May 2017
In This Issue
Risky teen behavior can be a cry for help
by Jennifer Keener, Youth and Family Specialist

Often I hear, either among my friends or at work as a youth and family specialist, "Oh, that's a typical teenager for you." This gets me thinking ... how many behaviors are normal and do parents know the difference between normal and high risk behaviors?

Having two teenagers myself, I am in the midst of this reality and sometimes forget that they are just being teenagers. There is a saying that if your teenager doesn't tell you they hate you at least once in your life, you are doing something wrong. This is a teenage behavior that is normal. It is their job to push boundaries, with their primary goal being to gain independence.
It is important during this time to have clear boundaries and expectations for your teenager. Even though you may face resistance, teenagers still need and want boundaries. Boundaries create a safety net for them. When teenagers begin ignoring or pushing the boundaries, it can be a red flag that requires special attention.

YouthZone's Lori Mueller on Aspen 82 / The Lift
Lori Mueller | The Lift
Lori Mueller | The Lift

If you missed Lori on Aspen 82, check out the video above!
13 Reasons Why

You may have heard about the Netflix show "13 Reasons Why" - a mockumentary that  traces the two-year road toward a young woman's suicide, told two weeks after the event from the perspective of a friend to whom she had mailed a set of recordings. He in turn traces the pathway that led to her tragic death, seeking answers from others who are named in her narrative.

The show has been controversial, with varying reactions and discussions from parenting and mental health groups across the nation.  Many have asked YouthZone about our thoughts on the show.

While it's not our place to judge the show - we do think that the show has opened the door to discussion about suicide and mental health.  We hope that if teens are watching the program, parents are watching alongside them (or in advance so they can prepare for the questions and dialogue to follow). 

Mental Health America recently held a discussion group on Facebook and released some valuable resources that may be beneficial for families.  Of course, YouthZone is here for parents and teens as well - we're always just a phone call away.
Thanks to all that came out to the Elks Club sponsored 
BBQ and softball game on May 12!
Recent Donors and Supporters

Thank you to the Embrey Foundation who is once again gifting the funds needed for a summer art program with YouthZone kids!  Last year's Rifle art project was an amazing experience, and we're excited to receive a $67,000 grant from the Embrey Foundation for a summer 2017 project.  Please stay tuned for more details!