Nine Utah County mayors, the Alpine School District and the Utah Valley Interfaith Association are joining together to sponsor free parenting seminars on emotional self-reliance and resilience.
“I feel like any tool that we can give parents and families within our city boundaries to help raise children and foster good family relationships, that is something we should make widely available,” said Brad Frost, mayor of American Fork.
Frost, along with mayors from Highland, Alpine, Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain, Highland, Lehi, Lindow, Pleasant Grove and Saratoga Springs, were approached by Lynn Scoresby, a family psychologist, about providing seminars to the community. The seminars, held in cities during the first half of March throughout the Alpine School District, aim to decrease anxiety and depression.
Frost was onboard because he said the programs will help to build families. He said the mayors came together to show that they’re together in striving to make a difference on what they see as a societal problem.
“I think we all came to the consensus that it is a very good thing to do,” Frost said.
The seminars seek to teach parents how to promote emotional self-reliance within their families, how self-reliance develops and what can prevent it.
The seminars align with the Alpine School District’s mission this year to teach social and emotional learning to students, according to David Stephenson, a spokesman for the district. Stephenson said the district has been working with mayors and religious leaders this year for the initiative, which it sees as a community effort to decrease anxiety and prevent student suicides.
“We feel the social and emotional wellbeing of students is more than what happens at school,” Stephenson said.
Brett Scoresby, the communications manager for the project, said the mayors were eager to help.
“It was not a hard sale,” Scoresby said. “They recognized the need, as well, and they got on quickly.”
Scoresby said that anxiety and depression can lead to physical symptoms. Instead of chasing symptoms, Scoresby said they want to prevent them.
The tools are meant to be preventative. Scoresby said the support from multiple agencies and cities shows the importance of mental health.
“It shows that it’s a legitimate issue, it’s a major concern,” he said.
The free classes will be all start at 7 p.m. The first is on March 2 at Skyridge High School in Lehi; March 3 at American Fork High School; March 5 at Pleasant Grove High School; March 11 at Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs; and the last at March 12 at Lone Peak High School in Highland.
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