Experts tackle teen issues at summit

TeenTalk Summit panelists, from left, Jill Barron, Suzanne Koroshetz, Rudy Marconi, Alan Barry, director of the Department of Social Services of Greenwich; Stuart Adelberg and moderator Tony Pavia, a member of the Kids in Crisis board of directors.

TeenTalk Summit panelists, from left, Jill Barron, Suzanne Koroshetz, Rudy Marconi, Alan Barry, director of the Department of Social Services of Greenwich; Stuart Adelberg and moderator Tony Pavia, a member of the Kids in Crisis board of directors.

The state of mental health resources — and the critical need for them — in local schools was the focus of the first-ever “TeenTalk Summit,” hosted by Kids in Crisis.

A distinguished five-member panel, including Alan Barry and Stuart Adelberg of Greenwich, spoke of the need for renewed awareness and commitment to developing mental health counseling and resources for young people on the local level.

The panel discussed the importance of embracing a holistic view when helping children and families and why such comprehensive support is critical in helping young people succeed in school and in the community. Members of the panel spoke on the benefits of TeenTalk, a Kids in Crisis program that places trained counselors in area middle and high schools. These counselors provide a confidential support system for students dealing with the wide range of issues that arise in adolescence. A standing-room only crowd of town officials and school leaders were in attendance.

Dr. Barry, director of social services of Greenwich, and Mr. Adelberg, president of the United Way of Greenwich, were joined by a number of other mental health experts and local leaders, including Suzanne Koroshetz, principal of Brien McMahon High School; Jill Barron, president of the Connecticut Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine; Rudy Marconi, first selectman of Ridgefield; and Tony Pavia, principal of Trinity Catholic High School and member of the Kids in Crisis board of directors, who served as moderator.

Area schools interested in introducing the TeenTalk program into their curriculum should contact Denise Qualey, managing director of Crisis and Clinical Services at Kids in Crisis, at 203-622-6556.

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