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Southlake Style

Coping through Communication

Jan 09, 2013 04:32PM ● By tina

SPARK to host Town Hall meeting for parents and teens

S.P.A.R.K. to hold Town Hall Meeting

by Tina Auten, Staff Writer

The death of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and yet something most parents shy away from discussing with each other and with their children.  However with recent tragedies both locally and nationally, the thought of losing a precious child is at the forefront of most minds these days.   As anxiety and depression become more pronounced in today’s society, parents and children alike, face the daunting challenge of having candid conversations about painful subjects that are often swept under the proverbial rug.

The American Psychiatric Association estimates that one in five young people in the U.S. suffer from a diagnosable, treatable mental illness.  Yet nearly two-thirds of them get little or no help.  Even more disturbing is this fact: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents.  No other disease claims more young lives than mental illness.

On February 4th, Students and Parents Against Risk to our Kids (S.P.A.R.K.) will host an open, honest, and much needed discussion about stress, depression, and suicide with a panel facilitated by students at Carroll Senior High School beginning at 7:30 pm.  Targeting students in grades 7-12, along with their parents, all are encouraged to attend this free town hall meeting.  This event will also be of particular interest to college students, counselors, family therapists, community leaders and parents of all ages. 

Many Southlake parents and kids have found previous S.P.A.R.K. events very informative and this event is no exception.  Presented in conjunction with the Grant Halliburton Foundation, this program will include how parents and children can talk to each other about painful subjects, how does a parent know when a child is struggling, what your child can do if they see a friend in crisis, and much more.

Students and Parents Against Risk to our Kids (S.P.A.R.K.) began when a group of Southlake residents gathered to discuss the various risks facing the children of the community.  It quickly became apparent there were many concerns and an urgent need for information on how to keep children safe.  A core committee began searching for speakers who would share their expertise with the group and as word spread about the meetings, the group began to grow.  Currently, the membership of S.P.A.R.K. is comprised of a wide spectrum of citizens in Southlake and is a resource for getting help for concerned parents and teens.  From parents and teachers to professionals and community business leaders, all are welcome to attend meetings or to volunteer.  For more information or to see available resources, visit S.P.A.R.K.