About 200 Mission teachers, educational assistants, and helping professionals came together on Oct. 21 to learn how to understand anxiety in children and youth, what causes it, and how they can offer support.
The day, organized in partnership between the Mission Child and Youth Committee and the Mission School District, took place at Ecole Mission Senior Secondary.
Keynote Speaker Dr. Kirstin Buhr, a director at the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic, explained why anxiety can become problematic and how to help young people confront their fears, one small step at a time.
The day was filled with talented local speakers delivering workshops on topics such as social media and anxiety, How to create a sense of belonging for Aboriginal students, and different therapeutic techniques that can be used to help alleviate stress and worry.
The day ended with a powerful endnote by Dallas Yellowfly, who courageously shared his own story to illustrate the intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools.
The Mission Child and Youth Committee (CYC) provides leadership and advocacy in the delivery of human/social services to children, youth and their families. Members from different educational and service organizations work collaboratively to address issues that impact children and youth in our community.
The CYC designed this day in response to the results of the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), a social-emotional assessment completed on Mission’s Grade 4 students. The results indicated that young people in Mission are struggling with worry at a higher rate than the average of other BC communities that took the MDI.
“We wanted to create a day of learning so that professionals in our town go away equipped with the skills to support and educate our children and youth with anxiety,” said Katy Brookes, CYC coordinator.
Kirsten Hargreaves, Manager of Social Development for the District of Mission, said “In our fifth year of organizing this event, we have seen participation skyrocket. As need grows in our community, so does the eagerness of community partners to collaborate in addressing our concerns for our kids.”