March, 2019
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from Chester County Department of MH/IDD

Focus on Teen Mental Health
Mental health concerns are common for teens as well as adults. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half of all lifetime mental health conditions develop by age 14, three-quarters by age 24. Mental health is crucial for young people to perform well in school or work, develop meaningful relationships and foster healthy lifestyles. Throughout Chester County, there are several efforts to address and improve teen mental health.

Since 2015, Chester County has offered Youth Mental Health First Aid, a national program aimed at giving adults the tools to recognize and help young people who are struggling. Now, in collaboration with Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, the National Council on Mental Health is launching Teen Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. to reach out directly to school students.

Many other mental health awareness events and learning opportunities are available locally. Use the links below to find out more.

March 7, 2:00 PM - Free Webinar, Emerging Young Adults, Preparing for Life After High School - offered though CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit).

March 21, 7:00 PM - Free Webinar , Understanding Teen Depression. This is offered through a Massachusetts-based national non-profit, Families for Depression Awareness. The organization provides education, outreach and advocacy to support families.

April 10, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Accessing the Child-Serving Services in Chester County - Representatives from Chester County's Departments of Human Services present information and describe how to access each system.

April 10, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, From Struggle to Strength with Kevin Hines - This advocate, author and national mental health speaker will discuss mental health and today's youth.

May 8, Youth Mental Health Day, scholarships available for youth who want to participate in an event in Harrisburg.

Summer Program - Anxiety Boot Camp for Teens, through West Chester University.

Youth Mental Health First Aid classes are offered regularly in Chester County. For more information, visit the MH/IDD website.

Teen Health Week 2019 - A Global Initiative  

April 1 - 7 is Teen Health Week. The observance began in Pennsylvania in 2016 and has become a global health initiative, bringing young people across the world together to raise awareness of how teens are affected by health issues. Throughout the week, partners around the world will host a series of events and programs to help young people take charge of their health and create healthy habits for the rest of their lives.

The main event is scheduled for April 5, and youth may participate and support the campaign through social media, @teenhealthweek and using #TeenHealthWeek2019.
Canine Partners for Life

For the past 30 years, Chester County has been home to Canine Partners for Life, a non-profit organization that trains and places service dogs and home companion dogs to assist individuals with a wide range of physical, neurological and cognitive disabilities. Pictured to the right is Matthew and his home companion dog, Hugo.

Tonya Guy is the Associate Director of Communications for Canine Partners for Life. Like many employees there, Guy began her 15-year association with the organization as a volunteer. “Having a service or companion dog can really be life-changing for someone with a disability. It can improve one’s quality of life and give someone more independence. It may help a child attend public school, rather than being home-schooled. It may give parents peace of mind,” Guy said. Read more .  
From ChescoLife - A Community Conversation about Mental Health

How does our mental health affect us as parents and caregivers? What about the impact on our kids, our families and our communities? What are our challenges in talking about, and taking care of the mental health of ourselves, children, and families? How can we do better? Let's talk about it!
Thursday, March 14, 2019 from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM 
Kennett Library, 216 State Street, Kennett Square, PA 29348
  Light refreshments will be provided. Preregistration is encouraged but not required.
Call Mabel Gall at 215.429.8383 or by email at

Suicide Prevention in Chester County

More than 3,200 people in Chester County were trained in the 2-hour suicide prevention course, QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) in 2018. The goal is to train even more in 2019. Chester County's Suicide Prevention Task Force, Chester County's Department of Mental Health, and the Chester County Intermediate Unit are working together to bring this life-saving class to high schools across the county. In addition, the Task Force provides QPR classes that are open to the community. Please click the dates below to find out more about upcoming classes.
CONFERENCE to Empower Single Mothers

The 7th Annual Single Mothers’ Conference is a day-long, free event brought to you by the Chester County Community Collaborative, along with the Chester County Women’s Commission. The conference gathers resources from more than 70 vendors in the area dedicated to various aspects of the lives of single mothers including health, family, childcare, legal aid, finance, resume building, work wardrobe, nutrition, and much more. A portion of the show floor will be dedicated to pampering expo-goers as well. Lunch is provided and free childcare so mothers are able to bring their kids and have a worry-free experience. Find out more at the conference website .
Check out our calendar of monthly meetings and support groups here .

Contact us if you have additions!
More Resources, Events & Classes

There are several other county departments that send out community newsletters and announcements just like this one. If you're interested, sign up with this link!

The Incredible Years - an evidence-based 20-week program developed in 1983 to help families with over-active, inattentive, non-compliant and aggressive children. Being offered at Child Guidance in Coatesville.

Chester County ACEs Coalition is a good resource to find out about Adverse Childhood Experiences. Check out the website.

Parenting Group from the West Chester University's Community Mental Health Services.

The National Alliance for Mental Illness has many resources for individuals and families.

Charting a Lifecourse - What's your vision of a good life? Learn about the Lifecourse tools, offered at no cost.

HE LP WANTED - Voice & Vision, Inc. is seeking an outreach and education person for Chester County.

Chester County Refer web - a user-friendly database for social services.
Chester County Department of Mental Health / Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA

Chester County Commissioners
Administrator: Linda Cox
Deputy Administrator: Candy Craig