Empowerment 4 Girls to hold mental health event in Montesano

Will educate young girls on strategies to prevent self-harm and build confidence

With mental health concerns continuing to build importance in our post-pandemic society, an opportunity for children to learn strategies to properly maintain their mental health is coming to East County.

Empowerment 4 Girls is hosting a free one-day Empowerment Program for Grays Harbor County residents. The event, which is sponsored by Grays Harbor Community Foundation, will allow girls from 10 to 15 years old to practice self-regulation and mindfulness strategies as well as participate in discussion circles and community-building activities.

Michele Drake-Hyde, a board member for Empowerment 4 Girls, said the goal of the organization is to help affirm the self-worth of all girls and build up confidence, resiliency and resourcefulness.

“Our programs fill a gap in social support and affirm spaces for girls at a critical life phase when they are forming identities and learning to cope with numerous stressors that put them at risk for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation,” Drake-Hyde said via email. “We work with girls in our community to promote positive personal development that helps them overcome negative self-talk and bullying that reinforces low self-esteem, feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14, in 2020. While some health experts have stated those stats could have been influenced due to pandemic lockdowns, the rate of suicide for those ages 10 to 24 increased by nearly 60% between 2007 and 2018, a stat Drake-Hyde said is concerning.

“We implement expert-recommended strategies to mitigate risk factors associated with adolescent self-harm and suicide,” Drake-Hyde said.

If you want to go:

For people who are interested in attending the Empowerment Program, the event will be held at the Monte Fitness Center Studio on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9:30 am to 4 p.m., in Montesano. The program will include an empowerment packet, handouts, art supplies, snacks and lunch. For more information, people are encouraged to visit www.empowerment4girls.org/program-registration-1.