The Cedar Falls School District will host ‘Let's Talk Mental Health: A Community Conversation’, on Monday, April 1, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Cedar Falls High School. The event is free and open to the public; no registration required. Free childcare and light refreshments will be provided.
There will be a vendor fair 5:30-6:15 p.m. At 6:20 p.m. will be Lyndsey Fennelly, keynote speaker, presenting on ‘Reducing the Stigma of Mental Health’. Fennelly was a 4-year starter and All-American at Iowa State University, who then was drafted into the WNBA in 2007. Upon graduation, she began training athletes both mentally and physically, offering motivational speaking and serving as a volunteer for community services in need. Recently she opened CampusCycle, a beat driven spin studio with 2 locations in Ames and Ankeny. Most importantly, she's a wife to Iowa State Women's Basketball Assistant Coach, Billy Fennelly, and a mom to Will and Callie.
Following will be two opportunities for breakout sessions; 6:55-7:25 p.m. and 7:30-8 p.m. The session topics and speakers include:
Youth Substance Abuse and Mental Health: A Risky Relationship
Jackie Preston - Pathways Behavioral Services
This presentation will provide definitions and descriptions for the most common for youth SA, youth MH, and co-occurring disorders. Relevant Black Hawk County data will be discussed. Special attention will be given to Adolescent brain development with pruning and myelination and how this is affected by substances. Information on Prevention and Treatment resources will be shared.
Building Resiliency by Failing Forward
Jake Schaefer - Cedar Valley Counseling Services and Angie Wittmer - Holmes Junior High
Setbacks and struggle are inevitable in almost every part of life. Building resiliency by learning how to handle those setbacks is a key part of adolescent development. In this session you will hear from both a mental health professional and a school counselor about the trends they are seeing in adolescents when it comes to building resiliency and overcoming obstacles and setbacks. Tips and methods to help your student work through setbacks and struggle will also be discussed.
Learning to Excel Through Anxiety & Stress
Emily Conrad - Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health
Anxiety is one of the most common concerns facing children and adolescents today. Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including; tantrums, avoidance of situations, poor academic performance or attendance, elaborate rituals, or excessive worry. This session will include an overview of the anxiety and stress that today's students can face, the impact on functioning, and how to assist students in working through their struggles, overcoming barriers, and reaching their goals.
Community Resources in Supporting LGBTQ
Libby Fry - UNI Department of Social Work
This session will explore ways that loved ones, schools, and communities can support an LGBTQ individual and answer questions about the topic. We’ll also review concrete resources available in our community and hear first hand experience from a local parent.
Physical and Mental Wellness & Performance
Sara King and Jennifer Berendzen - Unity Point Psychiatry-Cedar Falls
Sara King is a psychiatric nurse practitioner specializing in child psychiatry and Jenna Berendzen is a nurse practitioner specialized in women’s health and psychiatry. They will be discussing different roles within the specialty. These include psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, and therapists. Different common psychiatric diagnoses, symptoms, and treatment modalities will be explained. Lifestyle choices to promote physical and mental wellness will also be addressed.
Special thanks to these school counselors for organizing and planning this important event: Angela Wittmer, Holmes Junior High, Rebecca Lins, Peet Junior High, and Carrie Dieken, CFHS.