IPSD204 to host second annual Mental Health Symposium

IPSD204 Mental Health Symposium
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Indian Prairie School District 204 (IPSD204), in collaboration with West Aurora School District 129 (WASD 129), is holding its second annual Mental Health Symposium next month.

The event will take place on Saturday, March 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Metea Valley High School, 1801 N. Eola Rd. in Aurora.

Keynote speaker, panel discussion, and breakout sessions

The symposium’s keynote speaker is Dr. Devorah Heitner, author of “Growing Up in Public and Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World.” She has a Ph.D. in Media, Technology, and Society and has taught at Northwestern and DePaul Universities.

Along with the keynote session, there will be a panel discussion led by local experts. The event will also have several breakout sessions, covering topics like adolescent substance abuse and managing your child’s anxiety.

Superintendent of IPSD 204 Dr. Adrian Talley looks forward to both adults and teens learning about the complexities of mental health.

“Our symposium provides opportunities for those who participate to grow in their knowledge about mental health and to find support, whether for themselves or for others,” said Talley.

Reflective of the district’s push to prioritize mental health

The district noted in a news release that it has made a push to prioritize mental health. It held its inaugural Mental Health Symposium in 2023 after a parent education survey showed that sixty-six percent of respondents requested topics related to mental health.

IPSD 204 also developed Indian Prairie CARES after returning to in-person instruction post-pandemic. The program helped establish mental health clinics in schools, thanks in part to grant funding from the Endeavor Health (formerly Edward-Elmhurst) Community Investment Fund and the Illinois Department of Public Health. This allows any student, sibling, or parent/guardian from the district to get therapy sessions free of charge.

Mental Health Symposium open to all

The Mental Health Symposium is free and open to the public but requires an RSVP.

For more information about the symposium, visit the IPSD204 website.

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