The Department of Youth and Family Services’ (YFS) Community Advisory Board (CAB) consists of Island adults and youth appointed by the Mayor. These volunteers serve as a sounding board for the Department and offer recommendations on policy and practices. Last year, YFS Director Cynthia Goodwin reworked responsibilities of the CAB to include offering an annual community forum on a topic of interest aligned with the YFS mission.
On April 3 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, YFS and the CAB present acommunity forum, “Successful Parenting on Mercer Island: Harmful Stress and Its Impact on Teen Health.” 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% of 8th graders, 60% of 10th graders and 70% of 12th graders report being bothered by feeling nervous, anxious or on edge.
The forum is a “fireside chat” theme featuring a panel of youth and adult professionals. The event includes coordinated discussion among participants focused on 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.
Director Goodwin, also acting as moderator for the evening, 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 CAB invite Island parents and teens (middle to high school) to attend this free event. Drinks and light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Derek Franklin, YFS Programs Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 275-7745.