregivers, they are better equipped to pass the empathy they receive on to others.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE about Teen Empathy and Family Relationships


LogoThe Emotional Wellness Support Team is a collective of mental health licensed and trained professionals at Byram Hills High School. We support our students, families and larger school community by consulting with administrators, teachers and parents to identify young people that are struggling and may need extra support and services. We also work proactively to get ahead of problems before they escalate by creating programs that support youth development. We serve as liaisons between school, home and the larger community. We provide individual and group counseling, assessment for special education referrals, and offer consults around 504 and IEP plans.

Annie Kelly, LCSW, is the School Social Worker for the high school. Annie earned her Master’s in Social Work from New York University and maintains her clinical license through ongoing training. She is available to provide short-term counseling for students who may be struggling with issues such as: anxiety, depression, bereavement, social stress, family crisis and more. Annie has a multitude of community resources to share and can provide referrals to outside practitioners when necessary. Parent consults are welcome. She can be reached at Annie Kelly and 273-9200 ext. 4953.

Bernice Pagan, LMSW, is the Student Assistance Counselor at the high school. Bernice earned her Master’s in Social work from Fordham University. She will provide alcohol, tobacco, vaping and other drug prevention activities. She will also be available for short term individual and group counseling. Mrs. Pagan provides classroom presentations, parent presentations and faculty presentations on various topics. Mrs.Pagan is the advisor to the Youth2Youth Club, a club whose members empower their peers to make healthy decisions. She can be reached at Bernice Pagan or 273-9200 ext. 4943.

Dr. Ellen Medd is the building psychologist and works with students in grades 9-12. She is also the chairperson for the 504 committee and CSE. Dr. Medd spent many years working at Wampus Elementary School and has been at the high school for the past two years. She provides counseling support to students, consultation to teachers & parents, and completes evaluations through the CSE. She earned her doctoral degree from Fordham University and has a Master’s degree in special education. Dr. Medd can be reached at Dr. Ellen Medd or 273-9200 ext. 4956. 

Dr. Carolyn Lanfredi is the psychologist for the Flexible Support Program at the high school. She earned her PhD in School Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Interventions from Fordham University. Dr. Lanfredi provides counseling support to students in grades 9-12 who are struggling with anxiety, depression, school problems, and more. In addition, she consults with teachers and participates in the CSE process for students who have been referred to special education. She can be reached at Dr. Carolyn Lanfredi or 273-9200 ext. 4955.


Additional Resources
In the event of a psychiatric emergency, you can call:
- Call 911 in any emergency
- National Suicide Hotline (800) 273-Talk or (800) 273-8255
- Crisis Prevention and Response Team at (914) 925-5959

National alliance on Mental Health (NAMI):
Trained staff answer calls and provide information about mental health resources in Westchester.  Call (914) 592-5458 Help Line, 9am-2pm, Monday-Friday

New York State office of Addiction Services and supports (OASAS):
Provides information and access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for alcohol and other substance use disorders and problem gambling.

Call (877) 846-7369 or text HOPENY (467369) for help 24 hours a day.