1 year ago


The Wilmette Beacon 021617

4 | February 16, 2017 |

4 | February 16, 2017 | The wilmette beacon news Adolescent Health Summit addresses issues facing North Shore teens New Trier, Loyola, Wilmette Police among participants Alexa Burnell Freelance Reporter There are many reasons why the North Shore is an idyllic place for a young person to grow up, but that doesn’t mean they won’t encounter some struggles on their path to adulthood. The pressure to succeed, the fear of revealing inadequacies and the temptation to experiment with alcohol or drugs, can become overwhelming for some, motivating school officials and the New Trier Township to explore the causes, understand the complexities and strive to find solutions. Dr. Tim Hayes, assistant superintendent for student services at New Trier, explained that throughout his career, he is often asked by parents, teachers and youth services professionals how to best help kids who are struggling. For this reason, he partnered with Lauren Bonner, assistant dean at Loyola Academy and Jeanne Winsted Rosser, a licensed clinical social worker and the social service administrator at New Trier Township, establishing the first Adolescent Health Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at New Trier’s Northfield campus. The event brought together like-minded professionals who are part of the Township’s crisis response network to discuss the trends they see as it relates to anxiety and depression, substance abuse, school “It’s important to note that there are so many kids who are performing successfully across the North Shore, but for those who are struggling we want to find the best, most comprehensive way to help them.” Lauren Bonner — assistant dean at Loyola Academy, discussing the need for the Adolescent Health Summit on Feb. 8. refusal and LGBTQ+ related topic. “What we hope is to give people a chance to talk to and connect with professionals that they may not ordinarily have a chance to meet with,” Hayes said. “Problems are multi-faceted. For example, a teen struggling with depression may also have struggles at school or at home. Each professional can help one another by sharing their insight and expertise. We believe this will allow us to be most successful in helping those students who need it most.” Among the organizations in attendance were the Wilmette Police Department, bringing insight into alcohol and substance abuse among teens; Erika’s Lighthouse, addressing teen depression and anxiety; Angles of Northfield, discussing sexual health, identity and education; and Compass, a psychiatric care center located in Northbrook. Bonner said she was excited to be asked to chair the event, hoping to gain a better understanding of the issues at hand. “It’s important to note that there are so many kids who are performing successfully across the North Shore, but for those who are struggling we want to find the best, most comprehensive way to help them,” Bonner said. “The Summit is a wonderful way to facilitate conversations among professionals, look at the trends, and learn from one another so that we can best help our youth.” Winstead Rosser said she believes the Summit allowed her to tell the community about the many resources the Township has to help residents in need. She explained they run 50 programs through 35 agencies all with the goal to better serve the community. To her, sparking conversation can only lead to good things. 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