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Golden Rotary raises awareness of mental health issues

Inaugural Community Wellness Fair takes place April 28

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For about the past two years, the Golden Rotary Club has had people working on and looking into mental health issues among youth.

“None of us are mental health professionals,” said club member Tom Hughes, “but we wanted to see how we could help.”

So, they came up with the idea to put on a free, family-friendly event that would raise community awareness of mental health issues and be a place where people can obtain resources and education.

The inaugural Community Wellness Fair takes place from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28 at Golden High School.

It is geared toward children and teens but all ages are welcome.

The main events of the fair will be the 12 different classes, presented by mental health professionals. A variety of topics will be presented in the classes, including anxiety, substance use, social media, bullying, transitioning to middle school and many others.

Scott LoMurray, the deputy director of Sources of Strength, is one of the presenters.

Sources of Strength is a best practice prevention program that uses student peer leaders to help create a healthy school culture and norms.

This event will be “helpful to shine a light on the good work already being done” involving mental health issues, LoMurray said, but will also “help engage the community on these conversations and help them apply it to their own life.”

Classes will be offered four at a time. The first block will go from 10:45-11:30 a.m., the second from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the third from 2:15-3 p.m. There is no advanced registration or sign-ups required to attend any of the classes at the fair. For advanced planning, a schedule with each class description and time block is available on the Golden Rotary Club’s website.

The keynote presentation will be delivered by JC Jackman, a Colorado author, illustrator, actor and motivational speaker. He will present at 1 p.m.

Kicking off the event is a performance by The Skeleton Dolls, an alternative rock band consisting of three teen sisters of Golden, at 10 a.m. “Inside Out,” a Walt Disney/Pixar Animations film, will be shown at 10:30 a.m.

A free lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The purpose of the fair is to strengthen the community through education and fun to promote the mental well-being of youth, children and families, Hughes said.

The Golden Rotary Club is hoping for and expecting a large crowd, he added. “Mental health is a cornerstone to wellness,” LoMurray said.

He added it takes everybody and a diversity of voices to produce a community that is not just surviving, but thriving.

Awareness, bringing people together, collaboration and sharing. “All of that is essential to creating a healthy and resilient community,” LoMurray said.

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