M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Laura Sanchez (left), Dr. Janet Lindow (center), Esmy Jimenez (right)

Lifting the Fog: Mental Health and Children

April 27, 10-11 AM Pacific

Studies show that 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Due to the pandemic, many of our children spent formative years in sudden isolation, and they are emerging out of it into a society driven by social media, polarization, and other cross-pressures that, combined with the typical challenges of adolescence, leave them confused and struggling. It is no surprise that in 2021, more than 40% of youth felt persistently sad and hopeless, and nearly one-third experienced poor mental health.

The good news is that youth are resilient, and there are people across the Pacific Northwest working tirelessly to improve conditions of mental and emotional wellness for our children. Join us for this important conversation with Dr. Janet Lindow of Rural Behavioral Health Institute, Laura Sanchez of Ophelia’s Place, and Esmy Jimenez of The Seattle Times as we discuss practical steps we can take to raise resilient children and create conditions of flourishing in our schools, homes, and communities.

Dr. Janet Lindow, Rural Behavioral Health Institute

Janet Lindow, PhD is the Executive Director of the Rural Behavioral Health Institute (RBHI) in Livingston, Montana and a suicide prevention researcher at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Janet received her doctorate in microbiology at MIT and then completed two post-doc fellowships in drug discovery and vaccine development for infectious diseases of poverty.

In 2016, Janet’s passion for finding solutions to difficult public health challenges brought her to the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University. At the Center, she and Matt Byerly, MD, focused their research on suicide prevention among youth (Youth Aware of Mental Health and Good Behavior Game interventions) and digital treatments for depression and anxiety (Thrive) in rural areas where therapy was sparse or not available. In 2020, Janet co-founded RBHI, a 501(c)(3) public charity, to implement evidence-based, digital interventions to reduce youth suicide in Montana and similar rural regions of the US. When not working, Janet can be found in the beautiful mountains of Montana, hiking or skiing.

Laura Sanchez, Ophelia’s Place

Laura Sanchez (she/her) is the Executive Director of Ophelia’s Place, a prevention-based organization dedicated to helping girls make healthy life choices through empowerment, education, and support. Ophelia’s Place has three locations, in Eugene, Junction, and Albany, OR.

Prior to being the Executive Director, Laura was OP’s Vice President of Programs and oversaw all direct services and programs to youth and the community. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor in the state of Oregon, as well as a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC). Laura is also a nationally certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Therapist.

Before her time at Ophelia’s Place, Laura was a mental health therapist specializing in the treatment of trauma of youth, ages birth to 18. She has been with Ophelia’s Place since 2012.

Esmy Jimenez, The Seattle Times

Esmy Jimenez is a reporter covering mental health at The Seattle Times. During her time, she’s profiled young, Latino voters for a national collaboration, reported from dozens of protests for racial justice in 2020, and covered the detention and deportation of immigrant youth. She’s a former investigative fellow with Reveal & The Center for Investigative Reporting as well as the ProPublica Data Institute and has earned both print and audio awards for her work.

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