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Macon mental health representatives to offer parenting class

Only 10 parents get the chance to participate in-person, the rest will have to do it virtually.

MACON, Ga. — Parents will have the chance to attend a parenting class hosted by Macon Mental Health Matters on Saturday.

Macon Mental Health Matters is a team of representatives that came together to address mental health wellness in Bibb County.

They host a series of events dedicated to the issue, and this parenting course is one of them.

"When I was young, I was away at school. My husband and I, we were pregnant, and my mom was over two hours away," Estoria Fondren said. 

Fondren is now a mother to two young men. 

She says she remembers being in school and not really knowing what to do. 

"I read everything I could," Fondren said.

Luckily, her mother was there when she gave birth.

"All of the things I read, I couldn't put them together, but she was there to help me," Fondren said. 

Fondren says she wishes she had a support group while going through that pregnancy away from home.

"Just having a network of people that you trust to give you information and to kind of just be open with, show your fears, and they can validate your fears, and help you to move forward," Fondren said.

That is the goal of the parenting classes that Macon Mental Health Matters will begin hosting, starting Saturday.

"The idea is to start off by having folks come together and do a formal training, with questions and answers, but also, people will learn how to make connections with the other people in the group," Gloria Smith Cisse said.

Smith Cisse will help lead the class. 

Smith Cisse says this eight week course will not only help support the mental health of parents, but the child as well. 

"We will also have therapeutic activities for the kids to participate in. Their kids will be here, and also have the chance to learn some things about being mentally healthy," Cisse said.

Smith Cisse says this parenting class is one step closer to making Macon the best it can be, because everything starts within the home.

"When we have families that are really struggling, it really just makes sense for us to have a means for taking care of them, or helping them to take care of themselves," Smith Cisse said. 

Smith Cisse says at the first class, parents will be taught the basics, such as learning about the benefits of participating in a parenting class and disciplinary techniques that they can use in their home.

The class will happen Saturday at the Booker T.  Washington center and starts at 10 a.m.

If you are interested, you have to sign up for this class before Friday, and you can register here

They are only taking 10 parents in person, the rest will have to participate virtually.

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