ASHBURN, Va. (WDVM)– With over 300 people pre-registered for Loudoun County Public Schools’ (LCPS) Mental Health and Wellness Conference, parents and students learned about anxiety, stress, resilience and more. One student from Independence High School said she hopes this conference will erase the negative stigma about mental health concerns.
“With this fair were just trying to bring awareness to it and try to bring it out of the darkness and in to the light and that its not a bad thing and that everyone goes through it so were just trying to get it out there so that more people can come forward and talk about it,” said Sloan Grant, a student.
According to officials, some of common signs and symptoms of mental illnesses can be seen between the ages of 12 to 18. An age where teens commonly battle anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
“I just don’t want people to feel ashamed of whatever there going through and people should be able to go to their peers and trusted adults and just know that they have people that they can talk to about there feelings and that’s there’s no reason to hold it in because if people hold it in it can just make things worse,” said Grant
More than 20 local health care providers in the county came to not only show support but to let parents and students know more about their services.
Dr. Asia Jones, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services with LCPS said,
“we know that childhood anxiety continues to be a state, local, and national concern, and we work very closely with our partners in the communities and most importantly our parents so that they can be well informed of all of the wonderful things and resources that are available to them through the schools, but also how they can help there child at home and partner with the schools.”
Every week, teachers and counselors at Independence High designate time to discuss mental health with students.
Dr. Jones said, “it’s very important to connect with one caring adult in there schools and to know that there’s professionals in every school to care for them.”
Officials also addressed how the impact of social media can lead to anxiety.