April 28, 2015

May 7 Forum On Teen Mental Health Open to Parents, Teachers, Clinicians

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As state policymakers debate ways to improve mental health services for youths, the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org) is hosting a forum May 7 that will bring together parents, clinicians, educators and others to discuss ways to identify, treat and prevent teen depression.

“Uncovering Our Kids: Towards a Better Understanding of Teen Mental Health,” will feature a panel of experts in adolescent behavioral health who will lead a discussion about teen mental health screening, intervention and treatment.

Jeff Vanderploeg

Jeff Vanderploeg

The Conn. Health I-Team, in collaboration with ConnectiCare and Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, invites the public to come “talk openly about teen mental health, learn from experts, and help Connecticut reduce the stigma of depression and mental illness,” said C-HIT co-founder and editor Lynne DeLucia.

The event will run from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lyceum Conference Center in Hartford. Walk-in registration is welcome.

Dr. Harold Schwartz

Dr. Harold Schwartz

Panelists will speak about ways to identify depression in youths and how to intervene if necessary, and will give an overview of Connecticut’s behavioral health landscape. Speakers include: Dr. Harold (Hank) Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at the Institute of Living and vice president of Behavioral Health for Hartford HealthCare; Nancy von Euler, a parent advocate for suicide prevention whose 17-year-old daughter took her own life in 2009; Jeff Vanderploeg, vice president for mental health initiatives at the Child Health & Development Institute and an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at Yale University School of

Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson

Medicine; Kim Nelson, vice president of Children’s Outpatient and Community-Based Services at the Wheeler Clinic; and Jill Holmes Brown, a social worker and director of East Hartford’s School-Based Health Center Program. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy also has been invited to participate.

The panel will be moderated by Christine Stuart, editor-in-chief of the online news organization CTNewsjunkie.com.

Jill Holmes Brown

Jill Holmes Brown

“ConnectiCare is pleased to co-sponsor this forum so parents, teachers, doctors and others can speak openly about teen mental health issues.  With one in five young people suffering from behavioral health conditions, many families in Connecticut need help identifying disorders and seeking treatment.  We need to work together to increase timely referrals, reduce barriers to treatment and get our young people the resources they need to lead productive lives,” said John Harper, vice president and chief medical officer, ConnectiCare.

Nancy von Euler

Nancy von Euler

The panel begins at 6 p.m. and will be preceded by a social hour with refreshments.

Tickets are $10, with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Southern CT Chapter.

The Lyceum is located at 227 Lawrence St., Hartford; on-site parking is available.

For more information on attending the forum or becoming a sponsor, please contact Lynne DeLucia at delucia@c-hit.org.

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