Glenbard Parent Series to present special insights into teen suicide risks

GLEN ELLYN – The Glenbard Parent Series: Navigating Healthy Families will present “Behind Happy Faces: Suicide, Let’s Talk About It,” with Ross Szabo and Jason Washburn, at 7 p.m. Sept. 28, via Zoom.

Go to glenbardgps.org for the link to the webinar. A community conversation will follow with Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Janet Cook, a news release stated. The conversation will include resources for interventions and prevention.

To be placed on a reminder list for GPS events or to submit a question in advance, send an email to gilda_ross@glenbard.org.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens. GPS will bring two important perspectives together for this conversation.

When Szabo was a freshman in college, everything on the surface seemed to be fine. He was making friends, getting good grades and had a fun social life. However, no one could have imagined how many emotions he was suppressing. Hospitalized for attempting to take his own life during his senior year of high school, he tried to hide what he was feeling to convince everyone that everything was OK. That only lasted for so long. Szabo will share a story that resonates with young adults who put on a happy face to hide their true emotions.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Washburn will provide an understanding of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. He will talk about suicide myths and facts, suicide contagion, and risk factors, as well as warning signs. He also will provide prevention tips for adults and students.

Szabo is an award-winning pioneer of the youth mental health movement and CEO of the Human Power Project. He is the author of “Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health” and “A Kid’s Book About Anxiety.”

Washburn is the director of the Center for Evidence-Based Practice at Amita Health and a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he is the director of graduate studies for the master’s and doctoral programs in clinical psychology. He is also the director of research in the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

For further information, visit glenbardgps.org or contact Gilda Ross, the Glenbard Township High School District 87 student and community projects coordinator, at 630-942-7668 or gilda_ross@glenbard.org.