Stress in Rural Iowa Coming Together for Understanding will be held April 17 at Storm Lake Middle School, 1811 Hyland Drive.
"Rural Iowa is under stress. In fact, there is more stress and depression in Iowa than in surrounding states," said local ISU Extension Director Rhonda Christensen. "Changes in our communities, changes in the state and local economy, and changes in family life are all contributing factors. What can you do? What can we do?"
The public is invited to spend one or two hours with other teachers and community members to learn about the stressors facing rural Iowa's children and families - those living in town and on the farm. Discover ways to help to reduce stress among children, families, friends, and neighbors and strengthen our communities in these times of heightened stress.
4:00 p.m. - Dealing with Children and Uncertainty - Ann Hess, MSE, Seasons for Mental Health Psychotherapist - Stress and uncertainty are not new phenomena for children or adults. The events of September 11, resulted in many individuals feeling varying degrees of stress and uncertainty. Compound that with changes in our state's economy, and the impact that has had on our families, school and communities.
Ann Hess will draw upon her experience as a former teacher and guidance counselor, and her current work as a psychotherapist, to explore stressors for children, signs to look for, what to say to children and their parents, and when to seek professional help.
How is all this affecting the children in our classrooms?
4:50 p.m. - Refreshment Break - Opportunity for participants to come or go
5:00 p.m. - Changing Rural Communities - Paul Lasley, Iowa State University Extension Sociologist. Everyone knows that rural communities are changing, but this workshop explores the how and why these changes are occurring and what are some of the likely consequences. Drawing upon his 20 years of extension and research work, Paul Lasley will discuss the changing nature of rural communities and what these changes mean for the future of the state. While much has been written about community change, this workshop will offer some ideas on ways to strengthen communities and provide quality of living for future generations.