In the second event of the Graduate Council Speaker Series on March 5, 2019, a large audience of graduates, parents and faculty welcomed Dr. Bobbi Oldfield Wegner ’97 to share insight on “The Current State of Affairs: Modern Kids and Mental Health.” This topic is especially relevant in the wider world today and at Nobles, with our community focus on wellness. Dr. Wegner is a clinical psychologist, a lecturer at Harvard, a writer and speaker on these topics and parent of three children with husband, Mark Wegner ’97. Dr. Wegner first outlined some of the main issues that kids face: anxiety, depression and stress, and shared some scary but enlightening national statistics.
Today, it can be challenging to get treatment for your children. “Anxiety is the polio of our generation, and we medical providers aren’t trained to manage mental health,” the Wegners’ family pediatrician, Dr. Mary-Ellen Timmins, has told them. Dr. Wegner shared some of her own tips for parents, including behaviors to look for and how to speak to your child about how they are feeling. “Don’t shy away from these conversations,” she advised, even if the topics seem heavy and make parents nervous. She acknowledged that getting help can seem scary, but it is an essential first step and as a community, it is important to destigmatize mental health struggles. With young children, she said, it is important to focus on resilience, insight and empathy and helping our kids to build creativity, curiosity, resilience, and develop their internal compass.
The presentation is shared on the Noble and Greenough Graduates Facebook page; for more information and resources, check out Dr. Wegner’s website.