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First HCS Mental Wealth Fair is huge success

Hampton City Schools and the school social work services department reached a high-water mark in efforts to address the needs of the whole child, the whole school, and the whole community when it hosted its first ever Mental Wealth Fair for families on Monday, October 17, 2022, at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.

While parents and guardians of Hampton City Schools children were the target audience, it was truly a family affair. With more than 1,100 people in attendance, the event provided an opportunity for parents and guardians to receive a tremendous amount of information about community-based mental health services. More than 30 vendors were in attendance to provide much needed and valuable information and support. Parents had the opportunity to browse various special rooms that focused on the connection between mental wellness and fitness, art, nutrition, massage, and yoga (mindfulness and meditation). 

The keynote speaker, Jay Barnett, highlighted the importance of seeking the support that one might need to address mental well-being. Former professional football player-turned-marriage and family therapist, Barnett has more than 10 years of experience as an acclaimed youth mentor, author, and motivational speaker. He has translated the lessons and strategies learned on the field into meaningful lessons for life and developing a winning mindset. He created a personal and social development program called the K.I.N.G. program (Knowledge is Necessary Game) for incoming male freshmen at Texas Southern University. He also runs a non-profit, www.webuildprojects.org, to help teens transition through adolescence in excellence.

An added benefit to the excitement was the Bethel High School drumline and the Kecoughtan High School varsity cheerleaders who greeted and performed for guests. 

Last but not least, children in attendance were treated to a carnival of bounce houses and concession treats. The department of school social work planned and took the lead in hosting this event for the division but it was truly a team effort of many departments and volunteers and great support from our school board members and superintendent.

“It is a pleasure to work for a school division that sees the value of mental health, community partnerships and outreach,” said Dr. Bruce Copeland, coordinator of school social work. “Clearly, Hampton City Schools leaders such as our board chair, Dr. Mason, and our superintendent, Dr. Smith, recognize and support the connection between home, school and community. My team and I were privileged to plan and implement this first Mental Wealth Fair for our families.”

We thank the following vendors that were on hand to share their information and services:

Available Mental Health Services, LLC

BOSS Inner Child Counselings

Center For Child & Family Services

Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

FACES, Inc. Family and Child Empowerment Services

Family Restoration Services

Family & Youth Foundations Counseling Services

Gordon Wellness, LLC

Hampton Newport News Community Services Board (CSB)

Inner Circle Incorporated, Mental Health and Counseling 

National Counseling Group

Quality of Life Counseling Center

Universal Mental Health Services, LLC

Victory Family YMCA

Creative Behavioral Milestones

Defining Purpose Counseling and Consulting

MDL Counseling Services

KL Gash & Associates, LLC

New Beginning Family Services

HCS Family Engagement Specialists

Center for Sexual Assault Survivors

Integrated Health Services

Kimberly Sawyer, LCSW

A brief recap of the event can be viewed here.