Indian Prairie Unit District 204 to hold Mental Health Symposium March 4

Indian Prairie Unit District 204 is hosting its first Mental Health Symposium from 8 a.m. to 12:30 pm. Saturday, March 4, at Metea Valley High School, 1801 N. Eola Road in Aurora.

The symposium will include a continental breakfast, keynote session, multiple breakout sessions, and a community resource fair.

The first 300 attendees will receive an event bag containing mental health resources, promotional information and items from sponsors, and an event souvenir. Childcare will be provided for children ages 3 to 10.

District 204 remains committed to addressing the mental health needs of students and families. The district is taking a responsive and proactive approach to helping students and families thrive in these challenging times.

The keynote session, titled "Protecting Our Children: Understanding and Monitoring Youth Mental Health," will be presented by KidsMatter and the Naperville Police Department in partnership with Linden Oaks and 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. The presentation will also include tips for parents regarding phones, internet safety, and social media.

The first breakout sessions will be:

• "Mental Health and Law Enforcement Response" presented by Jamie Horner, Naperville Police Department;

• "Parenting Matters," presented by Katherine Layden, Strong Families YWCA;

• "Helping Students Feel & Perform Better: Parents as Protectors of Teen Mental Health," presented by Michael Bushman, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention;

• "Mindful Heart, Mindful Home," presented by Lindsey Frank, Coaliton of Schools Educating Mindfully;

• "Regulating Emotions and Managing Crises with Adolescents and Teens," presented by Marty Beirne, Linden Oaks Behavior Health;

The second session will be:

• "Navigating Peer Relationships & Conflict," presented by Alison Genslinger & Claudia Morales, Indian Prairie Unit District;

• "Stressed Brains Can't Learn: How Stress Impacts Behavior in School and at Home & What We Can Do About It," presented by Dr. Marloes Verhoeven, Oasis Mental Health;

• "Road to a Successful Career Path," presented by Amit Thaker, Referral GPS;

• "Supporting Your Middle School Child," presented by Deb Kimminau, Indian Prairie Unit District 204;

• "Coaching Your Child Through Big Feelings with a Growth Mindset," presented by Tracy Schwartz, Indian Prairie Unit District.

It will start with a continental breakfast from 8:15 to 9 p.m., with the keynote from 9 to 9:45 a.m. The first breakout session will be 10 to 10:45 a.m., followed by the second session from 11 to 11:45 a.m. A community resource fair will be offered from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Registration is required at

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