Virtual mental health series begins Monday, Dec. 5

A banner that includes smiley faces with varying emotions, and textThree virtual workshops focusing on mental health awareness and wellness will be offered to Fayetteville-Manlius School District families beginning Monday, Dec. 5.

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance student wellness, the district will offer “Mental Health Mondays” on Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Each session will be led by mental health educator William DeSantis, who serves F-M as part of the district’s contract with Contact Community Services, and will focus on topics such as anxiety, depression and suicide.

The intended audience for the first two sessions includes parents, guardians and caregivers. Teenage students (ages 13 and older) are welcome to attend the third and final session on Dec. 19. 

To join a session, click on the Zoom link at the meeting’s designated start time. Advance RSVP is not required.

More information about each session is below.

Monday, Dec. 5

Topic: More than Sad – Parent Education (90 minutes)

Audience: Parents, guardians, caregivers

Afternoon Session: 12 p.m.

Evening Session: 6:30 p.m.

Developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, ‘More than Sad’ is designed especially for parents and guardians of teen youth and aims to help caregivers better understand suicidal behavior, recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, and initiate conversations about mental health with their child. 

Monday, Dec. 12

Topic: QPR Gatekeeper Training (60 minutes)

Audience: Parents, guardians, caregivers

Afternoon Session:12 p.m.

Evening Session: 6:30 p.m.

Question, persuade and refer – or QPR – training aims to elevate parents, guardians and caregivers into “gatekeepers” by educating them about the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. Gatekeepers can include anyone who is strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide (e.g., parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, caseworkers, police officers). 

Just as those who are trained in CPR help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help.

Monday, Dec. 19

Topic: It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health (45 minutes)

Audience: Parents, guardians, caregivers and students (ages 13 and older) 

Evening Session Only: 6:30 p.m.

This program raises awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by students. Attendees will learn what mental health is, methods of self-care for the mind, body and soul, and how and where to reach out for help.