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Teen Mental Health Efforts Underway in Zip Code 15217

The teen panel at the Community Conversation on Teen Mental Health at the Jewish Community Center

The 15217 Neighborhood-based Teen Mental Health Initiative, a joint effort of JHF and other Jewish organizations, is giving rise to events even before the initiative begins its work in earnest.

On April 28, the JCC hosted a "Community Conversation on Teen Mental Health" with Jean Twenge, PhD, a psychology professor and author of "IGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood."JHF provided financial support for the event, organized by the JCC Center for Loving Kindness and JCC Camps and generously funded by the Staunton Farm Foundation.

Dr. Twenge addressed the mental health effects on teens from being addicted to their smart phones and social media.Abby Rickin-Marks, a Fox Chapel Area High School sophomore who is part of JHF's Youth Mental Health Advocacy Movement, was among the teens who spoke.

On April 22 and 30, the JCC and Friendship Circle held staff training in Youth Mental Health First Aid, a national course to prepare professionals to be early responders to the mental health needs of youth. Eight JCC staff, including staff and leadership of the Emma Kaufmann Overnight Camp and afterschool programs, as well as three Friendship Circle staff with a focus on membership and activities, participated in the training.

JCC and Friendship Circle staff at training in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
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