HCN News & Notes

‘Listening to Our Kids’ Workshop Slated for June 13

GREENFIELD — Parents, teachers, guardians, mentors, and any individuals who have young people in their lives have most likely experienced communication challenges. “Listening to Our Kids: The Supportive Magic of Not Giving Advice” is a free workshop and an opportunity to address concerns and learn new techniques, with the guidance of local experts Lisa Wexler and Siobhan Fitzgerald.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. in the conference rooms at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. It will include reviewing survey results from area middle and high schools about young people’s risky behaviors, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, depression, and anxiety and their experiences interacting with adults.

Participants will be invited to think about how the information applies to their experiences and to explore how they can use the information to support young people in their lives. The last part of the session will involve practicing techniques of listening well, which can have many therapeutic benefits. These easy-to-learn skills can improve the quality of support young people feel.

Wexler is a UMass professor and parent of local teens. She is an expert in adolescent suicide prevention who has been running community workshops on supportive communication in Native Alaska for 25 years.

Fitzgerald has been the adjustment counselor at Greenfield High School for the last 17 years and also serves as the parent engagement facilitator for the Greenfield Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition. She is a parent of local teens. 

The event is hosted by Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the Communities That Care Coalition, and is co-sponsored by the Greenfield Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition and the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership. Complimentary pizza will be served at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation and questions and answers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Seating is limited, and RSVP is required by visiting listeningtokids.eventbrite.com.