Marla R. Brassard, PhD, is Professor Emerita in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. For 40 years her research has focused on psychological maltreatment (PM) of children by parents, teachers, and peers. She has co-authored four books, many articles/chapters on PM. She co-convened the first International Conference on Psychological Abuse in 1983; co-authored the American Profession Society on Child Abuse-endorsed definition of PM; co-wrote the APSAC Guidelines for the Psychosocial Evaluation of Suspected Psychological Maltreatment (1995; 2017); co-convened the international Child Psychological Maltreatment Summit in 2019, Now spends much her time doing research and professional training with the Psychological Maltreatment Alliance. Current research is on interventions to improve professional skills in confronting poor parenting and PM in child welfare, health, and early education settings. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and Past President of the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs (CDSPP).
Sirrilla D. Blackmon, LCSW, LCAC, is Deputy Director at the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. Her primary areas of program oversight are Child Youth and Family Services, Substance Abuse Prevention, Health Disparities and Cultural Linguistic Competencies. Sirrilla joined the division in 2011 where she was the State Opioid Treatment Authority for four years. She then transitioned to Child Youth and Family Programs and has been a strong advocate for system collaboration with other child serving agencies and local communities. Sirrilla is the Indiana representative for the national Mental Health Child Youth and Family Division and the Indiana representative for the National Prevention Network.
Sirrilla knows the foundation in becoming a good leader is demonstrating the ability to listen. As agents of change our best work comes from listening to the voices of the individuals, we serve to have the best desired outcomes. Sirrilla embraces the concept of “Human Potential” and the capacity for humans to improve themselves through studying, training, and practice, to reach the limit of their ability to develop aptitudes and skills. Sirrilla believes investing in this concept will lead to opportunities to instill hope and implement change for our most vulnerable.
Sirrilla has professional experience in regulatory affairs, quality assurance and school and community base mental health services. Sirrilla worked as a Certified Consumer Service Reviewer in providing consultation to other states Mental Health and Substance Abuse Departments for a span of six years.
Sirrilla is an ACEs Master Trainer, trained in Child Psychological Maltreatment and serves as a Field Instructor for Indiana University School of Social Work Graduate Program. She co-chaired the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force under the Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children for four years and is actively involved in other committees under the commission.
Sirrilla has a Master of Social Work from Indiana University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor. Sirrilla enjoys learning, sharing knowledge, and taking walks with her dog Alaya.
Stuart N. Hart, Ph.D., is Principal of Strategic Initiatives for the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD), Victoria, BC, Canada, affiliate of Royal Roads University, and Professor Emeritus, School of Education, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He is a licensed psychologist, health provider status - Indiana, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He has worked in higher education, public and private schools, a children’s hospital, a correctional institution, government, and private practice. He has been president of the International School Psychology Association, National Association of School Psychologists (USA), National Committee for the Rights of the Child (USA), and the Indiana Psychological Association. He was a member of the NGO Advisory Committee for the UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children, co-chaired the drafting committee for the UN’s General Comment 13, The Right of the Child to Freedom from all forms of Violence, and has co-chaired multiple programs for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on advancing accountability to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. He co-directed the NCCAN/HHS project to develop operational definitions of emotional abuse, the first international conference (1983) and the global summit (2019) on psychological maltreatment. He is on the editorial board for Child Abuse and Neglect – The International Journal and was editor and contributor to the UNESCO publication: Eliminating corporal punishment: The way forward to constructive child discipline. He has conducted research, presented, and published extensively on psychological maltreatment of children and on children’s rights.