By GAIL LOWE
WAKEFIELD — Resilience, defined as the ability to bounce back after a setback or traumatic event, will be the topic for discussion at a mental health and wellness forum tomorrow night inside the Galvin Middle School library.
The forum will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.
Parents and guardians of school-aged children from Wakefield, Reading, Stoneham, Lynnfield, Saugus and Melrose are invited. The free event is also open to anyone interested in learning more about mental health and wellness.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike said he is “thrilled” that the School Department is co-sponsoring the event.
“The event underscores our commitment to provide our students with the requisite social and emotional supports to thrive at school and at home,” said Zrike.
Guest speaker Larry Berkowitz from Riverside Trauma Center will speak on the concept of resilience and how to foster it in youth.
Co-founder of Riverside Trauma Center, Berkowitz has provided direct therapeutic services for over 20 years and has managed health services for over 15 years.
His clinical areas of expertise include work with children, adolescents, adults and families who are trauma survivors and/or suicide survivors. He coordinates and provides disaster response services and post-suicide intervention for individuals, schools, workplaces and communities and holds trainings on suicide prevention. He holds a doctoral degree in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts.
Kelley Cunningham from the Department of Public Health also will speak on how to recognize signs of anxiety and depression in youth.
These may include depressed or irritable mood, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, a change in grades, mood swings, feelings of worthlessness, withdrawing from friends, loss of energy and a change in eating habits.
There will also be a number of community organizations at the event to answer questions about accessing local resources.
The community resources will include information about emergency services, school-based resources, community outreach programs and state agencies as well as numerous other important local services in each of the towns.
Those who attend will have access to a comprehensive resource guide.
Contact Debbie Helms at 978-327-6671 for more information. Registration is not required.