From The Napa Valley Register: Expanded program to promote mental health among Napa County teens

September 27, 2018, by Register Staff

Mentis, Napa County’s Center for Mental Health Services, and Teens Connect, an organization that connects teens to resources, are expanding their joint school-based mental health services program.

Last year, Redwood, Harvest and Silverado middle schools, and Vintage, St. Helena and New Technology high schools received program services. The program is expanding this year to American Canyon Middle School, American Canyon High School, and Valley Oak High School.

Along with the original group therapy sessions, all campuses will be offering professional individual mental health treatment at no cost to students this year.

This program is critical for teens because 1 in 4 of youth report feelings of depression and/or anxiety, organizers said.

Teens are introduced to the services through a Teens Connect “Teen World Café” where conversations are facilitated, allowing students the opportunity to discuss their specific issues and needs around their emotional health.

“A teen’s world is completely different today than in generations past. There is constant pressure to succeed and be perfect in every aspect of a teen’s life,” said Rob Weiss, LCSW, executive director of Mentis. “They face this overwhelming burden from home, peers, at school and via social media, which makes it feel impossible to find reprieve. Our services help teens learn the skills they need to be resilient and overcome the hurdles that life throws at them.”

The program was launched last year with funding from Queen of the Valley Community Outreach, Adventist Health St. Helena and the Napa Valley Community Foundation, Napa County public schools, Mentis and Teens Connect.

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