District 204 hosting mental health symposium

Indian Prairie Unit District 204 officials are hosting a mental health symposium this weekend in a continuing effort to address a growing need among students and families.

Administrators began planning the event in the fall after 63% of respondents to a parent education survey requested more information regarding mental health.

That effort was followed by the opening of mental health clinics at several district schools. The initiatives are being funded through grants from Edward-Elmhurst Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Scheduled for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Metea Valley High School, located at 1801 N. Eola Road in Aurora, the free symposium is open to the public. Registration, which can be done at, is required.

The symposium will feature a keynote session, titled "Protecting our children: Understanding and monitoring youth mental health," presented by KidsMatter and the Naperville Police Department in partnership with Linden Oaks and the Fox Valley Institute.

"The panel of local experts will discuss the types of stressors local teens are facing today, the warning signs that a child is struggling with depression or suicidal ideations, and practical ways parents can monitor for these signs," Superintendent Adrian Talley said.

The presentation also will include parental tips regarding phones, internet safety and social media.

In addition to the keynote session, visitors can attend two breakout sessions and choose among five topics in each session. The breakout sessions will be led by experts from District 204 and elsewhere.

A continental breakfast will be provided as well as a community resource fair. Child care for kids ages 3 to 10 will be available, and the first 300 attendees will receive an event bag containing mental health resources and other items.

District 204 is the state's fourth-largest school district and serves communities in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Naperville and Plainfield.

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