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Samohi to Host Panel on Mental Health Crisis Among High School Students

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By Lookout Staff

April 24, 2023 -- Santa Monica High School will host one of six panels in LA County next month that address the deteriorating mental health of high school students in the U.S.

The panel -- "From Social Media to Substances. From Anxiety to Ideation" -- comes in response to the alarming findings of the Centers for Disease Control's "Youth Behavioral Risk Survey" taken in 2021.

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Released in February, the survey data "make it clear young people are experiencing a level of trauma and distress that requires immediate action,” CDC officials said.

"While the behaviors and experiences highlighted in this report tell a distressing story, partnering with schools to foster wide-reaching protective factors can improve the lives of adolescents."

The Ask the Experts Panel will take place May 11 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall, 600 Olympic Boulevard. Admission is free. Parents, teens, school faculty and community members are encouraged to attend.

Hosted by the award winning ONE ON CAMPUS program of the nonprofit ONE Recovery, the panel "will focus on addressing key areas of concern for the mental health of our youth and the importance of early intervention as a step toward prevention," School district officials said.

"Specific signs and symptoms of struggle related to depression, anxiety, substance use and abuse, self-harm and suicidal ideation will be addressed."

Participants will have the opportunity to ask the panel direct questions at the event or to submit questions in advance by sending an email to, organizers said.

The panel will be led Lynne Pedersen, a thought leader in the adolescent mental health field who founded ONE ON CAMPUS, which has been active on campuses in several Southern California School Districts since 2015, organizers said.

The panel features Dr. Timothy Fong, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and the director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, and Dr. Don Grant, an award-winning media psychologist who specializes in technology's impact on mental health.

The panel, which takes place during Mental Health Awareness Month in May, is funded by the LA County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH).

For specific panel members and community resources who will be available visit For free tickets Take Action Panel - Santa Monica Tickets, Thu, May 11, 2023 at 6:30 PM | Eventbrite

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