San Antonio groups host teen-focused mental health resource fair

Free event Wednesday at San Antonio Jewish Community Center

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SAN ANTONIO – When it comes to parenting a teen or a tween, there can be those "tough conversations," but two local organizations are teaming up to help parents talk with their children about mental health matters.

"Mental health is at the forefront," said Talli Dolge, Jewish Family Service CEO. "Unfortunately, there are so many different, sad challenges that are going on today, especially with the internet (and) with what we are seeing in the media.”

Jewish Family Service and Rise Recovery are working together along with 11 other agencies to bring mental health resources to parents. They are doing that through a panel discussion called "Well, my kid is resilient, right?"

"We wanted to bring parents together to stop the stigma of mental health and to be able to start this conversation with their child and also with schools, with their pediatrician," Dolge said.

Some of the tough topics include bullying, eating disorders and substance abuse.

"We usually think about diagnosing depression and anxiety, but a lot of times, drugs and alcohol are involved," said Evita Morin, with Rise Recovery. "Because usually, they’re being treated with punitive behaviors like suspensions. A lot of times, our kids are suffering and not getting the help that they need.

"Nothing happens in a vacuum," Morin said. "We know when a teen is suffering or a tween is suffering from something, there's usually a number of complicated things going on. And so a parent can come into this event and look at an entire menu of opportunities and ways to address this child and what they’re going through.”

The free event is scheduled for Wednesday at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus of the San Antonio Jewish Community Center.

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About the Authors:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.