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Helping Our Children Be Safe and Healthy


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"Protecting Our Children"

Community Education Forum

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, people everywhere are struggling to make sense of it. You are invited to Meridian Health Services’ free community forum with professionals who can help you learn how to keep your children safe and healthy. A Q&A session will follow a panel discussion with noted professionals and educators to address children’s safety and health.

Wednesday, January 23
5:30–7:30 p.m.
Open to the public

Meridian Health Services’ Suzanne Gresham Center
3620 W. White River Blvd. • Muncie, IN 47304
(Located in the Morrison Mock Professional Building)

Scheduled Panel Participants include:

  • Dr. Noha Minshawi – Child Psychologist and Clinical Director of the Autism Treatment Center at Riley Hospital for Children where she provides parent training in children behavioral interventions
  • Bob Coles Jr., LCSW – Vice President of Clinical Services at Meridian Health Services
  • Steven R. Hall – Superintendent of Delaware Community Schools
  • M. Tim Heller – Superintendent of Muncie Community Schools
  • Stephen R. McColley – Superintendent of Wes-Del Community Schools
  • Dr. Jennifer McCormick – Superintendent of Yorktown Community Schools
  • Al Rent – Panel Moderator, Ball State University, Meridian Health Services board member

More: Community Forum Focuses on Mental Health

Meridian Health Services would like to offer a few ways you can help your family during this time.

  • Comfort your children. Hug them, show them they are loved
  • Acknowledge the event. Don't deny it or try to hide it.
  • Be honest. You might say something like, "This is a tragic event. This makes us angry and sad but our family will be OK.
  • Assure children that many people help to keep them safe. Parents, teachers, police officers and firefighters are just a few examples.
  • Limit your child's exposure to media about the event. Too much exposure could create anxiety and fear.
  • Keep your daily routines. Kids need structure and love routines.
  • Lend a hand. Few things are more therapeutic than helping others.
  • Holidays are important. Make sure to recognize and enjoy family time and traditions.

Meridian hopes these tips reduce the stress at your home. For more on how to talk to your children about the recent tragedy, read the AACAP's Dr. David Fassler's article: Tips for Talking to Children about the Connecticut School Shooting.

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