As part of Mental Wellness Week, Westmount School will be offering an information session that is open to the public on May 7. 

“Mindful Matters” gives parents, caregivers and educators of children from ages 0 to Grade 8 an opportunity to learn and talk about several mental health topics that affect children and youth. 

“We want to spread this out to as many people in our community as possible. We really want this message to get out there and for them to have access to it,” said Kindergarten teacher and co-organizer Erika Topp. 

Topp co-organized the event with pre-K teacher Amanda Harper. 

The keynote speaker will be Krystal Hawkins. She is a psychologist and part-time consultant with Prairie South School Division. 

“She’s going to come and talk to all of our attendees about the connections, like how do we reconnect with our kids and how important those connections are for building healthy relationships, for combating some of the things that we’re seeing like anxiety and depression and addictions,” Topp said. 

Hawkins is scheduled to give about a 30-minute talk followed by breakout sessions. Those attending can participate in three out of eight different breakout sessions. 

Hawkins will host a breakout session about emotional regulation based on ages and stages. This session will be geared towards parents with younger children. Hawkins will go through strategies for behaviour parents may be seeing at different ages. 

Chantal Hutchinson, a mental health worker at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Hospital, will be doing a session about her “Parenting Your Anxious Child” program. 

Dusti Hennenfent from the Canadian Mental Health Association will be doing a session about raising resilient children. 

A presentation will be given by Const. Reggie Pawliw from the Moose Jaw Police Service and cyberbullying and what to do if your child is a victim of cyberbullying or your child is participating in cyberbullying. He will also speak about internet safety. 

Social workers from Crescent View Clinic will also have a session about choice therapy to deal with mental health issues. 

Aly Bell from Ranch Ehrlo will speak to parents about addictions and how kids get involved in drugs and alcohol. 

Representative from the Early Family Resource Centre will be on hand to talk about the “Little Spot” emotion regulation program. 

Finally, Kirsten Lawon Knoop, a Prairie South Advocacy and Behavior Support Consultant, will hold a breakout session about the effects social media can have on a child’s mental health. 

“Mindful Matters” is free of charge with doors opening at 6 p.m. It is funded through a grant from River Street Promotions and funding from the Westmount School Community Council. Free childcare will be available during the event if needed.