Regional School Unit 13 announced a Mental Health Series of mini-workshops for the spring that have been organized by the RSU 13 Counselors Group. The workshops will all take place at Rockland District Middle School from 3:30 to 5 p.m. They will be free of charge to all educational technicians, teachers and parents from the district as well as surrounding districts.

In addition, contact hour certificates will be available for all participants — one and a half hours of workshop time and a half hour of related professional reading will be made available. Pre-registration is not required but encouraged. For more information or to sign up, contact David Hanc at the RDHS Guidance Office at dhanc@msad5.org or 596-2013.

The sessions within the series will include:

Session one — Self Injurious Behavior: Thursday, March 25. The Movie “Cut” explores and exposes the various facets of self-harm. The short documentary will feature candid, honest interviews with teens at various stages of recovery as well as mental health professionals and counselors dedicated to helping them. It will serve as a catalyst for discussing and exploring this topic further during the session.

“Cut addresses an aspect of self-harm that is extremely prevalent,” said Karen Contrario of S.A.F.E. Alternatives, one of the nation’s first inpatient facilities dedicated to exclusively treating self-harm. “No school, library or counselor should be without this provocative and educational film.”

RSU 13 counselors David Hanc and Kevin Martin will facilitate the session.

Session two — Handling Stress: Thursday, April 8. Dr. Dirk Vandersloot will give a presentation on the topic of stress in both children and adults. Workshop participants will learn about the effects of stress and healthy ways to handle stress. The RSU 13 School Counselor Group invites the community to attend and gain insight into this pertinent topic.

Session three — Cyber Bullying: Thursday, May 6. Cyber bullying is a growing concern within the technology rich environment that students inhabit. Presenters will focus on legal and psychosocial issues related to this behavior. This session will raise awareness, review prevention strategies, and provide resources for encouraging cyber safety.

The professional learning series is made possible by Joyce Slader, Colleen Kreps, Hope Hersom, Martha Brown, Rick Bernard, Chris Blackmon, Emily Davis, Marcia Figy-Stenstrom, Kevin Martin and David Hanc.