New Philadelphia, Ohio - Tuscarawas County school counselors are bringing the community back together for another discussion on the challenges facing today’s youth.
The Tuscarawas Area Counselors Association is partnering with local school districts to host a community-wide forum on teen mental health and risky behaviors on Tuesday, March 12th, at the Performing Arts Center. Organizer Lindsey Tidrick says this is something they started last year to begin a dialogue about some difficult topics.
“Last year, we did an event based on suicide, and we did it at the PAC, and we had speakers. We actually had the mental health counselor from Perry High School come down and speak,” she says. “We had a counselor speak and the local sheriff’s office speak and it went really, really well. So the Tuscarawas County Counselor’s Association wanted to keep that momentum rolling.”
Tidrick says this year’s forum will focus on addiction and what to do when somebody is struggling and doesn’t want help. She says several panelists will be weighing in on this discussion including Jennifer Callentine, who lost her step-son, Canaan, last year to a drug overdose.
“He struggled with addiction, and she’s going to share her story,” Tidrick says. “He was over the age of 18, and that’s a hard thing because once they hit a certain age, you can’t force them to do anything.”
Other panelists include Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell, Natalie Bollon and Haley McFarland. Bollon is the executive director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Tuscarawas and Carroll Counties. McFarland is a therapist and supervisor at Personal and Family Counseling Services.
Tidrick says the free event is open to adults and students in grades 8-12 and will begin with an opportunity for people to learn about the resources available in the local community.
“We will have basically every health and mental health and counseling and addiction agency there with resources, you can ask them questions,” she says.
Doors open at 6:30 pm for the resource fair, and the main program begins at 7.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV