Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Mental Health Symposium offers the community information and resources for overall wellness

Luisa Bernardino
Mental Health Symposium gives an opportunity for building emotional well-being and health among students, teachers, parents, and more.

In collaboration with West Aurora School District 129, Indian Prairie School District 204 is hosting a Mental Health Symposium at Metea on Saturday, March 9. This event is open to all teens and adults throughout the community who are curious to learn more about the topic as well as listening in on a keynote speaker: Dr. Devorah Heitner, attending numerous presentations distinguished for either teens or adults, and or participating in a raffle for prizes.

As last year was the first year the district hosted the symposium, it was geared towards solely adults. This year, with the addition of the previous Mental Health Coordinator and now Positive Engagement and Student Support Coach Janine Wange to the board, the executive decision was made to invite teens to participate in the event. 

I think it’s just important because parents and adults are looking for ways to help guide and support their teens,” Wange said. “So it’s more geared towards the idea of how do you parent your children and teens while for the teens it’s more about just building awareness on your own mental health and learning about different topics.”

Author of Growing Up in Public and Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World Dr. Devorah Heitner will open the symposium as the chosen keynote speaker. Between 8:30-9:30 a.m., Heitner who has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN Opinion will communicate different methods for parents to help teens manage identity, privacy, and reputation in an age of social media.

Current Mental Health Coordinator for Metea Amanda Pyzik believes the keynote address will benefit adults, parents, and teens in attendance.

“I think when you’re young, you don’t think about the long-term implications of posting your life on social media,” Pyzik said. “I hope Dr. Devorah Heitner can bring some light to younger kids and their parents to support them through the process.”

Hosting events like this has been a priority of the district for the past few years, especially following the pandemic. As Metea has hosted lots of speakers over the years for night-time events, Wange noticed the lack of attendance due to busy schedules. She feels it is more serviceable to host a large event similar to this symposium to attract more people.

“Bringing speakers in from all different parts of the community and having them come together in one place for an event like this is going to attract more people and it’s going to be worth more of people’s time to have all these services altogether.”

All interested individuals should fill out the form linked. This event is free and open to the public. It is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Isabelle Leofanti is a junior and is in her second year on The Stampede as the headlines editor. She is on both the varsity soccer team and varsity swim team here at Metea Valley. In her limited free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, traveling, shopping, and reading. She is also actively involved in Captains Council, Filling Hearts With Hope, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society, and National English Honors Society.
Luisa is a sophomore and it is her first year on staff as the Diversity Editor and a graphic designer. She loves to read, draw, sketch, and listen to music. Whenever she isn’t feeling avidly burnt out due to studying or listening to music way more than people should, you can find her in the library or Roleplaying.

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