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CCISD's mental health symposium shows families that they're not alone

Posted at 8:57 PM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 23:13:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and so Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) is putting on an event to benefit everyone.

On Thursday, CCISD with Driscoll Children's Hospital hosted the HOPE - Helping Others through Prevention and Education - Mental Health Symposium at Mary Carroll High School.

“I know a bunch of the adult stuff, I don’t know a lot about how to handle it with kids,” parent Justin Parr said.

For Parr, an informational event like this is just what he was hoping for.

“Yes, it is an issue that my family has to deal with," he said. "I have an 8-year-old — 9-year-old son and I'm assuming he’s going to inherit it. So, I want to learn how to handle it, how to treat it right.”

For Parr, having a consolidated event with all the information he needs is beneficial.

Families had the opportunity to learn from presentations targeting parents with both younger and older children. Over 40 vendors made themselves available to share the resources they can offer.

The idea for the symposium comes from the latest trend professionals are seeing in children. Dr. Maria Iyescas, mental health coordinator for CCISD, told KRIS 6 News what she's seen the last few years.

“Just high levels, we’re seeing stress and anxiety, very much so," she said. "We’re seeing also children who are having trouble, coping with—regulating their own emotions, as well. We’re seeing some outbursts in some of our classes. And we’re seeing kids who are just, sometimes unhappy and they are depressed and stressed out."

Iyescas said it’s a multitude of factors that have played into mental health concerns. The COVID-19 pandemic may have enhanced those issues when it came to dealing with isolation, financial instability or a death in the family.

But the symposium showed that help is all around.

“I feel like a lot of parents and even students feel alone, that they’re suffering by themselves. But right here, look at all these people here to support you and to provide you with education and resources,” she said.

“Biggest thing is learning how to see their anxiety, their stresses and how to help calm them when they’re out in public places or especially in school, with all the demands that are going on,” Annette Perez, another parent at the symposium said.

For those within CCISD that missed the symposium, the district has 15 social workers on staff and a counselor at each school that can all provide help at any time.

For CCISD support services you can click here. You can find more resources from the symposium on CCISD's website.

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