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Mental health forum in Johnston on Nov. 28

11/16/2016

The face of mental health awareness in Johnston is changing. For the first time, the Johnston Community School District will offer an evening devoted to educating parents, community members, and the public about the emotional well-being and mental health of our young people.

The “Raising Healthy Dragons: A community-focused learning forum” will take place on Monday, Nov. 28 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Johnston Middle School. This is an open-house, come-and-go-as-you-please evening. Food and childcare will be available for attendees.

The forum is organized by Chris Wilson, JCSD Student Well-being Coordinator, and the Johnston Board of Education student well-being committee. Since assuming her role in 2015, Wilson has created new ways for teachers, students, and parents to interact with the topic of mental health and student well-being. The November 28 event is the first in planned series of community-focused events.

“Our first Raising Healthy Dragons forum offers parents and community members a variety of sessions that get at the multitude of issues affecting a youngster’s mental health and well-being,” said Wilson. “We’ve put together twelve classes ranging from a student panel to time management and organization. I think parents with children of any age will find value in this evening.”

The available sessions include:

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  • Emotional well-being: Supporting students to develop healthy coping strategies, signs and symptoms they may be struggling and community resources
  • Supporting students in managing stress: K-5 and 6-12 sessions available
  • Student panel: “What I wish my parents knew”
  • Student safety: Learn how to help students protect themselves and tips for conversations regarding sexting and non-consensual sexual activity
  • The teenage brain: How brain development impacts the problem-solving decision making and high risk behavior of teens
  • Preventing substance abuse: Learn techniques parents can use with 6-12th grade students to prevent substance abuse
  • Prescription Nation 2016: medicine abuse in Iowa, epidemic moving into Iowa, students have pill parties, people can become addicted to Opioids in less than 2 weeks, and it is happening right here in Iowa. What Iowa families, parents, grandparents, relatives, etc. need to know to keep our kids protected!
  • Raising Children in a Digital World: Common Sense Media is a comprehensive tool for parents to view rating information on a variety of media, including movies, games, Apps, television shows, websites, books and music. Included is a parent blog and parent concerns section that gives options for articles, videos and FAQs.
  • Tips to keep lines of communication open with my student
  • Supporting respectful and responsible behavior at home (PBIS) and protective factors
  • The pitfalls of perfection
  • Time management/organization strategies

Wilson is also the author of the Growing Healthy Dragons blog and posts regularly about student well-being issues. She writes from the perspective of a mental health professional and parent of a teenager.

Johnston Middle School is located at 6207 N.W. 62nd Ave., Johnston. You can also following the Student Well-Being Twitter account at @JCSD_StudentWB.

 

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