Carmel High School has set four main goals for its Parent Awareness Night on mental health.
The presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 1 in the CHS auditorium.
“One, we want to increase awareness and start talking about mental health,’’ said Rachel Cole, the school’s director of counseling. ‘’Two, we want to reduce the stigma of it and let our students and even our parents know they are not alone in this. Three, we want to make sure our students and families understand we have resources and where to go for those resources (after school hours).”
The fourth goal is to make certain students know about the suicide hotline.
Cole said the panelists will discuss how they work with youth with mental health issues every day and how they address the stigma of mental health.
“We’ve got some pre-scripted questions we’ve asked them to cover for the night,” Cole said. “We are also going to allow parents to text questions for the panel.”
Carol Baden, a staffer at Brooke’s Place, which works with handling trauma and grief, will be one of the panelists.
“We have Scott Sweet, who is a licensed social worker who does a lot with addictions,” Cole said.
Sweet, who grew up in Carmel, works at CenterPoint Counseling in Indianapolis.
Dr. Jennifer Horn, a clinical psychologist at Beacon Psychology Services in Carmel, is another panel member. Her expertise includes evaluations to assist with educational planning, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety disorders, neuro-developmental disorders and ADHD. Horn utilizes a range of therapeutic interventions, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy.
“We’re also having someone from Gender Nexus, who does a lot with the LGBTQ on mental health issues in the community,” Cole said. “We tried to pull a lot of different areas where we are seeing some mental health issues in our community.”
Other panelists include Mike Berg, a licensed mental health counselor from Aspire Indiana, and Brittany Winebar, a licensed clinical social worker who supervises the youth advocacy services at Prevail, Inc., a victim’s advocacy agency in Hamilton County.