Library responds to the mental and emotional health of youth

(Tucson, AZ) The recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas brings into focus and highlights the growing crisis of youth mental health. Adolescent suicide has increased since the pandemic started and teens report poor mental health exacerbated by the isolation and associated trauma of school closures and other pandemic effects. “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide—and rates have increased over the past decade.” said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in his December, 2021 Advisory on the youth mental health crisis.

On Wednesday, June 22, Pima County Public Library (PCPL) is holding a Community Conversation for middle and high school-age youth to discuss the issue of mental and emotional health. Youth are invited to share their perspectives and participate in a forum designed to amplify youth voice and empower youth to help themselves and others. What exactly does it mean to be emotionally and mentally healthy, what actions can we take to achieve and maintain health, and what are some creative solutions to the crisis of youth mental health? Librarian Matthew Landon and mental health therapist Dr. Vicki Loyer will facilitate this 90-minute conversation designed specifically for youth.

Community Conversation for Pima County Youth
Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 2:00-3:30 PM
Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Ave

“The stage of adolescence is an amazing period in the development of young people. Like no other time in their lives, they are able to think of alternatives, and problem solve issues, in ways that are not possible at any other time in their lives. This can lead to out-of-the-ordinary solutions, backed by their energy and their excitement.

“Conversely, adolescence is a period of inexperienced judgment.  When trauma, crisis, or overwhelm is present, adolescents also think of things that lead them to out-of-the-ordinary solutions.  This is where community conversations come into play.  Allowing adolescents to verbalize their thinking and allowing them to benefit from the mature adult brain that can soothe, normalize, and detoxify what is overwhelming to the adolescent thinker,” said Dr. Vicki Loyer.

This conversation is sponsored by PCPL’s new Health Action Team. The Health Action Team uses writing, art, and the media arts to change the way Tucson thinks about youth mental health. For more information about this conversation or the Health Action Team, contact Matthew Landon,


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