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Prepping parents: Join a session to learn how to help your teens

Teenagers face many challenges, and all too often, those challenges cause mental health problems. Parents frequently don’t recognize the warning signs or know how to intervene. A presentation from Children’s Mercy can prepare parents to help teens address problems.

Community HealthCare System is joining with Children’s Mercy Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Shayla Sullivant to bring “Prepped and Ready: Parenting into the Teen Years” to communities around northeast Kansas. The presentation will be offered simultaneously at nine sites on Wednesday, April 21 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.  

The presentation helps equip parents for the transition into parenting teenagers and what steps they can take before a crisis develops. Dr. Sullivant will discuss highly sensitive topics, including suicide prevention, substance use, eating disorders, home safety such as storage of firearms and medications, screen time, and more.

According to Andrea Lutz, director of ancillary services at Community HealthCare System, her organization was eager to collaborate with Children’s Mercy and Dr. Sullivant to prevent tragedies.

“Too many young people are facing mental health struggles that are resulting in damaging behaviors or suicide. We hope to provide parents with advice and tools to help prevent these problems, and we thank area schools for working with us to offer this opportunity,” Lutz said.

Parents or guardians can register to attend the presentation at the school their student attends. Dr. Sullivant will present electronically, and the presentation will be simulcast on large screens at the following locations:

  • Centralia High School
  • Frankfort High School
  • Onaga Senior Center
  • Nemaha Central High School
  • Holton High School
  • Rock Creek High School
  • Wamego Middle School
  • Jackson Heights High School
  • St. Marys High School

Registration is required for each individual attendee. Because of the sensitive information that will be discussed, parents or guardians are asked not to bring younger siblings or other children to the presentation.

Those who attend the presentation will also have the opportunity to participate in Dr. Sullivant’s ongoing research. Instructions on how to join will be delivered during the presentation, and the first 100 households to participate will receive a toolkit to make their home safer.

“We’ve all heard too many stories about parents and teens struggling or wrestled with the tragic news that a young person in our community has died by suicide. We don’t want to hear that news again, and we know Dr. Sullivant’s presentation can help us understand how young people’s minds work and how we can assist them through difficult times,” Lutz said.

Find more information from Children’s Mercy or register at

1 comment

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  • Lura goff | Apr 7th 2021 @ 8:07 AM

    I would like to sign up please

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