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Pack your wellness toolbox at ‘Mental Health Matters’ for MCS families

MADISON – An upcoming session will equip school families in stocking their ‘well toolbox’ for solid mental health.

Madison City Schools will present “Mental Health Matters: A MCS Family Mental Health Fair” on Sept. 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at James Clemens High School Auditorium.

A resounding message from school district leaders upholds that “parents and caregivers need support when 17 percent of youth experience a mental health disorder. You are NOT alone.”

MCS leaders further encourage parents to “join the conversation. Remove stigma. Start prevention. Seek help.”

At Mental Health Matters, families will learn the key contacts at school and in the community to ask for help. The session will allow parents to “arm yourself with carefully curated local resources, and walk away with a tangible Mental Health Wellness Toolbox,” according to school sources.

Participants can talk with area experts on issues such as teen depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, self-confidence, addiction screening, parenting for a child with special needs and much more.

At 5:30 p.m., families can browse tables for local organizations that deal with different mental health issues. The keynote address by Chris Newlin, Director of the National Children’s Advocacy Center, will run from 6-6:45 p.m. Parents can ask Newlin a question in advance by visiting Facebook/Madison City PTA and clicking the link for questions. The session’s last hour will allow families to return to representatives of local groups for information.

Participants must register so organizers can prepare enough materials, along with targeting issues about which families need more details. Reserve seats for all family members. To register, visit https://bit.ly/mcsMentalHealthMatters.

To follow COVID-19 precautions, everyone must wear a mask at this event. Anyone who feels sick or has COVID-19 symptoms should not attend the event. Participants should follow social distancing inside the auditorium.

Children of all ages are welcome to attend. However, presenters primarily will target parents and caregivers, and the event will not include activities for children.

The event is free to all MCS families.

MCS staff hopes to host a second event later this year that will probe more extensively into topics of interest to families. To indicate those topics, participants can complete a survey at the end of the Mental Health Matters session.

Madison City PTA is assisting the district in presentation of Mental Health Matters.

“Our team has been working diligently to bring together the best resources to equip our families. We recognize the growing concerns for mental health and recently added a districtwide mental health assistant coordinator, Mrs. Stephanie Allen, to help bridge needs with mental health resources,” MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said.

“Join us for Mental Health Matters: A Family Mental Health Fair on September 14 at James Clemens as we connect and promote mental health and wellness for our students,” Nichols said.

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