LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — On Wednesdays through the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, the School District of Lancaster is hosting virtual discussions highlighting different mental health challenges facing students and their community.
The district’s Mental Health Awareness Series was spearheaded by Angie Sollenberger, a student and family resource specialist at Buchanan Elementary School. After a challenging year of COVID-19, Sollenberger is aware that students may be struggling with their mental health. “We want to be open and have these conversations with our families,” she said.
The discussions, held from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, include conversations between moderators and mental health experts in the SDoL community. They also provide opportunities for community members to ask the guest speakers questions.
The first discussion was held last Wednesday, May 5, and it focused on the connection between physical and mental health.
Upcoming meetings will look at mental health through the lens of equity and social justice (May 12); navigating mental health treatment systems and options (May 19), and ways caregivers can take care of themselves so that they are able to continue supporting their students (May 26).
The Zoom conversations are open to the public, though the content may be more specifically geared toward parents and guardians of SDoL students.
Sollenberger hopes that the Mental Health Awareness Series can help connect SDoL families with resources in their community. “Schools are basically a hub now for families, and we can provide so many different resources,” says Sollenberger. “If the concerns or the needs of the student or the family go beyond the school walls, we are built for us to be the bridges to the community.”
To join these discussions via Zoom, individuals can use this link or scan the QR code on the flyer below. The Zoom meeting ID is 998 5343 6734, and the passcode is 109647.