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Last updateWed, 19 Jun 2019 12am

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    Tuesday, June 18, 2019-9:07:12P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Parent summit aims to empower families

THE Parent Advisory Council or PAC on Saturday held a CNMI-wide parent summit that aimed to empower families.

The summit was supported by the Public School System.

In an interview, PAC official Rodney Cabarles said the summit presented critical issues that parents face when dealing with their children.

The summit, which started at 8 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m., was held in the Hibiscus Hall of Fiesta Resort & Spa.

“Initially, we wanted to present 15 topics in the summit but because of time constraint we only had six topics that we think are helpful to parents,” Cabarles said.

Over 200 parents attended the submit which discussed mental and behavioral health, detecting warning signs of suicide, setting boundaries on the use of technology and enhancing relationships and communication.

Cabarles said these topics were requested by the parents themselves.

“Most of our topics were about mental health issues. We want empower our parents so they detect the early signs of their children’s mental issues. We, as parents, want to intervene as early as possible,” he added.

Over 200 parents from Saipan, Tinian and Rota attended the 2019 PSS CNMI-wide parent summit at Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio Over 200 parents from Saipan, Tinian and Rota attended the 2019 PSS CNMI-wide parent summit at Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

This year’s theme was “Loving Families Strengthen Children.”

Associate Education Commissioner for Student Support Services Dr. Yvonne Pangelinan said the Public School System helped facilitate the discussion of topics requested by parents.

“It is powerful when parents take charge,” she added. “They set a direction for us by giving their input. We respond to what our students and our communities are telling us and it becomes a powerful way to collaborate and make an impact.”

PSS recognizes parents as key partners in education, he added.

Mental health specialist Laura Kyonka taught parents how to meditate while Dr. Yvonne Pangelinan, Dr. Glenda George, first lady Diann Torres and Tina Goodwin shared effective practical communication tips.

Systems of Care’s Kimberly Mendiola and Guadalupe Camacho discussed mental and behavioral health.

Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Program’s Mia Jones, Fred Fatialofa, Lupe Camacho and Qeuayla Sablan talked about QPR or Question, Persuade, and Refer, in detecting possible signs of suicide ideation and mental problems.

PSS’ Dr. Bobby Cruz and Lorraine Catienza discussed how to set boundaries on the use technology.

Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc.’s Greg Borja, Elsie Tilipao, Dawn Sablan and Amber Alberts talked about enhancing and developing trust, relationships and communication between parents and children.