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Mental Health Matters Parent Awareness Event on Saturday, Nov. 3
Social media’s impact on youth, trauma informed care, LGBTQ student support and anxiety and depression will be the topics of discussion at the Nov. 3 Mental Health Matters conference.
The conference starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Everett Alvarez High School. It was organized by the Salinas Union High School District’s Pupil Personnel Services department and funded by the Special Projects Department. The four workshops will conducted in English and Spanish. Registration is still open and space is limited. To register, call 796-7867 and choose option 9. .
“It’s all rooted in a response to data we received from our students,” said Irelia Dominguez, director of the District’s Pupil Personnel Services department.
Here is an outline of the four workshops:
“Trauma Informed Care” – Presented by Emily Oliver, a counselor at North Salinas High School and an expert in trauma Informed care. This workshop provides strategies to families on how to respond when there is trauma and violence in their community and environment.
“The Impact of Social Media and Technology on the developing brain and adolescent body” – This will be presented by Dr. Eduardo Eizner and sponsored by Child Abuse Prevention Council of Monterey County. Attendees will learn about the impact of social media on our youth, our families, and our society.
“How to support your student who has identified themselves as LGBTQ” – Presented by Edgar Rondon of Community Human Services, this gives families resources and information on how to support their child who identifies as LGBTQ.
“The data we have as it pertains to suicide risk assessments for our district tends to align itself to students who are identifying themselves as LGBTQ,” Dominguez said.
“Anxiety, Depression and Mindfulness” – Alisal High School psychologist Yissell Lopez will present this workshop. This will help families know how to identify anxiety and depression and understand how to use mindfulness strategies to alleviate the symptoms.
Dominguez said the information is critical to District families. Each school reports suicide risk assessments to the Pupil Personnel Services department. Dominguez and her team help identify what the reasons are when a student shows suicidal ideation.
“It tends to be anxiety, depression, or identity issues as it pertains to LGBTQ,” she said.
Dominguez pointed to research provided by the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) as further evidence of the need to address the issue. According to NAMI, 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have a serious mental illness.
“If we look at our district population, which is close to 16,000 students, we’re very high in having to address mental illness,” she said.
Other NAMI data shows that about eight percent of youth live with an anxiety disorder, while about 70 percent of youth in the juvenile detention system have a mental illness.
“This is all national data that is rooted in why we need to provide these services to families desperately, so we can really work as a collaborative,” said Dominguez.