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Nebraska Public Media hosting ‘WELL BEINGS’ online mental health program

Nebraska Public Media hosting ‘WELL BEINGS’ online mental health program

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LINCOLN — Undiagnosed, untreated or inadequately treated mental illnesses can significantly interfere with a student’s ability to learn, grow and develop, according to a press release.

Many students need support as they navigate mental health issues, and it is often mental health professionals at school and educators who guide at-risk students to the resources they need.

Nebraska Public Media is hosting its fourth “WELL BEINGS” livestream event and community discussion, “Mental Health in the Classroom,” at 4:30 p.m. CT June 17, at This is a free online event and registration is not required.

“Mental Health in the Classroom” includes a panel of experts who are on the frontlines of providing care and understanding for youth who struggle with mental health issues.

The online event will feature personal stories from young adults, as well as practical skills and information that students, parents, teachers and others who care for young people can use to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in school-age children.

Panelists include:

» Sheri Dawson, registered nurse, director, Division of Behavioral Health, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Lincoln.

Since 2001, Dawson has held several different roles within the department, including deputy director of community-based services, QI and managed care administrator, program specialist and nurse surveyor/consultant.

» Jen McNally, licensed independent mental health practitioner, certified clinical (trauma) professional level II, director of mental health, Educational Service Unit 5, serving southeast Nebraska.

McNally is interested in trauma-informed care, self-care for educators, wellness for all mental health models and suicide awareness. She presents programs across the country and promotes awareness of self-care for students and educators.

» Dana Tewahade, licensed mental health practitioner, Chadron Public Schools.

As a school-based mental health practitioner, Tewahade provides mental health therapy. She has also taught anger management, communication and conflict-resolution skills in classrooms.

Participants can submit questions about mental health in the classroom prior to the event or access information about Nebraska mental health resources at

“WELL BEINGS” is an informational program to help parents, teachers, counselors, caregivers, families and students understand ways communities can support each other and encourage compassion during times of anxiety and depression.

Nebraskans are encouraged to join the conversation about mental health by using the hashtag “#WellBeings” or tagging @NebraskaPublicMedia on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or @NebPublicMedia on Twitter.

“WELL BEINGS” events in Nebraska and across the country are leading up to a new Ken Burns’ documentary “Hiding in Plain Sight: Our Mental Health Crisis” scheduled for broadcast on PBS stations in Spring 2022.

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