Counseling offered to children, adolescents at Rawhide Youth Services

NEW LONDON, Wis. (WBAY) — Two of the most recent mass shootings in Texas and New York were both believed to have been committed by 18-year-old men.

Investigators noted in both incidents that the teens shared disturbing messages on social media.

“Social media is a difficult space for young people who are not yet mature. They’re not mature in their thinking, they’re not mature mentally,” Rawhide Youth Services Community Services Director Danny Stone said.

Rawhide Youth Services is dedicated to providing counseling to troubled youth.

Stone says one of the biggest challenges Rawhide faces is the stigma of discussing mental health. This is where parents can step in to help break down barriers and start normalizing the conversation around her.

“Our nation and our communities are struggling with this because there is a stigma. A 15-year-old is not going to say I have issues and I want to talk about it, it’s the same with a 16-year-old woman,” Stone said.

Focusing on prevention work through counselling, Rawhide will be present in 30 schools in our region starting this fall.

Stone says it’s hard for teens to verbalize what they’re going through. Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has seen adolescents suffering from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five young people between the ages of 3 and 17 suffers from a mental behavioral disorder.

“It’s normal as parents to know that you have more influence than you think. Sometimes we hold back. it’s okay to step into that space to talk with your son or daughter to be alert,” Stone said.

Rawhide says one of the biggest challenges he faces is the stigma of discussing mental health.

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