Photo of college student volunteers who answered common questions for teens about college.

On Thursday, February 15th at 5:30pm the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission and Bridgeview Public Library, in coordination with Pillars Community Health, The Loft at Eight Corners, and the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Township, hosted a presentation on teen mental health. The presentation aimed to educate teens and parents about warning signs of declining mental health, symptoms of mental health conditions, methods of intervening, and protective factors. The increase in resources directed towards mental health comes as many students across the U.S. have reported increases in mental health conditions. 

Director of the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission Jasmine Lopez worked with Library Trustee Anna Ziaja-Castillo, who is also a trilingual school psychologist, to bring the programming to the library. 

“As a mother of four and someone who’s worked with students for years, I believe that having these important conversations surrounding teen mental health is vital for keeping our children safe and healthy,” explained Trustee Ziaja-Castillo. 

“Our goal at the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission is to expand our outreach and improve our programming for those who need it most,” explained Director Lopez. “We will continue to provide resources designed for teens with future events.” 

Also on Thursday evening was the Bridgeview Public Library’s All About the Degree event hosted by the Youth Services Department of the library to educate teens about college. Volunteers sat at tables and answered questions about why they chose to attend college, what helped them find their passion for their field, what scholarships they applied for, and anything else teens wanted to know about the college experience. Those attending the event would conveniently be able to view the mental health presentation, enabling the Bridgeview Library’s programming to support students in multiple ways at once. 

From left to right, Library Trustee Ana Ziaja-Castillo and Director of the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission Jasmine Lopez discuss the mental health presentation with the presenters.