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Boys & Girls Clubs Honor Leaders at 1st Annual Teen Mental Health Conference

PHARR – Boys & Girls Clubs from Hidalgo County honored Judge Renee Rodriguez-Betancourt and Tropical Texas Behavioral Health as the first recipients of its Child & Adolescent Mental Health awards. The annual awards recognize individuals who have led the way as advocates for child & adolescent mental health issues in our region, and agencies who work to ensure access to services. “Mental health is an issue that should not be silenced, but given a voice; so that others, especially children, can receive the necessary services and resources to continue living a healthy and happy life”, said Judge Rodriguez-Betancourt. The awards were announced as part of Teen Talk: Be Kind to your Mind, the first annual teen mental health conference organized by the Youth & Family Support Services Division of Boys & Girls Clubs. Youth & Family Support Services, a collaborative of the Boys & Girls Club Pharr, McAllen, Edinburg, and Weslaco, brought together various speakers and exhibitors from throughout Hidalgo County to discuss issues that affect young people in our region. Topics included: mental illness, suicide, self-esteem, and the effects of social media. Speakers included representatives from Superior Health Plan, Andrew’s Journey, Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Evolving Steps Counseling, and Prisma Rehabilitation Services, Inc. A total of 120 teens were in attendance. Parent sessions on Stress Management, Understanding Teens, and Work & Family Balance, were also held as part of the conference. “We cannot do this alone”, said Alfredo Mata, CEO for the Boys & Girls Club of Pharr. “Agencies such as Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, who was honored here today, are making significant strides in child mental health. Knowing we can count on them as a willing resource and friend gives us confidence to continue this work of ensuring every child has access to mental health services”. The Youth & Family Support Services Initiative provides access to mental health services through promotion, prevention, and early intervention services. Through daily activities that integrate emotional wellness, community outreach, and events such as Teen Talk, their goal is to create a safe place where children and teens can express themselves freely, and get the help and resources they need to succeed. For more information on how you can help, contact Chief Executive Officer, Alfredo Mata, Jr. 956.781. KIDS or The Boys and Girls Club of Pharr is a proud United Way ...

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