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Familylinks Hosts Public Discussion on Teens and Mental Health

Parents are invited to ask experts questions and get answers

Familylinks and the Upper St. Clair Youth Steering Committee are hosting a panel discussion for parents about teens and mental health, featuring Dr. Jonathan Pletcher, clinical director of the Dept. of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

“Teens, Hormones and Moods: What You Need to Know about Adolescent Mental Healthwill be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the Upper St. Clair Community and Recreation Center, 1551 Mayview Rd., Upper St. Clair, Pa., 15241. This event is free and open to the public.

This panel discussion will provide parents with the tools they need to recognize mental health issues in adolescents and information about where to find the necessary resources for help, in addition to answers to their personal questions.

The panel will be led by Familylinks’ Director of Behavioral Health Paul Tedesco, who will serve as the moderator, with Familylinks’ Program Manager Theresa Zurku, LPC, and Behavioral Health Clinical Coordinator Sarah Ingram, LCSW, serving as the other panelists who will discuss these issues.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, suicide is the third leading cause of death of people ages 15 to 24. Four million young people in America suffer from a serious mental illness, for which only 20 percent will ever receive treatment, while 65 to 75 percent of youth in juvenile detention have at least one untreated mental illness.

Dr. Pletcher’s practice focuses on youth with special health, emotional, learning, or social needs. As the clinical director for the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital, he develops and implements clinical models that respond to the needs of youth as they transition to adult roles and responsibilities. He is actively involved in medical education at all levels, and advocates for improvements in health and social care systems, particularly to improve access and quality of services for youth with combined physical and behavioral health needs. 

Theresa Zurku, LPC, is the program manager of Familylinks’ Short-Term Enhanced Programming (STEP), which provides intense support for children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional challenges through mobile therapists who work in collaboration with families and other providers at home, in school, and in the community. She has worked at Familylinks in various capacities for more than 20 years, specializing in work with transition-age youth. She also has co-facilitated suicide prevention trainings within the Familylinks training department.

Sarah Ingram, LCSW, is the clinical coordinator for Familylinks’ Behavioral Health division. Sarah fosters the clinical model development of, and develops service growth opportunities for, Familylinks’ mental health programs. She also has developed treatment plans and provided mobile therapy to children and adolescents ages 6-21.

Familylinks is a nonprofit human services organization dedicated to providing integrated, family-centered services focused on behavioral, social and developmental health issues.  For information regarding services please call 412-661-1800 or visit


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