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JANUARY 26 @7PM

Youth Marijuana Use:
What Do We Know and What Should We Do?

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Kevin M. Gray, M.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Assistant Vice President for Advancing Research Partnerships

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). 

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Amid a shifting legal, policy, and public opinion landscape, we are all faced with an array of mixed messages regarding marijuana/cannabis and cannabinoids. This is particularly challenging when navigating approaches to messaging for youth, who are most vulnerable to adverse outcomes related to marijuana use. Dr. Gray will provide a scientific update on what is known about cannabis and cannabinoids, ranging from therapeutic applications to risks and harms, and will specifically focus on the implications of cannabis use during adolescent development. He will distill this information to inform recommendations for messaging, prevention, and intervention efforts to address youth marijuana use.

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DECEMBER 7 @7PM

Creating Stability in a Changing World
Cultivating Teen Mental Health in 2023

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Aaron Weiner, PhD, ABPP

Pyschologist

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The world is shifting - between emerging from COVID-19 precautions, war in Europe, climate concerns, and political polarization, society feels very different now than it did just a few years ago.  Although it's been stressful on all of us, youth have had the additional challenge of coping with these changes without the same perspective or mental tools as adults, leading to a nationally-recognized emergency in youth mental health.  As a parent, it can be difficult to know where to start - how to create a sense of stability for our children in a very unstable time.  Join psychologist Dr. Aaron Weiner for an exploration of three foundational principles in creating emotional stability - connection, structure, and confidence - and how parents can work with their kids to build these tools for emotional resilience from home.

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OCTOBER 25 @7PM

Thrivers!
A Roadmap for Building the Skills Our Kids Need to Thrive

Michele Borba, EdD

Internationally Renowned Educator, Best-selling Author, Parenting, Child Development & Bullying Expert

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As parents and caregivers, we want to see our children thrive; to see them achieve their goals and grow to be happy, productive adults. Join educational psychologist, Dr. Michelle Borba, author of the best-selling books Thrivers! and UnSelfie, who will share how traits such as confidence, empathy, integrity, and curiosity (among others) help set kids on that path. What’s more, she’ll share actionable steps parents/caregivers can take to help their children learn and develop these traits as they grow from grade school through high school and beyond, so they can thrive in an increasingly uncertain and complex world.

JUNE 1 @7PM

The Essential Parenting Conversations -
And How To Have Them

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Michelle Icard

Author; CNN parenting writer; TODAY Show parenting team

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Trying to convince a middle schooler to listen to you can be exasperating. Indeed, it can feel like the best option is not to talk! But keeping kids safe—and prepared for all the times to come when you can’t be the angel on their shoulder—is all about having the right conversations at the right time. And from a brain growth and emotional readiness perspective, there is no better time for this than their tween years, right up to when they enter high school. Michelle wil address the fourteen essential conversations to have with your tween and early teenager to prepare them for the emotional, physical, and social challenges ahead, including scripts and advice to keep the communication going and stay connected during this critical developmental window.

MAY 19 @7PM

Addressing Conflict, On Screen and Off 

Elizabeth Englander, PhD

Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center & Professor of Psychology

Bridgewater State University

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Raising kids today may feel like a dizzying set of issues: managing screen use (especially during a pandemic); promoting healthy social relationships; and avoiding "traditional" problems, like bullying, and technology-related problems, like excessive social media use and cyberbullying.  This presentation will focus on concrete, down-to-earth approaches that emphasize ways that parents can help build their child's emotional resilience, improve social skills, reduce screen time use (without constant conflict), minimize fighting and bullying, and help their child emerge successfully from a global pandemic.

APRIL 26 @7PM

The First Choice & A Second Chance

Stephen Hill

Speak Sobriety

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Stephen aims to knock down the stigma attached to the disease of addiction, educate the audience on the current drug epidemic, and set the stage for a powerful, honest and heartfelt story. During interviews with Stephen’s family, it becomes clear he had a great childhood. “No one saw this coming.” Stephen shows his audience, through his life experience, how addiction can unfold, the consequences of substance use, and how stigma contributed to his inability to recover. His storytelling technique allows each individual person to draw conclusions in their own meaningful way as it relates to their own life.

FEBRARY 16 @7PM

The Dangerous Truth About Today's Marijuana:
Johnny Stack's Life and Death Story

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Laura Stack, CEO & Founder

Johnny's Ambassadors

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On November 20, 2019, Laura Stack suddenly acquired the undesired wisdom of knowing what it’s like to lose one’s child, when her 19-year-old son, Johnny, died by suicide. He became psychotic after dabbing high-potency marijuana concentrates.  Laura founded Johnny’s Ambassadors, Inc., with the mission to educate parents and teens about the dangers of today’s high-THC marijuana on adolescent brain development, mental illness, and suicide. 

JANUARY 24 @7PM

Typical Teen Moodiness or an Emerging Mental Health Challenge? 
A Primer for Parents and Caregivers

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Diane DiGiacomo, M.D.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

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Parents and caring adults don’t want to overreact to teen moodiness, yet they also don’t want to ignore serious symptoms. This is a timely concern with the Surgeon General’s warning about the emerging youth mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, depression and anxiety symptoms have doubled since the start of the pandemic, with a rise in emergency department visits by  teens for suspected suicide attempts. Parents and caregivers need to know that mental health challenges in young people are treatable, and often preventable. Dr. DiGiacomo will address the developmentally normative signs of moodiness in teens and the red flags for depression and other psychiatric disorders. She will also share tips on how to respond constructively in interactions with your adolescent, as well as how to access and obtain psychiatric or psychological assistance, and community and school supports.

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