WEST NEWBURY — Pentucket and Triton regional schools are collaborating to host a series of events on mental health and bullying.
The workshops are free and open to the public, and are aimed at parents, guardians and community members from Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury.
The announcement was made jointly by Pentucket Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Triton Superintendent Brian Forget.
“It’s essential that the adults in our students’ lives have a strong understanding of the social and emotional needs of children and teens today, and we hope these events will be informative and helpful for families navigating these complex topics,” Bartholomew said in a press release. “In order for students to succeed in school, they need to feel supported, valued and safe.”
This is the first year Pentucket has partnered with Triton to offer a series of educational events to parents and guardians about bullying and mental health, as well as various supports and resources offered in each district.
The districts have also joined with Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, or MPY, a nonprofit organization seeking to increase the health and safety of students through training, collaboration and programming.
In the release, Forget said, “Bullying and mental health are serious concerns for many students, in every district, and we’re excited to be partnering with Pentucket to offer these events to the community. These speakers are going to provide valuable insight and information to parents and guardians, and hopefully will support an important dialogue about these topics as well.”
The series will include six events, beginning later this month. They are:
Bullying workshop — On Jan. 27, a presentation on bullying will be given in the Pentucket Regional Middle School auditorium at 20 Main St., Groveland, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The event will feature a presentation by Cory Mashburn, a prevention specialist with more than 20 years of experience working with young people and people with disabilities as well as 10 years of experience in prevention services. Mashburn is a Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth consultant and speaker on prevention concerns of health and safety for children and teens.
“Understanding and Overcoming Stress” – This program will be given Feb. 6 in the Pentucket Regional Middle School auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The event will feature a presentation by MPY speaker Anthony “Tony” Monahan, an assistant professor in the health, physical education and dance department at Queensborough Community College and an adjunct professor at Framingham State University’s International Education Graduate Program.
Monahan has conducted research in subject areas that include empathy development, collaborative learning, invitational education and intercultural wellness.
“Social Media’s Impact on Mental Health” – This presentation will be given Feb. 26 in the Pentucket Regional Middle School auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The event will feature a presentation by MPY speaker Susan Reynolds, the co-founder and chairwoman of LookUp.live, an organization that works to help young people balance their use of technology, take active roles in their communities and access resources for support. Reynolds has more than 20 years of experience in academic technology and digital well-being.
“Moments of Mindfulness” – On March 12 at 6:30 p.m., presentations will be given by Pentucket students and staff on the topic of mindfulness. The event will take place in the Pentucket Regional High School cafeteria and auditorium at 24 Main St., West Newbury.
“Bullying Prevention and Substance Abuse” – On March 19, this presentation will be held in the Pentucket Regional High School auditorium at 7 p.m.
The event will feature keynote presenter John Morello, an actor, comedian, author and professional speaker, who will present his one-man show, “Dirt.”
“Dirt” examines topics that include teen substance use, bullying and mental health. Morello will also work with eighth- and ninth-grade students in both districts March 19 during an assembly at Triton. Pentucket students will be bused to and from Triton for the event.
Wellness fair – A wellness fair featuring various resources for students and families struggling with mental health will be held at Triton Regional High School at 112 Elm St., Byfield, this spring. The date and time of the fair will be announced when available.
Staff training on various mental health topics also will be held in each district by MPY this school year.