‘Teens Gotta Talk’ program addresses teen mental health – WFMYNews2.com

Reports show suicide is a leading cause of death among teens in the U.S. The 12-week program addresses mental health issues specific to teens.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Keeping up with grades in high school is already stressful enough which is why mental health wellness during teen years is crucial.

So much so, pediatricians are calling the mental health crisis among kids a national emergency.

Creating an open and positive environment for students is a top priority for Teens Gotta Talk.

The 12-week program founded by Mental Health Greensboro is designed to address mental health issues that are specific to teens.

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“The program was created because of the gap of resources for teenagers,” Peer Support Coordinator Erin Hanes said.

“A lot of mental health services are there for adults and smaller children.”  

Reports show suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens aged 15 to 19 in the United States.

The peer support program focuses on three main points:

  • Stress management
  • Self-esteem
  • Suicide prevention

“We want to make sure that they know they’re not the only ones going through something,” Hanes said.

“They can learn how someone else copes with it versus how they cope with it.”

Teens Gotta Talk (TGT) is currently implemented as an after-school support group at Northwest Guilford High School.

Student Eleanor Long said the program started over zoom last year.

“Being a teenager is so intense,” Long explained.

“You have all these factors you have school; you have your home life. I feel like this past year with TGT has really opened my eyes to, wow I’m stressed a lot more than I am really aware of.”

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 Now meeting in-person, Long hopes the program expands to more schools soon.

“I think it allows students to really open up about their mental health, especially with covid we were really isolated and so having that open discussion really brought attention to how our mental health changes especially during our teenage years and going into adulthood.”  

TGT also partners with the Shield Mentor Program.

Once students finish the program, they qualify for the QPR Institute.

QPR is the most widely taught Gatekeeper training in the world.

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