MCS and PTA Council to Host Family Mental Health Resource Fair – The Madison Record

MADISON — Madison City Schools and the Madison City Council of Parent-Teacher Associations are hosting the “Family Mental Health Resource Fair” on September 19.

Midtown Elementary School, 140 Coefer Blvd. will host this district-wide event from 5-7 p.m. Student families can browse the Community Resource Tables, Student Art Showcase, Mental Wellness Exhibit, and other materials.

The free event is open to all school families. The Madison City Council of PTAs will schedule food trucks and door prizes.

To find pressing issues for families, organizers responded to surveys that were available in early September. These surveys will help MCS staff plan future events.

A family should support the mental health of all children. According to MCS staff, family members should perform scenarios with the children that occur before, during, and after the difficulties.

The Family Mental Health Resource Fair will feature an interactive exhibit with hands-on activities for youth and adults, sponsored by the Enrichment Center. School families can take home materials provided by agency professionals, including the Mental Health Center, Autism Network, Military Child Coalition, The Caring House, National Children’s Advocacy Center and other groups .

The resounding theme of this session will be “Connecting the Dots”. MCS staff emphasize several points: “You are not alone.” “Join the conversation.” “Remove the stigma. “Start prevention.” “Ask for help.”

The National PTA has developed the “PTA Healthy Minds Program” to empower families to make mental health a daily priority. An individual can choose between tools for APE leaders and families. Click “For Families” or “For PTA Leaders” at pta.org/home/programs/Healthy-Lifestyles.

Also, PTA has documented many websites. One site, “The Teen Brain: 7 Things to Know” focuses on adolescent development:

* 1. “The brain reaches its largest size in early adolescence.” – For girls, the age is 11 years old. For boys, it’s 14 years old. “But this difference does not mean that boys or girls are smarter than each other!” the PTA site said.

* 2. “The brain continues to mature even after it has finished growing.” – The human brain completes its development and maturation in the mid to late 20s.

* 3. “The adolescent brain is ready to learn and adapt.” — Teenagers can handle tough academics, exercise and creative pursuits like art and help the brain learn.

* 4. “Many mental disorders can begin to appear during adolescence.” – Teenagers may develop schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or eating disorders.

* 5. “Adolescent brains may be more vulnerable to stress.” – Teenagers’ reaction to stress can lead to anxiety and depression.

* 6. “Teenagers need more sleep than children and adults.” – In teens, research shows that melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” is highest late at night and drops late in the morning in teens. Teenagers should sleep about 10 hours a night, but most don’t.

* 7. “Adolescent brains are resilient.” — Most adolescents become healthy adults.

For more information, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us or pta.org.

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