Indian River County schools host workshop for families titled Confessing the Stress

'It's okay to ask for help,' said one therapist
Posted at 9:56 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 23:38:51-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. — The Indian River County School District hosted a parent academy workshop titled Confess the Stress on Tuesday to help families feeling the stress from the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's been a strain on kids," said Kelly Williams, Licensed Therapist at Vero Beach Mental Health Association. "They're almost grieving a loss of normalcy."

Statistics at the Mental Health Association in Vero Beach show that nearly half of patients said the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health.

"I would say that school comes up on a fairly regular basis," said Williams. "It takes a team effort and team approach to really be able to ensure that a student is successful with their education."

The parent academy is a series that the school district occasionally hosts.

"What we really want to stress to parents and with adults is modeling for children," said Dr. Sharon Packard, Coordinator of Mental Health Services at the Indian River School District.

Both Williams and Dr. Packard said that parents who are mentally strong often reciprocate mentally strong students.

"We really want to be models for kids on what we can do, what we have control over, because we can't control COVID, but we can control some things in our life," said Dr. Packard.

"It's okay to ask for help," said Williams.

Williams said the first step is self-recognition and not being afraid to speak up and seek help.

"The only way we are going to get better and that we are going to be able to heal and move forward is if we recognize the limitations that we all have and that we identify goals to be able to work through them," said Williams.

The Vero Beach Mental Health Association offers free counseling services to patients, with no appointment necessary.