Powerful mental health symposium in Lacombe this month

As more discussion emerges around the topic of mental health and wellbeing, Wolf Creek Public Schools will host a symposium

As more discussion emerges around the topic of mental health and wellbeing, Wolf Creek Public Schools will host a symposium on the topic later this month.

On Oct. 25th, the community of Lacombe is invited to the 2014 Wolf Creek Mental Health Symposium, located at the Ecole Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School. Registration is $125 and offers access to more than 15 sessions and a keynote speaker presentation in the name of awareness for mental health issues.

To register go to www.wolfcreek.ab.ca and click on the link directives to complete registration before it closes on Oct. 17th.

Limited space is available, but will continue until there are no vacancies.

“We’ve lined up several speakers from across the provinces, as well as within the Wolf Creek School Division that are experts in the mental health field. We have a variety of topics that we’re offering that day to Wolf Creek staff as well as community agencies, parents and just the public, whomever would like to attend,” said District Social Worker for Wolf Creek Public Schools Barb Reaney.

“This event is being presented to bring awareness and to reduce stigma. More importantly, it is to provide knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems for themselves, colleagues, family members, students and friends.”

The information will be presented on a variety of topics including trauma, executive functioning, ‘the conflict cycle’, self-harm, suicide, reactive attachment disorder, anxiety and addictions. Presenters include psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health therapists and representatives from community agencies that address mental health issues.

In each Wolf Creek Public School there is a social worker. Those social workers are managed by Reaney and have been collecting statistics on what areas of mental health support could benefit from more attention. She said the stats indicated the areas aforementioned, and that those are the areas that a new mental health initiative will address.

“We decided that we wanted to bring in an initiative to focus on mental health. It has a huge impact on students, we’ve been working lots with community partners and we have a fantastic relationship with them and that’s really added to the initiative as well,” said Reaney.

“We know that the more we work together the greater success we will have and we want to lessen the impact on students as much as we can.”

The Wolf Creek School board and division have been working hard to bring in presenters with a wide scope of information.

The goal of the symposium is to reduce stigma attached to the issue, promote awareness and discussion and to help equip adults with the skills they need to assist youths and children who are struggling with mental health issues.

The skills and the information that will be presented are part of a plethora of information available through community resources, online or in person.

“We have a committee of volunteers who have decided that this is where they want to contribute and that’s been fantastic. We have a really great line-up of speakers so I hope that we get a good outcome for sure because the learning will be fantastic,” she said.

“We would not be able to put this event on without the support from our board and our school division.”

Register before Oct. 17th to ensure a seat at the symposium.