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SPARK to host meeting on anxiety, depression
By Chris Roark, firstname.lastname@example.org
A local organization is hoping to provide parents and students the tools they need to detect depression in a loved one before it's too late.
Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids (SPARK) will host a town hall meeting from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 4 at Carroll Senior High School to address anxiety and depression. The event is for children in grades seven through 12, as well as adults.
The meeting will feature a presentation from the Grant Halliburton Foundation, which was established in 2005 as a memorial to a 19-year-old man who battled depression and bipolar disorder before committing suicide. His talent for music, writing and drawing can be seen on the foundation's website, www.granthalliburton.org.
"We want to provide information on the warning signs of depression and what to say when someone says something to you about this," said Suzanne Mast, who serves on the SPARK board of directors.
Mast said teens have more stress now than ever, and knowing how to seek help and recognize troubling signs is crucial.
"We look at the amount of stress that today's teens are under," Mast said. "And there is an inability of knowing what to do when they or a friend is in need."
Mast points to several events during the last few weeks that have hit the Carroll ISD community and surrounding areas hard, including the death of two CSHS students in January from a drug overdose, a plane crash that killed two CISD students and two of their relatives, a suicide by a CSHS student and the loss of a CSHS student from cancer.
"There have been a number of tragic deaths in our area recently," Mast said. "Seeing our youth dying has become a lot more prevalent. And it's obvious that people don't always know what to do when they're upset. This program will teach people what they should do when they feel like there is no where else to go but down."
According to The American Psychiatric Association, one in five young people in the United States suffer from a diagnosable, treatable mental illness. But nearly two-thirds of them get little or no help.
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