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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Unraveling the connection between teen depression and substance abuse

Dr. Michael Jellinek
(Photo by Sarah Brezinsky for the Boston Globe)


The statistics are sobering: More than 800,000 teenagers in the US suffer from depression each year and more than 500,000 make a suicide attempt that requires medical attention. Often, experts say, those teens have been experimenting with or using drugs and alcohol.

To shed more light on the problem, a panel of speakers will share information on this topic next Thursday at a free Newton-Wellesley Hospital forum. The speakers will include:

* Dr. Michael Jellinek, an expert on child psychology and president of Newton-Wellesley Hospital;
* Jeffrey M. Young, Newton school superintendent;
* Nadja Reilly, director of a depression prevention initiative at Children’s Hospital;
* Chris Fortunato, vice president of teen and adult programs at Newton Community Service Center.

The forum will be held at 7 p.m. in the hospital's Shipley Auditorium.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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