April 3, 2024

Various Programs and Events for Teens and Their Parents to be Offered During ‘Care Be Aware’ Teen Mental Health Week April 6-13

Montgomery County’s “Care Be Aware” Teen Mental Health Week from Saturday, April 6, to Saturday, April 13, will address critical mental health needs of teenagers in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will showcase programs and events offered by Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL), Montgomery County Recreation and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“For far too long, there was a stigma about talking publicly about mental health,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I am pleased that those times have passed, and we are proactively encouraging our youth and their families to gather and learn about the resources we offer to help. Through the ‘Care Be Aware’ Teen Mental Health Week, we collaborate across multiple departments to address and engage young adults about their mental health. Teenagers are currently going through difficult times, and I appreciate the Montgomery County Public Libraries for coordinating this important event.”

According to study findings using data from the 2019 Global Burden Disease Study published in a recent issue of JAMA Psychiatry, “there was a high prevalence of mental disorders affecting children and youths, indicating that more than 1 of 10 (or 293 million) individuals aged 5 to 24 years globally live with a diagnosable mental disorder.”

The week-long “Care Be Aware” initiative will commence, with great generosity from the Friends of The Library Montgomery County, with a poetry slam featuring Grammy-nominated artist Queen Sheba and a resource fair to connect parents and teens with mental health professionals and local organizations offering support services. The kickoff will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center and Library at 11701 Georgia Ave., in Silver Spring.

A full schedule of events is available on the MCPL website.

The “Care Be Aware” Teen Mental Health Week events aim to shed light on mental health issues impacting teenagers, connect residents with mental health professionals and support services and encourage open discussion while fostering a sense of community and belonging for teens.

Throughout the week, various departments, libraries, schools and recreation centers will host engaging activities, allowing teens to develop healthy coping mechanisms and express themselves creatively. Teens can participate in interactive workshops on stress management, anxiety reduction and building healthy relationships.

For additional information about “Care Be Aware” Teen Mental Health Week, contact Tyler Chadwell-English via email at tyler.chadwell-english@montgomerycountymd.gov.

The Montgomery County Crisis Center provides free telephone and walk-in crisis services 24 hours a day/365 days a year. Services are provided by telephone (240-777-4000) or in person at 1301 Piccard Drive in Rockville (no appointment needed). If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide or needs emotional support, call or text 988.