Parent mental health training benefits SCPS families

Kaden Bryant, Editor-in-Chief

SCPS families are now being offered virtual training concerning youth mental health first aid for parents. There are ten free sessions on mental health topics regarding how parents can support their children while also supporting themselves.

These virtual training sessions are typically an hour and a half long, consisting of two components: the topic overview and fifteen to thirty minutes of an open discussion afterward. This allows parents the opportunity to consult with district workers that can provide them with guidance on the material being taught.

“I think this training will really benefit adults and their children,” said Shawna Brown, mother of a sophomore at Oviedo High School (OHS). “It’ll allow people to be more open-minded and patient with each other when they previously weren’t.”

The specific curriculum includes mental health 101, mental health support services, restorative practices, social emotional support for your child, supporting your LGBTQ+ child, teaching your child mindfulness, communicating with your teen, coping skills for your teen, supporting your elementary student, and parent self-care. These sessions are all hosted Wednesday evenings at 6:00 P.M. from March 2, 2022, to May 25, 2022.

Last year, a local foundation that supports mental health initiatives, Ali’s Hope, provided Seminole County with a generous grant so that they were able to focus on parent mental health and community outreach. The overwhelmingly positive response inspired them to continue these efforts into the coming years as well.

“We hope that by providing more information, parents can be more informed and proactive in dealing with their own mental health challenges,” said Mental Health Web Series Coordinator Cassandra Palmer. “It is in everyone’s best interest to continue the work so that we can support families in Seminole County.”

This addition of mental health training will considerably benefit parents and their children. Now that the subject is becoming less stigmatized, it allows room for proactive discussions between students and their parents. Kids will be more willing to be honest about the problems they’re struggling with if their parents are understanding of them, and mental health training is an exceptional method of achieving such.

Parents will learn more effective ways of getting through to their child, and students will feel safe enough in a supportive environment to open up. Rather than suppressing the inner battles they’re facing, students will now have the confidence to speak up.

“This is a great resource and opportunity,” said parent Myrna Gomez. “It’s important for SCPS to continue informing parents and offering these resources for families.”