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Calm Moments Cards: Embedding Strategies to Reduce Stress and Enhance Emotional Well-being in Students


All adults serving youth need to be mental health promoters. Learn how to implement the Calm Moments Cards program aimed at embedding evidence-based strategies (thinking, calming & focusing, & sensory) to reduce stress and enhance emotional well-being during 17 situational stressors (e.g. test taking, transitioning between classes). Feeling stressed and anxious can lead to restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability and may negatively impact academic and social participation. Examples of how to use the strategies to promote successful participation throughout the school day will be provided (e.g. positive affirmations, coloring mandalas, movement poses, deep breathing).  Outcomes of a mixed methods design studying the benefits of the Calm Moments Cards program will be shared. All of the Calm Moments Cards are free to download on the Every Moment Counts website.

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What you'll receive:

  • Power Point presentation handout (pdf) and bonus video tour of the website. Access to webinar for 90 days.
  • Personalized certificate of completion with contact hours after you have completed the webinar and submitted the feedback form

Contact hours: 2.0


Sarah Kolic, OTR/L
Alisa Deininger, OTR/L
Denise Young, COTA/L
Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Topic Outline:

  • Purpose, development, and use of the Calm Moments Cards program
  • Discussion of stress reactions and the impact of school-based situational stressors on participation and emotional well-being
  • Evidence-based strategies and activities for decreasing stress and enhancing emotional wellbeing provided on the Calm Moments Cards: Thinking Strategies (cognitive behavioral); Focusing & Calming (mindfulness, yoga); and Sensory (use of sensory strategies for self-regulation)
  • Review of how to access the Calm Moment Cards downloadable materials on the Every Moment Counts website
  • Brief summary of a mixed methods outcome study on the use of the Calm Moments Cards


  • Describe stress reactions and the potential impact of stress on student participation during the school day;
  • Embed evidence-based strategies and activities in three areas: Thinking (cognitive behavioral); Focusing and Calming (mindfulness, yoga); and Sensory (use of sensory strategies to foster self-regulation);
  • Describe how to use the Calm Moments Cards with a whole class (universal), small group (targeted), and at the individual student level.
  • Identify the outcomes of using the Calm Moment Cards based on a mixed methods study.

Target Audience:

Interdisciplinary school providers including occupational therapy practitioners (OT & OTAs), teachers (general and special education), school counselors and psychologists, school nurses, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, school administrators (principals, special education directors), PE teachers, youth providers (e.g. coaches).


Sarah Kolic, OTR/L

Sarah Kolic, OTR/L  is an occupational therapy practitioner with 27 years of experience in the school based setting. Currently, she is the supervisor of occupational therapy at the Stark County Educational Service Center in Canton, Ohio. She is certified in Sensory Integration through USC/WPS. Sarah co-developed the Calm Moment Cards, an initiative of Every Moments Counts. She is passionate about using occupational based activities paired with children’s literature and mindfulness and sensory strategies to help support stress reduction for children.

Alisa Deininger, OTR/L

Alisa Deininger, OTR/L has over 30 years of experience in various school and rehabilitation settings and currently provides OT services  in the Aurora City Schools, Ohio. She has specialized skills in mental health promotion, Zones of Regulation, sensory processing, and executive functioning skills and is co-developer of the Calm Moment Card Program. Alisa has presented to fellow OT members, teachers, school personnel and parents on various topics including mental health promotion, sensory processing, emotional control, fine motor skills and tier 1 & 2 interventions. Her passion is traveling, while eventually hoping to use her skills to volunteer on an international stage.  Her primary mission today is to instruct staff personnel and assist all students in achieving a positive learning environment for participation and health.

Denise Young
Denise Young, COTA/L

Denise Young, COTA/L is an experienced OT assistant (22 years) providing services at the Stark County Educational Service Center in Canton, Ohio. She excels in the development and implementation of creative OT strategies for promoting mental health and participation throughout the day for students with disabilities and mental health challenges. Denise is a co-developer of the Calm Moments Cards program.

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Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is the founding director of Every Moment Counts, which was launched in 2012. She has 40+ years’ experience as an occupational therapy (OT) practitioner, educator, and researcher. In addition to authoring the book, Mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention with children and youth: A guiding framework for occupational therapy (2011), Dr. Bazyk has authored over 40 journal articles and book chapters. Recent awards include Crain’s Cleveland Business Health Care Hero Award (2016), AOTA’s Award for Innovative and Emerging Practice (2018), and World Learning Fulbright Specialist Award (2019-2024). Sue is committed to building capacity of interdisciplinary teams to learn about and implement Every Moment Counts strategies and programs. She presents and consults both nationally and internationally.

Disclaimer: The Every Moment Counts webinars are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent professional judgment. Implementation results depend on participant’s clinical expertise and commitment to best practice with children/youth and families served. As such, Every Moment Counts, LLC is not responsible for the outcomes or results that you anticipate from learning about and using the information presented. 

For questions regarding this webinar, please contact us.