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Understanding and Supporting
Our Teens’ Mental Health

Written by: Julia Smolucha

Monday, February 27 from 7–9 p.m. Culbertson Room

The Alison Tobey Smart Memorial Fund will be hosting a group of teen mental health experts to discuss key challenges facing our youth today, from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and self-harm to alcohol and drug abuse. The session is designed for Kenilworth Union Church parents and their friends.

We are thrilled to bring the expertise of five local experts to provide Kenilworth Union parents the latest in trends, approaches, and actions you can take to help your teen navigate these difficult times. The experts will provide an overview of each challenge—anxiety/depression, trauma/grief/loss, substance abuse, and eating disorders/self-harm—including what to look out for, alternate means of addressing, and where to go for help. After brief presentations on each topic, we’ll have a panel discussion addressing questions from the audience. It’s sure to be an informative session that will better prepare you for parenting today and tomorrow. Please contact Stacy Dale for more information.

Renee Dominguez, PhD, ED of Family Service Center

Renee is a licensed clinical psychologist. She joined Family Service Center in 2014, and has over 20 years of clinical experience. Dr. Dominguez earned her doctorate in clinical psychology, with a concentration in children and families, at the University of Houston in 2001. She has extensive training and clinical experience working with trauma survivors, and has taught graduate level courses in trauma at the University of Chicago and at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. In addition to overseeing FSC’s operations and providing clinical supervision, Dr. Dominguez engages in community outreach and education, and provides crisis support and counseling to children, adolescents, and adults.

Peggy Kubert, Erika’s Lighthouse

Peggy is a licensed clinical social worker, addictions counselor, student assistance trainer and parent educator. She has a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago, and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. Peggy has been with Erika’s Lighthouse since 2006, developing programs and working with schools to implement them. Peggy is passionate about supporting students, educators, and parents to help young people lead healthy, happy and productive lives.

Kim Hassenfeld, LCSW, Counseling Center of the North Shore

Kim has worked as a therapist for the past 17 years. She has worked in community mental health and in private practice and has been the Clinical Director of the Counseling Center of the North Shore for the past 3 and a half years.  Kim treats couples, families, and individuals with a range of clinical issues and has a special interest in treating those with complex PTSD and relational trauma.

Andy Duran, Chief Executive of LEAD

In the past 9 years, Andy has taken LEAD from a small community organization into a Nationally recognized prevention organization that offers programs and services all over the country. One of his biggest accomplishments is the development of Text-A-Tip, a 24/7 crisis text line that is now available to more than 10 million people. Andy speaks hundreds of times per year in schools, churches, and communities across the United States.

Sarah Russell Hill, Midwest Counseling & Diagnostics

Sarah is located at the Northbrook Midwest Counseling & Diagnostics location. She treats teens and adults struggling with all types of eating disorders and is also trained in Family Based Treatment (FBT) for adolescents and young adults with anorexia. Sarah is passionate about helping individuals experience the freedom that recovery from an eating disorder can offer, and helping family members best support their loved ones in that recovery process. In addition to seeing clients with eating disorders, Sarah also works with those struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD and self-harm.

On a more personal note, Sarah grew up attending Kenilworth Union Church and was actively involved in choir and youth group. Sarah’s favorite memories at church were walking home from Sears school and stopping at the Manse to say hi to her much-loved youth ministers, and attending the annual Winter Retreat and Mission Trip. Sarah has returned to the North Shore and Kenilworth Union as a mom of two young children, and is excited to get involved and give back to this cherished community.