News Updates

Self-Care/Resiliency Workshop A Big Draw

Published on March 31st, 2019 in Margaret Donnelly O'Connor Education Center

By Chantel Young
Associate Education and Social Services Director

One of our major 2019 initiatives has been to address the socio-emotional issues of the students.We have previously adopted many trauma-informed practices for students, but are eager to do more.

Our first event this year was a Teen Suicide Prevention workshop, jointly hosted by MDOC and Ethel Lawrence resident Nicole Yancey. The purpose of the workshop was to educate our youth on this important topic and equip them with tangible techniques to promote healing and self-care rather than harm.

The response to this event was overwhelming. More than 35 students and parents descended on our executive conference room for a raw discussion about the issues that lead to teen suicide. Those in attendance were treated to an original one-act play on bullying/suicide by four MDOC students. The keynote speaker for the event was Stacy Williams, a mother who lost her 16-year-old son to suicide almost 10 years ago. The students also heard inspiring words from an Army veteran, one of our middle school students, Jordan Monukaye, and our own Education Center Director, Mike Morris.

The topics discussed included: bullying, school stress, and family relationships. However, the best part of the event was the small group sessions. In these breakout sessions, the students engaged in lively discussions, expressed their fears and frustrations, and debated techniques for self-care amongst themselves. It was great to see students supporting each other and working together.

The feedback for the event was extremely positive. All of the students in attendance said they felt really good about being there and had learned a lot. Based upon this feedback, we’ll be following up with some additional topics for the summer.

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