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Gateway Children’s Advocacy Center to host workshops for mental health education

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Rowan County childcare professionals hope summer activities for children and teenagers will help them learn about mental health. The Gateway Children’s Advocacy Center is hosting Happy and Healthy Summer Workshops each Monday in July.

The events, which begin on Monday, July 1, will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for children ages 6 through 10 and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for children ages 11 through 15. Laura Buckner, Trauma Therapist for the Gateway CAC, said trauma and other challenges impact the region’s youth.

“We have also seen a lot of other mental health challenges. Such as, just children and teens being over-exposed to everything, having a lack of connection with others, and just living amongst an overwhelmingly negative culture,” said Buckner.

Events are free and open to any child to attend. Buckner said the workshops will be helpful to children and teens.

“We are planning to cover real-life challenges, peer pressure, self-esteem, and how to overcome big emotions. We are really wanting these workshops to help kids and teens come and learn those healthy coping skills,” said Buckner.

Buckner added the educational portions of the day will be developmentally appropriate. Each workshop day will include hands-on activities for participants, which the therapist said increases learning and retention.