Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (YFS) and its community advisory board are presenting a forum on “Successful Parenting on Mercer Island: Harmful Stress and Its Impact on Teen Health” from 7-8:30 p.m. on April 3 at the Community and Event Center.
The community advisory board consists of Island adults and youth appointed by the mayor. These volunteers serve as a sounding board and offer recommendations on policy and practices, and organize an annual community forum on a topic of interest aligned with the YFS mission.
Addressing anxiety among Island youth is a priority for YFS’s Healthy Youth Initiative (HYI). The HYI Mental Health Action Team, comprised of Island volunteers and YFS staff, notes that 58 percent of 8th Graders, 60 percent of 10th Graders, and 70 percent of 12th Graders report being bothered by feeling nervous, anxious or on edge.
The forum is a “fireside chat” style, featuring a panel of youth and adult professionals, and includes discussion among participants on the tangible approaches parents can take to help their child cope with anxiety. Discussion will also include information on deciding when to get professional help for your child.
YFS Director Cindy Goodwin, who will also moderate the event, points out that, “the way the Island tends to define what it means for a child to be successful is part of the problem — as a community, we need to embrace the assets afforded by relative affluence and a great school system, while pushing back on the norms that support excessive and institutionalized pressure to succeed as the cost of social-emotional health.”
YFS and the board invite Island parents and teens (middle to high school age) to attend this free event; drinks and light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact YFS Program Manager Derek Franklin at email@example.com or call (206) 275-7745.