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Your Thoughts Matter Online Series for Youth Ages 13 and Older

Health is an important part of 4-H. After all, an entire H is devoted to it. Just like exercise and nutrition are a part of good health, mental health plays an important role in our daily living.

Studies show that 1 in 4 American adults is diagnosed with a mental disorder in his or her lifetime. This statistic is similar for teens with 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a serious mental illness.

  • 20 % of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition
  • 11% of youth have a mood disorder
  • 10% of youth have a behavior or conduct disorder
  • 8% of youth have an anxiety disorder

University of Illinois Extension is hosting a six-part online series for youth ages 13 and older called “Your Thoughts Matter.” This 6-part virtual series will help teens learn to define mental health, how to talk about it with family and friends, and how to help themselves and others.

Participants will log into weekly Zoom calls on February 16, 23, and March 2, 9, 16, 23  from 5:30-6:30 pm. 4-H Youth Development Staff, Angela Miller- Jo Daviess County and Becky Gocken- Winnebago County, will be the moderators for the sessions.

According to Gocken, “It’s very important for youth to understand the role of mental health in our overall well-being. We want to teach them it’s okay to not be okay and talk about it.”

Interested youth may register online at by Monday, February 8. This opportunity is free of charge and open to all youth. 4-H membership is not required.

This series is not intended as a resource for those in crisis.