Over 100 youth from the communities of Bridgeview, Justice, and Hickory Hills participated in the Mental Wellness Workshops facilitated by NAMI Metro Suburban at summer camps at the Bridgeview Park District, Justice Park District, and Aqsa School. Youth participants ages 10+ learned self-care techniques, and anxiety and stress management through projects such as slime-making, positive affirmation jars, and vision board creation.

Last school year, Indian Springs School District 109 mourned the loss of several staff and a Junior High student who died by suicide.  Since then, the Commission has made several efforts to bring more  support to the Bridgeview and Justice communities.  “NAMI Metro Suburban has been incredible. They listen to our concerns, they share ideas, and they act, and that’s exactly the type of organizations we want to support. Our role as a Commission is to find solutions to issues identified, and NAMI is a great partner.” said Jazmin Lopez, Executive Director of the Mental Health Commission of Lyons Township.

“Kids have told me they really like it as it’s quiet and peaceful, many have learned so much in this class too. Parents commented a lot on the affirmation jars, they loved how they could design them and add to them.” says Sarah Lindberg, Justice Park District’s Summer Camp Director.

Sarah shared photos of her summer camp participants, adding “They are loving the class and the break away from camp. Thank you so much for introducing this program to our Summer Camp, we really appreciate it and look forward to it next year!”

Heleama Hasan, Dean of Aqsa School shares, “[Joe Zuzich] is super friendly. Very organized and professional!” Joe Zuzich, LCSW, the Director of Education at NAMI Metro Suburban and Camila Best, Mental Health Training Manager at NAMI Metro Suburban facilitated the workshops. The Commission gifted participants bags with candies, The Loft at Eight Corners information, positive affirmation stickers and journals,  as well as pencils with grounding exercises engraved on them.

Summer Camps end in July and there is still space to register your youth. If you’re interested in learning more about NAMI Metro Suburban, please visit their website at www.namimetsub.org. To learn more about support available for your youth or for a calendar of programs, please visit The Loft at Eight Corners’ website at www.loft8corners.org.