Eastern Carver County Schools are collaborating with the Waconia and Norwood Young America school districts on a Stigma #180 speaking series.

Stigma180 is the name of an initiative aimed at reversing the stigma surrounding mental health – “doing a 180,” according to its creators. The goal is to provide accurate information and resources about mental health; increase awareness, understanding, sensitivity, and responsiveness to mental health in area schools and communities; and to engage members of each district and community in a dialogue and conversation about mental well-being and overall health.

The series begins Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Chaska High School with a documentary and panel discussion on the impacts of social media. The goal is to inspire people of all ages, especially kids, to self-regulate their use of technology and social media.

In October, the series lands at Central High School in Norwood Young America for a discussion on anxiety and depression. This free workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22, from 6-7 p.m.

On Thursday, Nov. 7, there’s a session on “Parenting Your Anxious Child(ren)” from 6-7:30 p.m. at Chanhassen High School. That workshop will help parents, community members and educators better understand how to lead children experiencing anxiety or depression.

The series concludes at Waconia High School on Nov. 19, 6-8 p.m., with a session called “Understanding the children’s mental health system.” That session will provide information about the types of service and supports available to families who have a child with mental illness and how to access them.

All sessions are free and parents, students, education staff and community members are invited to attend. For more information, email Madelyn Larsen at larsenma@district 112.org or visit http://eccs.mn/stigma180.

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