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The Hood Magazine

Avera Behavioral Health and the Sioux Falls School District Partner for Family Forum Series

Jan 31, 2023 ● By The Hood Magazine

Sponsored by: Avera 

Kids face a lot of mental health challenges that don’t have easy answers.  

Avera Behavioral Health experts and leaders from Sioux Falls School District are partnering for a monthly Family Forum Series to help parents and students navigate these issues. Sessions run through the school year and will include an expert from Avera.  

“We wanted to make helpful, meaningful tools easily accessible for parents who are faced with a lot of tough issues,” said Thomas Otten, Assistant Vice President of Avera Behavioral Health Services. 

Topics focus on issues parents want to know more about, said Patti Lake-Torbert, Senior Coordinator for Student Support/Indian Education Services of the Sioux Falls School District. 

Schedule of Topics  

Sessions take place from 6-7 p.m. but can rewatched at any time. Upcoming topics include:  

  • Jan. 17: Eating Disorders – Unhealthy Habits or Depression in My Child 

  • Feb. 21: Vaping and Children’s Health 

  • March 21: Grief and Loss 

  • April 18: Helping Your Child Resolve Conflicts 

  • May 16: Community Resources Available During Summer 

Past forums topics available to watch include digital health, managing anxiety, suicide and gaming addiction.  

Sessions Help Overcome Stigma or Fears 

When a student is confronting depression, anxiety or other behavioral health issues, they likely don’t have the words to explain what they experience. 

“We can help teach parents how younger kids might ‘show’ they’re having trouble with a mental health condition,” Lake-Torbert said. “We also can help teach kids about how to face stress, deal with setbacks and avoid comparisons with others.” 

When kids know they have caring adults to turn to, they can thrive, no matter what sort of obstacles might appear. 

Go to for Family Forum call-in information and a link to the Zoom meeting. 


Get more resources about suicide prevention at

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