One in five children between the ages 13-18 will have a serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, NAMI’s latest data indicates 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness began at an early age. Each of us very likely knows an affected family or teen. Just imagine the toll mental illness can have on them—physical, psychological and economic.
Recent school shootings have highlighted mental health concerns. But, families are the key to bringing mental health out of the shadows with conversations based on compassion and love. In addition, family members can set the stage to work with schools and community groups to lessen the stigma associated with mental illness.
Our community must be creative in meeting and addressing mental illness at its core. For example, there are any number of school clubs. Why not encourage our teens and schools to set up clubs that offer a safe place to have conversations with peers, plan events and empower students, while serving as a bridge to students exhibiting behavioral problems.
This year, the Calvert County Commission for Women, the Health Department, CalvertHealth Medical Center, College of Southern Maryland and its Kids’ & Teen College, and Barstow Acres Children Center are collaborating during the Commission for Women’s 5th annual Health Expo to increase awareness and provide information to address behavioral and mental health issues affecting Calvert County families. We encourage you to take the first step by attending the 2018 Women’s Health Expo.
It takes a village and we can help by making a personal commitment to a troubled teen…start as small as a smile and hello. Join us this year to help our neighbors heal by linking with local resources that can increase your understanding of the issues.
Dr. Laurence Polsky of the Calvert Health Department will discuss behavioral health programs and teen depression. Sonia Hinds with the Barstow Acres Children will provide information on mental health issues facing teens today.
Join us to learn the latest warning signs and initiatives to promote mental health awareness among the growing population of teens. The 5th annual Women’s Health Expo will offer blood pressure, osteoporosis, skin cancer, hearing and dental screenings. The event takes place May 19, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the College of Southern Maryland, 115 JW Williams Rd (Off Rte. 231), Prince Frederick, MD.
Dr. Suzanne Haynes Margaret Fowler
Calvert County Commission for Women CalvertHealth Medical Center
Dr. Barbara Ives Dr. Laurence Polsky
CSM-Prince Frederick Campus Calvert County Health Departmen