Eat Chat Parent focuses on building resilience in teens

Events slated for Oct. 20 and 21 at two different middle schools

Teens have been met with a host of challenges during the pandemic, and there is the endless expectation for them to adapt. That’s true whether teens are in school, spending time with friends, playing sports, isolating and more. It’s tough for our youth to thrive in this environment.

Alex Yannacone, director of community programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center, will return to Eagle County to help teach parents and teens the skills needed to develop resilience.
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“Setbacks, problems and failures are an inevitable part of life. As your teen matures and takes on more challenges, they will experience more frustrations and complications,” said Amy Baker, family education manager for Mountain Youth, in a news release. “Teaching your teen resilience — the ability to recover, adapt and keep going — will help them excel in life, both personally and professionally.

“Building Resilience in Teens” is the focus of the second Eat Chat Parent presentation of the year, presented by Mountain Youth and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. The speaker series will come to Berry Creek Middle School on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and to Eagle Valley Middle School on Thursday, Oct. 21.

A free dinner will be provided at both events starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by the presentation from 6-7:30 p.m.

Alex Yannacone, a mental health expert, will explain skills and tactics to help teens build resilience, reduce stress and learn about resources accessible to them. Yannacone conducts training on mental health issues across Colorado as the director of education and community programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center. The mission of the Depression Center is to improve the lives of people with depression and mood disorders through clinical excellence, innovative research, community programs and education.

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“This workshop designed by the CU Depression Center will empower parents to connect with their adolescents to develop resiliency plans that not only support and strengthen the youth but the community as a whole,” Baker said. “Parents and teens are encouraged to come to this workshop together.”

“We hear a lot of people use the word resilience, however, most of us do not spend a lot of time developing the skills needed to be resilient or to foster this growth in our children, friends and colleagues,” said Dr. Casey Wolfington, the senior director of community behavioral health with Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. “This training will give you the tools to build your resilience muscle and understand how to encourage this growth in others.”

Yannacone has an extensive background in implementation and training for the prevention and intervention of mental health services and education. She is also a master trainer in suicide prevention training, including Question, Persuade, Refer and Working Minds. Attendees will walk away from this training with tools on how to bounce back and adapt to situations you can’t change so that you can thrive.

Eat Chat Parent is sponsored by Vail Health, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Alpine Bank, Vail Resorts Epic Promise, The Slifer Smith & Frampton Foundation, Eagle County Schools, El Pomar, Town of Avon, Eagle, Gypsum and Vail, Eagle River Foundation, Vail Valley Cares, SAMHSA, Wells Fargo, Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, and Eagle County Government for all of your support.

Mountain Youth was founded in 2001 and has grown over the decades, creating a safe place for conversation, giving young people a voice, providing accurate information and creating a community where all youth thrive.


When: Wednesday, Oct. 20 at Berry Creek Middle School and Thursday, Oct. 21 at Eagle Valley Middle School. Dinner at 5:30 p.m. and presentation from 6-7:30 p.m.

Ages: For parents with teens

Free child care: Reservations required as space is limited

Languages: Live Spanish interpretation available


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