Workshop to review skills to regulate emotions like stress

MADISON – The fourth workshop in the series, “Mental Health Matters,” will review the lifestyle habits that can help in “Building Emotional Regulation Skills.”

This free program will focus on teaching children to understand their emotions, along with responding in a healthy, proactive way. The Mental Health Services Department for Madison City Schools has developed the workshop series.

“We are blessed in Madison City Schools to have parents take advantage of these opportunities to learn about and support their students’ mental and emotional well-being,” Stephanie Allen said. Allen serves as MCS District Mental Health Coordinator.

“In a ‘Mental Health Matters’ survey sent out this school year, helping build emotional regulation skills was a top interest to parents/guardians,” Allen said. “The importance of having an emotional vocabulary and ability to cope with feelings is essential.”

Madison Public Library, 130 Plaza Blvd. will host the workshop on Feb. 24 from noon to 1 p.m.

The workshop audience can learn about methods to help a child or teen build skills in a healthy way to manage emotions, such as stress, anger and frustration.

Dana Hampson, a Licensed Professional Counselor, will lead the workshop. “Teaching our children to understand their emotions as well as how to respond to them in a healthy, proactive way is a skill that will help them feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin and in their relationships with others,” Hampson said.

Hampson said she will talk about ways to foster emotional intelligence in a child or adolescent and give them a gift that will last a lifetime. Hampson is co-owner of The Balanced Life LLC, a counseling, training and practice-building group in Madison; she also is a certified yoga teacher. For information, visit thebalancedlifellc.com.

Parents or guardians who are concerned about a child’s mental health should consult the child’s doctor or pediatrician. Describe the conditions that cause concern, and ask for recommendations. The physician may provide a referral for a mental health professional.

In addition, parents should contact key people at the child’s school. In initial conversations, the school counselor is a great resource. A teacher also can provide insight, such as changes in the child’s behavior, and disclose if he or she has noticed similar behavior.

This article features original artwork by eighth-grader Ahnika Hess that illustrates the importance of caring for one’s mental health. Hess submitted her design to the MCS Art Showcase at the Mental Health Fair in fall 2022.

Allen said that Ahnika’s artwork shows that daily life brings stressors for both children and adults. “We’ve seen a rise in these stressors since the COVID-19 pandemic. Building emotional regulation skills helps us thrive in the midst of it all,” Allen said.

For concerns at school, Text to Protect is a confidential way for students to report situations that can affect students. Call 256-604-2345 or email texttoprotect@madisonal.gov.

“Join us Feb. 24 to learn more about how to help your child or teen with recognizing and regulating their emotions,” Allen said.

The workshop is free to attend, but registration is needed. To register and for information about upcoming workshops, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us/domain/2411.

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