This past weekend Boone County Schools, along with its collaborative partners, hosted the 2nd Youth Mental Health Summit at Florence Baptist Church. This summit had resources from Mental Health Professionals for middle and high school students, their parents, families and educators. There were multiple breakout sessions both days, keynote speaker, a memorial and hope wall, exhibits and vendors, and a walk for suicide victims and survivors.
Some of the breakout sessions during the 2 day session included: "In Hindsight: An Analysis of My Son's Suicide," "The Relationship Between Mental Health and Substance Abuse," "Help and Hope: Impacting, Healing & Health," the Impact of Technology & Sexualized Media on Teens," and "Train Your Brain: Increase Your Resiliency to Stress."
The keynote speakers from each day were Major General (Ret.) Mark Graham and Carol Graham, discussing the memory of their sons, 2LT Jeff Graham, who was killed by an IED in Iraq in February 2004, and their son Kevin, a Senior Army ROTC Cadet, who died by suicide in June 2003, while studying to be an Army Doctor, at the University of Kentucky and Lauri Taylor, who spoke about years investigating her mother’s murder in both the United States and Mexico and the resulting anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress. Lauri has become an advocate for shameless communication about mental health and the stigma of mental illness.
Students in the Boone County School District have access to counselors, psychologists and nurses and on-site mental health professionals in every school. These professionals are there specifically to help or to seek help for any student making a request or showing signs of trouble. These resources are also provided to help you and your children who may be in need of help. These resources are also good for providing preventative information and keeping you (the parent or guardian) in the loop about what might be going on in your child or teens mind at different ages and stages.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 anytime.
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