Hauppauge, NY - On Wednesday evening, Legislator William R. Spencer, MD was honored to join forces with the Suffolk County Medical Society and five knowledgeable professionals, to moderate an information session for Suffolk parents on teen wellness, social stress, and mental health.
“With the pressures of fitting in, managing social and family lives, the stress of getting into college and figuring out how to pay for it- topped with changing bodies and having to navigate the world of social media that often affects self-worth; maintaining mental and emotional health as a teenager is becoming more and more challenging,” stated Legislator William Spencer. “As reports continue to show increases in depression, anxiety, and suicide among teens and young adults, we are faced with a very real problem.”
To help parents recognize and understand the signs of depression, how to react if they believe their child is struggling, and what resources are available to assist, the panel provided an overview of the topic by discussing risk factors, intervention options and crisis management resources. They emphasized the importance of hope, connection, and peer mentoring as a tool to reach those at risk, and highlighted the link between substance use and mental health. Audience members were encouraged to participate in a Q&A session which followed.
A special thanks to the panel members who participated: Hauppauge High School Principal, Christopher Cook; child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Rachna Sharma; health educator and public health and prevention advocate, Nancy Hemendinger; Executive Director of Response Crisis Center, Meryl Cassidy; and Matthew Neebe, a professional in the field of mental health and substance use treatment.