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FORTitude for Parents is an online discussion series where we invite mental health professionals and wellness experts to provide parents with resources and guidance on how to better understand, support and improve their relationship with their teens. 

 

Every month we select a topic relevant to our current environment and each discussion includes Q/A. Questions can be submitted in advance through the registration process or real time during the program. Mental health experts and teens are also welcome to attend these events.

 

July FORTitude for Parents

What My Parents Wish They’d Known

SAM ANTHONY SPEAKS

July 22, 2021 at 7 PM

Drugs, alcohol, bullying, sex, depression, anxiety.

It’s not IF they will be exposed to these influences but WHEN.

Sam Anthony, an overdose survivor and recovery advocate, shares his personal experience to help you discuss these difficult topics with your kids.

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Sam Anthony

Sam Anthony is a professional speaker, in recovery from substance use disorder, who uses his personal experiences with drugs, alcohol, depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, recovery, mental fitness, spiritual fitness and physical fitness to educate and motivate others.

He took his first drink at 12 years old as a means of hiding his anxiety and depression, in addition to trying to fit in with his peers. As he puts it, “I don’t know what you thought about me, but I was really concerned with what I thought you thought about me.”

He moved on to smoking weed and trying pills in high school, what he refers to as gateway behavior, and that led him down a path of destruction. Running away from his problems, he left New Jersey and moved south in hopes of starting over but everywhere he went, there he was.

What started off as self-medication turned into a vicious cycle or addiction leading to an overdose that landed him on life support in 2013. Thinking he could still function without help and counseling, he then continued an unhealthy lifestyle and subsequently was arrested and sentenced to 3 years in jail in 2015.

Since that time, Sam has passionately shared his story with thousands of high school and college students, health care professionals, and government officials through motivational talks, school assemblies and panel discussions. Sam's mission is to inspire others, provide hope for the future and educate our youth through sharing his vulnerability. Sam’s message emphasizes awareness and encouragement. He lives in Virginia with his loving wife Rachel and two sons.

 

August FORTitude for Parents

August 19, 2021 at 7 PM

ADHD, Self-Harm and Suicide;

A Discussion of How These Behaviors Are Related

Do teens diagnosed with ADHD have higher suicide rates? Is self-injurious behavior, such as cutting, a bellwether for later suicide attempts? Join this discussion to learn about the science that links impulsivity with suicide and what to watch out for in your child.