Betty Brouwer to address mental youth issues at Nov. 13 seminar at Christian Reformed Church

Mapleton’s Community Awareness Training Seminar (CATS) team has announced that Betty Brouwer (M.Sc., R.C.A.T.) will be the keynote speaker at the Saturday, Nov. 13 seminar at The Christian Reformed Church.

In a release issued by the group, it states that “Youth mental issues are a growing concern.”

It adds that statistics indicate that one in four youth suffer from one form or another of mental stress.

Almost 50% of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem. 

Brouwer is the director of the Linking Lives / Building Attachment program and the Artisitic Director of Shalem’s RE-create Outreach Art Studio.

Her address will focus on youth mental health issues.

Brouwer  is a specialist in the area of attachment, working with people who have been in the foster care system, adopted and/or have experienced complex trauma. She believes it is an honour and privilege to enter into people’s lives and help facilitate healing and change.

The morning session will also include a workshop on Suicide & Self Harming  which will be facilitated by Kim Muller of Trellis.

Hearing that three high school students have taken their own lives since September, in part due to cyberbullying, is a major concern. 

The workshop will look at the signs to look for what would lead up to a youth consider taking his own life.  Muller will help participants to understand these signs.

A workshop on Eating Disorders is also planned, and at this time the facilitator has yet to be confirmed.

The afternoon emphasis is on youth learning disabilities and the keynote address will be presented by Trix Bradley.

Bradley is the director of National Institute of Learning Disabilities NILD Canada and founder of the Edison Learning Centre.

There are more and more children being identified as having a learning disability.

This is a concern for teachers, parents, friends and even more so for the youth who often are centered out as being different. Also in the afternoon there will have four workshops on this topic.

These include: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (by Anita Matthews of Trellis), Autism (by Teresa Wikkerenk of KW Counseling Services), ADHD (by Carol McMullen, a learning disabilities specialist and an ADD coach), and learning disabilities (by Trix Bradley).

One set of parents stated: “As parents growing up with children with special needs (Autism, ADHD, Learning Disorders), as well as dealing with that ourselves, the need for education at an early age and a caring community is so important to our family.”

The CATS team is hosting the day at the Drayton Christian Reformed Church,  88 Main Street East in Drayton. The suggested registration cost for the day is $20 and lunch will be provided. Any individuals or organizations that are able to financially support  the cause may obtain a charitable receipt with donations of a  minimum of $50.  Anyone in need of financial assistance should contact the  registration clerk, Teresa Dekker.

All requests will be kept strictly confidential.

Contact the registration clerk or any member of the CATS team for more information.

Organizers will do their best to provide transportation for those in need. 

The CATS team members are: Pastor Al Dreise,  Jim & Annette Curry, Teresa Dekker, Evelyn Knetsch, Joanne Koetsier, Clara Stevens, Trudy Stroetinga, Harold & Dorothy Struyk, and Teresa Wikkerink.

Organizers are encouraging all leaders of youth groups, parents, friends of youth, care supporters, youth of all ages, and all individuals interested in youth to take this opportunity to learn more about how they can help our community youth cope with their struggles of life.

There are several ways to register for the seminar: on line at our website, email or call  Dekker at 519-638-2542.