New 4-H program for teens will provide information on mental health issues

LA SALLE COUNTY - Health is an important part of 4-H. After all, an entire H is devoted to it. Just like exercise and nutrition are a part of good health, mental health plays an important role in our daily living.

University of Illinois Extension is hosting a six-part online series for youth ages 13 and older called “Your Thoughts Matter.” This state-wide program will be facilitated by local Extension offices, and will help teens learn to define mental health, how to talk about it with family and friends, and how to help themselves and others. The sessions will include information on topics such as defining mental illness, self-harm, depression, anxiety, media messages, helping others, and exploring resilience.

Teens will join youth from across the state of Illinois to discuss topics affecting young people during these weekly Zoom meetings. Meeting dates are Nov. 10, 17, 24 and Dec. 1, 8 and 15 and will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Susan Sloop, 4-H Youth Development Educator for Clark, Crawford and Edgar counties, will be the moderator for the sessions with adult facilitators participating from each county that has youth registrants.

“It’s very important for youth to understand the role of mental health in our overall well-being,” Sloop noted. “We want to teach them to be part of the solution and give them the tools to promote action.”

All youth are welcome to participate. To register, please visit online at by Friday, Oct. 23. There is no fee to participate.

This program is not intended as a resource for those in crisis. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, please seek adult or professional help immediately.

For reasonable accommodation to participate in the webinars, contact Sloop at [email protected]

For more information or questions, the local contact is Beth Dellatori, Youth Development Educator with University of Illinois Extension, at (815) 224-0889 or e-mail [email protected]



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