On Sept. 24, send a message that isn’t a text

Tue, 09/19/2023 - 11:15am

Show up for Midcoast kids to send a message that youth mental health matters to all of us. Because it does. “Nearly every family in our state is affected by mental health issues,” says Shannon M. Parker of Hearty Roots, “and while we’re all still learning the necessary tools to navigate open, honest conversations about intensely personal health issues, we’re well-versed in the dire social impact we collectively absorb when mental wellness isn’t supported.”

Hearty Roots serves Midcoast youth with a mission to “get kids off the grid and into their hearts” and they’ve chosen the Harbor Theater as the place to shed light on the connection between mental wellness and screens. The collaborative, exploratory evening will highlight screen addiction, social media use, and social media abuse. Hearty Roots will discuss how a mindful, supported approach to getting kids off screens and back to nature can help youth get rooted in positive childhood experiences.

Whether conversations about youth mental wellness are new ones for you, or you’re professionally immersed in the field, Hearty Roots and Boothbay Theater invite you to join teens and adults for a powerful evening that will include three major components. One, a viewing of the Childhood 2.0 documentary. Two, a conversation with a panel of local teens who will candidly share their challenges, needs, fears and aspirations around mental wellness and a positive future. Three, resources provided for all participants to help engage and inspire teens beyond the noise and distraction of social media and other everyday challenges.

Hearty Roots is proud to partner with Harbor Theatre for an event sponsored by Tyler Tibbetts Realty. The evening of authentic conversation will center around how we each hold the power to make a difference with each other, for each other. “It’s well documented that kids in Maine struggle with mental health issues at a higher rate than kids nationally— one in four to be exact. Nationally, it’s 1 in 6,” Parker continued. “Both are harrowing statistics and generally accepted as being lower than the actual number of kids in need. Maine has a catastrophic lack of Maine providers and years-long waitlist--all making it hard to access support. Yet right here in the midcoast, we have ways of reaching kids now. Meeting youths and their immediate needs now. When it matters,” Parker said. “Hearty Roots welcomes the community to turn out for this event. A standing-room-only crowd demonstrates to teens that our community is here. Our community is listening. And we are proactively meeting the needs of youth and those they love.”

Admission to the 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 24 event is free, with a suggested $20 donation. All proceeds support our scholarship fund, making mental health support and outdoor adventure accessible to all.