I would like to invite you to register for a community event that the Indiana Area School District will be hosting on August 10, 2022 regarding mental health. The challenges related to mental health in our country go well beyond the scope of the schools’ abilities. We must engage our critical community partners and agencies to help us in our work to help keep our community healthy, safe, and vibrant.
On August 10, 2022 the District will host a community symposium in partnership with the Community Guidance Center, The Open Door, and the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission. The need to address mental health is a topic that has become more and more evident over the past several months due to the numerous tragic events across the country. Through this event, we hope to create an opportunity to come together as a community to make families aware of the resources that are available, as well as raise awareness of the signs parents/guardians should recognize so that they can intervene quickly if a loved one might need help. Our goal is not to judge any family, but rather to work together to educate our community on the various warning signs and where to go should the need arise. Mental health is an ever-changing situation for all of us, and everyone will know someone who is hurting from time to time. We simply want to educate people on where to go should the need ever arise.
The Community Guidance Center will present the signs that someone is at risk of suicide and behavior that may indicate an adverse action. The Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission will be presenting “The Science of Addiction and Recovery (SOAR),” which is a curriculum developed by Faces and Voices of Recovery in collaboration with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This training provides individuals with a better understanding of the science behind addiction and recovery. While experience changes beliefs, the facts about how substances dramatically affect the brain are a key component in helping the public understand how and why people become addicted to substances as well as the recovery process. The Open Door will present the various services available through their organization. Additionally, families can sign up for a free 90-minute QPR training offered by the Indiana Suicide Taskforce. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver 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.
Each person’s journey of mental health is different, but many of the signs are similar. If your child is struggling, it’s important to be able to identify symptoms of mental illnesses, determine when your child needs support, and know what to do in a crisis. The good thing is that you’re not alone. Your child is not alone. There is support available for you and your family.
In addition to the aforementioned agencies, we will have local police in attendance along with representatives from the District Attorney’s Office and a group of local pastors in attendance for those who need someone to simply talk to in a non-judgemental manner. As an educational entity, we are trying to provide as many opportunities for our families as possible. We are a community, and communities come together in times of need.
Our parents have met the moment every time we needed them. This is a heavy weight to carry at times and I would ask that you do not forget about yourself. Something that is very often overlooked or deemed “not important” is self-care. I understand how busy life is and that you might not have time to invest in yourself. Your feelings of urgent needs are valid, as are your need to love, care for, and support your family members. Please remember that your thoughts, feelings, and self-care matter as well.
Where to find services for mental health is often something we do not think about until we need it, when we may not be in the right state of mind to seek these services out. I encourage you to take a proactive and important step, and that is to educate yourself about mental health and services by registering to attend the community event on August 10 at the Indiana Area High School starting at 6:00pm and concluding at approximately 7:30pm. I hope you can join us and I thank you for your continued support.
Mr. Michael J. Vuckovich
Superintendent of Schools