PALM SPRINGS, Fla., July 3, 2019 – ​Retreat Behavioral Health, ​​​​a leader in mental health and substance abuse care, will host an informative panel conversation on adolescent and young adult mental health in middle, high schools and higher education, with an all-star lineup of expert speakers.


“The Mental Health Crisis: Protecting Our Youth”

Free, open to the public

Wednesday, July 24, 6-8:30 p.m.

Retreat Behavioral Health

4020 Lake Worth Road

Palm Springs, FL 33461

Appetizer and refreshments reception to begin promptly at 6 p.m. Panel begins at 6:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to confirm your space and party size; additional guests welcome. Email Jenna Moore: [email protected]

Complimentary valet parking will be provided.

Our kids are suffering.

America is experiencing a mental health crisis endemic in our education system, and statistics paint a picture that has never been so dramatic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than one in five young people ages 13-18 confronts a “severe mental disorder at some point during their lifetime,” and rates of depression and anxiety among similarly aged youth are gradually escalating with each passing year. 

What's more, over 47,000 deaths by suicide took place in 2017, with 1.4 million attempts, says the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Research has found that suicide is most prevalent among Americans ages 18-25 — young adults traditionally of college age.

Meanwhile, Generation Z — the estimated 74 million Americans between ages four and 24 — continues to be the mass shooting generation, familiar with lock-down drills and accustomed to the best practices to stay alive in the event that a gunman wielding a lethal weapon steps onto school property. This cohort of students suffered 24 school shooting incidents in 2018, resulting in 35 deaths and 79 injuries. 17 of those fatalities took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in one of the most notorious incidents of gun violence in U.S. history. In the first half of 2019, there have so far been 13 school shootings, culminating in two deaths and 20 injuries.

And that's just for the first six months of the year.

Living with these realities doesn't just make school more difficult for young people — it can prevent them from graduating altogether. Indeed, 40 percent of children with “emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders graduate from high school, compared to the national average of 76 percent,” says the Association for Children's Mental Health, adding that more than half of students over 14 years old who are saddled with emotional and behavioral disabilities drop out of high school altogether.

The public sector needs urgent solutions to address this crisis affecting the next generation of American citizens and leaders — and Retreat Behavioral Health is committed to being part of the healing process.

On Wednesday, July 24, Retreat will host “The Mental Health Crisis: Protecting Our Youth,” an informative panel conversation open to the public, aimed at counteracting stigma around mental health-related conversations and driving a productive discussion on how to equip our young people with the tools they need to take charge of their mental well-being at school and at home. Topics will include depression, anxiety, suicide prevention, the impacts of social media, bullying in the real world and online, LGBTQ+ and minority struggles, and more. Panelists will explore these topics through the prisms of middle and high school and higher education.

Panelists include:

Peter Schorr, Founder & CEO, Retreat Behavioral Health

Liza Piekarsky, LMHC, Mental Health Counselor, Retreat Behavioral Health

Cameron Kasky, Co-Founder, March for Our Lives

Allen West, Emmy-Award winning producer and documentary filmmaker, A&E's “Addiction Unplugged”

“In our overly wired world, with 24/7 social media and the hyper-connectivity that our youth confront every day, our children feel more isolated than ever before,” said Peter Schorr, Retreat's Founder & CEO, in a statement. “It's vital that we raise a generation that knows that they aren't alone, and help is out there. For parents, educators, community members, and kids, we are committed to ensuring that this panel generates a wellspring of fresh ideas and solutions.”

“Moderating this panel is a cause that's extremely close to my heart,” added moderator Reed Alexander, a journalist and moderator of the panel. “I'm intent on leading a discussion that's hopeful, optimistic, and leaves our audience with a more nuanced understanding of these issues — and how to solve them — than they have when they first walk in the room.”


Reed Alexander is a journalist, author, and Managing Editor at Retreat Behavioral Health, where he oversees Retreat's content and publications. In this capacity, he has concentrated much of his storytelling in the realms of mental health and substance abuse. Previously, he was a reporter for Dow Jones Media Group's Wall Street Journal digital network, assigned to MarketWatch/Moneyish. Prior to that, he began his career covering breaking world news for CNN International, based at the network's bureau in Hong Kong. A longtime advocate for the health and well-being of young Americans, Reed continues to be recognized for his co-starring role in the Emmy-nominated hit Nickelodeon sitcom “iCarly,” the network's longtime no. 1 show which manifested in his personal nomination for a Kids' Choice Award. Passionate about childhood nutrition, he wrote a cookbook published by Rodale Books which was praised as a “valuable guide for a new generation” of American youth by President Bill Clinton.

Source: Retreat Behavioral Health

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