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What Parents & Teachers Need to Know
What is the new “normal” during a world-wide health pandemic? It’s a challenge we all face, but it may be an even bigger obstacle for Louisiana’s youth. From the loneliness and isolation of lockdown, to the sadness of missed milestones – many of Louisiana’s youth are facing unique challenges. Louisiana Public Broadcasting and Well Beings are teaming up for a community conversation that will help to address these topics and more. This interactive event will help Louisianians identify the challenges our youth are facing and offer valuable resources that move the discussion beyond awareness and toward recovery.
About the Host
André Moreau, Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Moreau’s career as a journalist spans over 30 years, working in cities across the nation. He has covered everything from hurricanes to earthquakes and presidents to a pope. He joined LPB in 2017 and currently serves as the managing editor and anchor of LPB’s weekly news program Louisiana: The State We’re In.
About the Panelists
Emma Benoit, Survivor & Advocate
Emma Benoit became extremely passionate about suicide prevention after surviving a suicide attempt in 2017, the summer before her senior year in high school. At the time, she was a popular varsity cheerleader with a supportive family and lots of friends, but on the inside, she was filled with depression and anxiety, and had never told a soul about it. Her attempt resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed but helped her find faith and purpose; and propelled her on a mission to use her painful experience and miraculous recovery to help others. A few months after her attempt, Emma started the website liferejuvenated.org and a blog to share her story and recovery journey, in an effort to help other teens who are struggling. In early 2018, Emma began working on a documentary film called My Ascension, that chronicles her recovery journey and advocacy work, while addressing the youth suicide epidemic.
Ariel Encalade Mitchell, PhD, LPC/S, LMFT, RPT/S, Assistant Prof. of Counseling, XULA
Dr. Ariel Encalade Mitchell earned a Ph.D. in Counselor Education/Research, a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Psychology. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and Certified School Counselor. Currently, Dr. Encalade Mitchell is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Xavier University of Louisiana and the Owner/Director of Cognitive Solutions LLC, a consulting, counseling, and mediation practice specializing in child and family development.
Dr. Encalade Mitchell is also the immediate Past President (2020-2021) of the Louisiana School Counseling Association.
Tatiana Gonzalez Quiroga, Advocacy & State Program Director – NAMI Louisiana
Tatiana Gonzalez Quiroga is originally from Queretaro, Mexico but now calls Baton Rouge, Louisiana her home. Tatiana graduated summa cum laude with a double major in International Studies and Political Science from LSU’s Ogden Honors College in 2020. Her passion for mental health advocacy led her to be one of the founding members of NAMI on Campus at LSU. She now advocates at a local, state, and national level for equitable mental health care. Tatiana also oversees and implements all of NAMI’s signature programs across Louisiana.
LaShonda G. Williams, JD, Executive Director – NAMI Louisiana
LaShonda G. Williams is originally from St. Martinville, Louisiana, but is now a resident of Addis, for over eight years. LaShonda is married to Jermie Williams and the mother of four loving children. LaShonda’ s passion for helping others led her to law school. She graduated from Southern University Law Center in 2006 and manages a small law firm since 2008. LaShonda joined the mental health field in 2016 where she not only advocated for her clients through her law firm but also became an advocate for the mental health world as a Housing Director. Currently she is the Executive Director at NAMI Louisiana and truly enjoys the work that she does in and out of the office.