By Susan Parmelee
Family Fest is coming to the Jim Johnson Memorial Sports Park (located across from the outlet mall) on April 29, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Family Fest has something for everyone, including carnival games, inflatable attractions, arts and crafts, face painting and a fantastic pop-up market. In addition, Mission Hospital will be giving away free bike helmets for those under the age of 18.
Enjoy the variety of food trucks, plus Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Nothing Bundt Cakes. There will be stage performances throughout the day, and guests will be able to visit the many vendor booths showcasing local health resources and nonprofit agencies serving our community.
Admission is free and game tickets can be purchased ahead of time at wellnesspreventioncenter.betterworld.org or at the event.
All proceeds from Family Fest will go directly to supporting the Wellness & Prevention Center’s services to students at Aliso Niguel High School, Bernice Ayer Middle School, San Clemente High School, San Juan Hills High School, Shorecliffs Middle School, and Vista del Mar K-8 school.
The Wellness & Prevention Center provides mental health services during adolescence, when mental illness symptoms often emerge. Early access to these services helps students have better outcomes.
Thanks to the Wellness & Prevention Center, local students have easy access to mental health professionals regardless of health insurance or the ability to pay. Mental health clinicians are available to help the school community, whether it’s talking a parent through back-to-school jitters or helping a child overcome grief from losing a friend or family member.
Through classroom education and community workshops, students are learning lifelong skills to manage their emotions and build positive relationships. These services are helping to reduce anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions that may lead to mental illness. These skills are needed more than ever to help young people succeed.
Wellness & Prevention is answering the Surgeon General’s call for action.
“Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide—and rates have increased over the past decade,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said in January 2022.
“The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating,” Murthy continued. “The future well-being of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.”
Contact Susan Parmelee at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Family Fest sponsorship and vendor opportunities. Or make a direct donation at wpc-oc.org/donate to support the Wellness & Prevention Center’s valuable services.
Learn more by heading to wpc-oc.org/family-fest/ and following @familyfestOC.
Susan Parmelee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and executive director of the Wellness & Prevention Center: wpc-oc.org. She can be reached at email@example.com.