Midland ISD host 8th annual Permian Basin mental health conference

First Baptist Church Midland
Midland ISD host 8th annual Permian Basin mental health conference
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:30 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - This is the only free professional development conference, offered to all counselors, administrators, school nurses and anyone who works closely with students in schools across the Permian basin.

MISD Mental Health Coordinator, Taylor Harris, said they had one specific theme.

“So, this year we’re really focusing on climate and culture in the school system, so building those relationships with their students because we know if we build relationships with them, they’re more successful,” Harris said.

Keynote speaker, Gerry Brooks, who serves as an educational leader and national speaker said uses a unique approach to encourage school leaders.

“So, I think the best way to be able to present is to make someone laugh and so I make them laugh with a humorous video about what they’ve been dealing with in their schools, and then give them some words of encouragement that I’ve learned through my 27 years to be able to help them with that specific topic,” Brooks said.

Harris said there were also over 24 breakout sessions, informing how to deal with self-care and staying mentally healthy.

“Especially after COVID-19, we’re seeing a high increase on not only our students but our staff members that are dealing with emotional issues and so its just a great opportunity for administrators to come out and learn how to build up their staff and students,” Harris said.

Brooks says his goal was to give school leaders strategies to deal with stressful situations to promote a healthy respectful workplace.

“The best things that you can do to get through the school year is find someone who’s dealing with the exact same situations you’re dealing with,” Brooks said. “And because we have schools all over the place, if not your district, a surrounding district somebody is going to understand what you’re going through.”

He also explained the importance of being mindful of all counselors and school nurses.

“They are really dealing with the front line of our mental health issues and as educators we need to make sure that we support, as parents we need to support them keep them in our prayers and know that they are working very hard through a stressful situation,” Brooks said.

MISD thanks Chevron and the Midland Educational Foundation for their generosity to help make the conference possible.