“Rise Above It” event to address sexting, other community issues

GREENFIELD — They asked for help confronting addiction, for coping mechanisms to deal with grief and loss. Some had questions about anxiety and depression, what steps they could take to get better.

Dozens of at-risk youth were surveyed about their needs as community stakeholders worked to plan the second installment of “Rise Above It,” a seminar series focused on mental health awareness and overcoming challenges of all shapes and sizes.

Rise Above It: Resource Workshop, a partnership among Hancock Health, Healthy 365’s System of Care and The Landing Place, will feature a main speaker session and breakout sessions on a variety of topics for young adults and their support networks, said Linda Ostewig, director of The Landing Place, a no-cost recovery center for people age 13 to 19.

Two community surveys led to the development of the event. More than 200 people attended the first Rise Above It event in November, and they were asked to fill out a survey before they left, said System of Care coordinator Amanda Hinkle. The responses indicated many county residents wanted to know more about the resources available to them in the community, she said.

In addition, Ostewig zeroed in on some of the county’s youngest members. She surveyed the teens who attend the organization’s Wednesday evening counseling and worship sessions, asking them what issues give them the most trouble, what needs they have that are going unmet. Some 65 youths responded, asking to learn more about addiction, depression and anxiety, grief and loss, and smoking and vaping, Ostewig said.

The Resource Workshop will be held 5 to 8:30 p.m. April 11 at the Landing, 18 W. South St., Greenfield, with the featured topic of sexting held at 6:45 p.m. Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton and probation director Josh Sipes will lead the discussion, Hinkle said. Breakout sessions for smoking and vaping, anger management and anxiety and depression will be held at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; breakout sessions for addiction and grief and loss will be at 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. The event will also provide a meal to those who attend, Ostewig said.

Between speaker sessions, visitors will be encouraged to interact with vendors set up at the Landing Place, which will include organizations serving the issues of addiction and mental illness in addition to the NineStar Nerds, a group of IT professionals from NineStar Connect who will stand by to help parents and teens with parental controls on their electronic devices, said spokesman David Spencer.

While the “Nerds” have attended career fairs and the like, this is the first time they’ve offered their expertise specifically to help county residents master the parental controls on their devices, Spencer said.

Ostewig said she hopes parents, guardians or other supportive individuals will attend along with the youngsters who come out to the event, so they can learn not only about what resources are available to them in Hancock County but also what the Landing Place offers to their loved ones.

“I’m excited to give the kids what they’re asking for,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to letting the community walk through and see what we do at the Landing.”

Those who attend are asked to RSVP by April 6 to thelanding4teens2@gmail.com or 317-477-8483.

If you go

What: Rise Above It: Resource Workshop

When: 5 to 8 p.m. April 11

Where: The Landing Place, 18 W. South St., Greenfield

Details: Speaker sessions address sexting, smoking/vaping, anger management, depression and anxiety, addiction, grief and loss.

A meal will be provided.

Information: RSVP by April 6 to thelanding4teens2@gmail.com or 317-477-8483.

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.