Panel discussion to focus on connection of kids, sports and mental health


Children and teens are under increasing pressure to perform at a high level, not only in school but also in sports and extra-curricular activities. The pressure can lead to stress, anxiety and even depression.

As part of a Hamilton County Leadership Academy group project, a panel discussion called “Help Your Child Be Their Best” will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at Launch Fishers, 12175 Visionary Way. The discussion will focus on the connection of mental health, parents, kids and sports.


“You can see that mentality or unwritten message out there to be the best at whatever it is and how that mindset can weigh on kids,” project group leader Drew Braley said. “A lot of times that can be manifested in either school or sports. When kids feel like they aren’t doing their best, then they feel unworthy.”

Robert Bell, mental toughness coach, sports psychologist and author, will be the keynote speaker and moderator.

“Dr. Bell is based out of Fishers but is really well-known nationally,” Braley said. “We really felt like he aligned with our thoughts and goals on this topic.”

The free event is aimed at parents of children ages 8 to 15 years.

“Dr. Bell will speak for 30 minutes or so and then will moderate a panel discussion with five guest speakers,” Braley said.

Panelists include Michael Beresford, Carmel Clay Schools superintendent; Lulu Black, student athlete at Hamilton Southeastern High School; Brooke Lawson, HSE mental health and school counseling coordinator; Scott Spillman, executive director of S.P.O.R.T.S.; and Kert Toler, a coach for Indy Premier Soccer.

“We thought the diversity of this panel was really good both from the different areas of expertise and their involvement at different levels within the community,” Braley said.

To register, visit


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