‘Just Talk About It’ Discussion about Child Mental Health & Behavioral Issues Planned

Early intervention into adolescent mental and behavioral disorders is a critical component for a healthy adulthood.

St. Luke’s University Health Network–Behavioral Health Services is hosting “Just Talk About It,” a free 90-minute presentation by Sheila Gillin, LCSW, along with a licensed social worker and certified child and adolescent psychotherapist at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 in the Laros Auditorium, St. Luke’s–Bethlehem, 801 Ostrum Street.

“We know worldwide that 10 to 20 percent of children and adolescents have mental or behavioral disorders, and three quarters of them carry them into adulthood,” explained Amie Allanson-Dundon, Clinical Supervisor–OP/PHP Behavioral Health Services & PH/MH Integration. “It’s extremely important to address mental health issues early, and the ‘Just Talk About It’ program is important because it stresses that we don’t want to miss the boat on these issues.”

The program focuses on acting on prevention through early education before situations become critical and require crisis-based response.

Gillin, who has more than 15 years of experience in the mental health field, is the Clinical Director of Minding Your Mind and the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for Graduate and Undergraduate degrees at Bryn Mawr College.

The 90-minute program will be followed by a 30-minute Question and Answer session with Gillin and a panel of St. Luke’s experts, including an adolescent psychiatrist and a behavioral health therapist.

The presentation is designed to help adolescents, parents, teachers, school administrators, mental health providers and the community to:

  • Develop an understanding of the stigma associated with mental health issues among adolescents.
  • Learn to identify risk and protective factors associated with mental health issues.
  • Learn action steps to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues in our schools to better support our students.

“Just Talk About It” drives home a critical message about early intervention with behavioral health since just three out of 10 individuals needing mental health services seek them. This is part of an ongoing annual program series by St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Services.

“We thought it would be very wise to include a program on child and adolescent behavior,” says Allanson-Dundon. “We found a lot of important feedback on Minding Your Mind, and we’ve partnered with them and Sheila GIllin to speak with us.”

“Just Talk About It” is geared to understanding and reducing the stigma that surrounds destructive behaviors associated with mental health and behavioral issues in children and adolescents.

Registration for the program is required. Click here to register.

Note: This story was contributed by St. Luke’s University Health Network. Its publication is part of a news partnership between Saucon Source and SLUHN.

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