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Community Mental Health Event at Pequot Lakes Public Schools

posted Jan 2, 2019, 7:26 AM by Brenda Williams
By the time this article hits the presses, we all will have wrapped up the holidays. As we start packing up the seasonal decor, drag the Christmas tree to the curb, and polish off the leftovers, we should be cognizant of the fact that the post-holiday season can be very difficult for our loved ones. What many might write off as “Winter Blues” or “Cabin Fever” could, in fact, be a true indication of something far more than simply feeling down.

As adults, it is natural to swing with the highs and lows of the season. Children experience a similar swing in emotions, however, often with more intensity. The post-holiday time traditionally brings an increase in the flow of traffic through the counseling and Family Collaborative offices. As we prep for this phase of the school year we would like to inform the readers about a mental health awareness event we are hosting in the Pequot Lakes Public Schools.

On February 11, the Pequot Lakes Public Schools will be bringing an engaging and informational opportunity to the Brainerd Lakes Area. Joe Beckman (a motivational speaker with Twin Cities roots) will be delivering an empowering presentation to our student body. Over the course of the last 15 years, Joe has impacted the lives of students in more than 150 schools delivering a message of hope, love of self, and resiliency. One of Joe’s central messages, “3 Phrases” can be viewed through a simple search on YouTube. This is a message that adds value to our existing homeroom curriculums related to character, health and wellness efforts in Health/PE classes, Youth Frontiers events and other efforts centered on whole child development.

Research tells us that 1 in 5 adults battle with some form of mental health. To frame it differently, it is as about as common as being left-handed! The Pequot Lakes Public Schools recognize the role that we play within our attendance area and beyond. This is a joint effort between the Pequot Lakes and Brainerd public schools with a focus on empowering our children and dissolving the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness in the Lakes Area. In addition to the events for our students, we will be broadening the impact of this message by inviting the entire community in to listen to Joe as a part of our Winter Conference Night for our 5-12 campus. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and is open to our households of ISD 186 and the general public as well.

It is important to point out that we are thankful for a regional faith community, our financial supporters and the resources found within Region 5 who have rallied around the planning and preparation for this event. We give thanks to Pequot Lakes Rotary, Crow Wing Energized, Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Social Services, Pequot Lakes PTA, The Christopher Benz Foundation, The Lighthouse Project, and Pequot Lakes Community Education for rallying around this effort, including planning, promotion, and financial support. Event details will be shared through various media formats as the date approaches, but please make it a priority. A reminder that this is a community event, open to all ages and backgrounds.

In the mindset of “It Takes a Village,” know that we all share a role in the development of our kids and becoming better informed about their development. Hope to see you there!

-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal