Libertyville, IL – Libertyville Health & Mental Wellness (LHMW) recently announced community expansion to support all Libertyville families, young adults and community members. LHMW provides support through mental health education programs, its lecture series, workshops and small group discussions. The first meeting will focus on mental health and suicide awareness.
The organization is co-led by Joy Bach, Stacie Nevins and Hideko Szymanski, three Libertyville parents whose children all came through the Oak Grove and Libertyville school systems. “When we started five years ago, we noticed an increase in anxiety among teenagers. We invited parents to come together in a room and talk openly about what they were seeing at home. We We didn’t know where this was going to lead, but we knew we had to offer hope by shedding light and letting parents know they didn’t have to operate in silos,” Bach said.
Nevins added, “My son struggled with anxiety for years and hit rock bottom in his freshman year of high school. I knew in my heart that I was not alone. There must have been other parents out there. needed help, needed to talk, needed resources, to hear “you’re not alone. And just like that, our personal stories brought our group together.”
Szymanski shared, “With my personal family story, I realized that offering hope, being transparent and providing resources is a powerful tool! The only way to bring about change and end the stigma around mental health is to talk about it,” Szymanski added. “At the end of the day, we never want anyone to feel alone on this island.”
LHMW enters its fifth year by tackling tough topics. Since September supports the national “Yellow Ribbon Week” effort, the first meeting will focus on mental health and suicide awareness. LHS student Marcie Langtiw, founder of Loop of Hope, and therapist, podcaster and counselor for Paws for Patrick Dan Maigler will share their personal stories and provide insight into suicidal ideation. The reunion will take place on Wednesday, September 21 at 7 p.m. at the Studio Theater at Libertyville High School. RSVP to LHMW128@gmail.com. Can also request a Zoom link. Everyone is welcome.
Since its inception as Wildcat Health & Mental Wellness, the organization has primarily targeted local high school parents and sparked discussion on sensitive topics such as body image/eating disorders, fitness adaptation, mindfulness, post-secondary planning (college, community college, trades, employment), peak performance and mental strength skills and “A day in the life” with a dynamic panel of students, between others.
LHMW has partnered with local agencies, such as Youth and Family Counseling, Simply Bee, Get Psyched Wellness, and therapists throughout Lake County and the Chicagoland area. LHMW has also partnered with District 128 to bring films such as “Angst” and “Screenagers 2” to the community, as well as supporting the LHS RealTalk series focusing on mental health and drug and alcohol use.
Speakers range from therapists, D128 administration to Amazon’s global executive coach, professional sports team’s mental skills coach, holistic physician, Libertyville High School students, alumni and parents who shared their personal stories.
For more information and to subscribe to the communication, please email LHMW at LHMW128@gmail.com. Follow them on Facebook @LHMW128 and Instagram @LHMW.128