New Glidden-Ralston PTO sheds light on mental health awareness | News

A newly formed local Parents and Teachers Organization (PTO) is shining a spotlight on a topic that concerns students across the board.

The Glidden-Ralston PTO – which was established this year – is hosting a Mental Health Awareness Night on Tuesday, March 21. The free event starts at 6:30pm at the Glidden-Ralston gymnasium.

Sarah Foley, the co-president of the PTO, said school district principal Julie Graber approached them about having an organization that helps connect the community. Foley is co-president alongside her husband Brett Foley.

Unlike many other PTOs, which often have a fundraising component, Foley said the Glidden-Ralston PTO is information-driven and focuses more on facilitating partnerships to create a more successful environment for the students.

The group has monthly meetings, with Foley saying there are typically 10 to 12 attendees. During the meetings, they discuss awareness topics that can benefit the community.

Foley said they have a school expert come in every month to give a presentation, an example with an elementary school teacher talking about what they’re looking for from students who come into their class. In addition, they’ve had the district student council advisor to highlight what the student council has accomplished.

At one of their meetings, school counselor Kaylee Bach gave a presentation on mental health. Foley also brought in how Graber discussed how a student’s mental health can affect their behavior.

With mental health becoming more publicly recognized in recent years, Foley said the event will be beneficial to everyone in the community.

For Mental Health Awareness Night, Foley said a clinical professional from the Seasons Center will discuss several topics related to mental health, including: current mental health statistics, what parents should be aware of, how parents can help children who are experiencing mental health have to do and what resources are available locally.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity and we really wanted it to be clinical,” Foley said. “That way it can be as informative and educational as possible for all attendees.”

Foley is involved with a mental health committee that made the event possible. Other members include Nichole Schroeder, Lindsey Schulze, and Michelle Reiling.

Foley said she encourages everyone to attend because they can find valuable information from the event.

“With these events, we want it to be as stigma-free as possible. This is just an opportunity to learn,” Foley said. “Mental health may not affect you, but it can affect someone you know and this is a great opportunity for all of us to just gain more knowledge and be more able to help. Friends, neighbors, relatives, everyone around us.”

Foley encourages others to get involved and says you don’t have to be a parent of a student in the Glidden-Ralston Community School District to join the PTO.

“It’s an opportunity for them to come and learn,” Foley said. “They can participate as much as they want or as little as they want, but we definitely invite everyone to come and learn more about the school, its connections to the communities and how we can create a better community for our children.”

New Glidden-Ralston PTO sheds light on mental health awareness | News

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