Response Teens

New HBO show, “Euphoria,” shines a stark light on adolescent issues

There’s a new teen drama on HBO that parents will want to know about. Euphoria follows "a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship." Euphoria will no doubt attract a teen audience. JCFS Chicago Response for Teens encourages parents and caregivers to watch Euphoria – and other teen-oriented shows – with your children. Here are some additional tips for talking with your kids about provocative media.

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The JCFS Associates Board: Engaging the Next Generation

Through advocacy, leadership development, fundraising, volunteerism, and service projects, the JCFS Associates Board  - a dedicated and enthusiastic group of young professionals who are passionate about promoting the work of JCFS Chicago - hopes to act as ambassadors, encouraging younger generations to become more involved with JCFS. “We believe in the importance of social service and giving back to the community. We are proud to become ambassadors for the next generation of JCFS leaders and are excited to share everything we have in store,” says co-chair Karly Worth.

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You Can Make a Difference

The JCFS family of services works to strengthen the lives of over 30,000 people in the Chicago area each year. Our support for people with disabilities, career and employment services, therapeutic education and teen outreach strengthens the emotional and economic well-being of children, adults and families. Thanks so much for joining with us in this work.

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Reaching for Freedom: Teens and Independence

A teenager balks when his mom asks what time he’ll be home. Another groans when asked about their homework status. Another teen puts on make-up at school, out of their parents’ sight and judgement. And another stays in his room, a lot. These youth are negotiating one of the most common developmental concerns for teenagers: Gaining a sense of independence as they move slowly toward adulthood.

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Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) Awards $5,000 Grant to Response for Teens’ Operation Snowball

Congratulations to Debra Mier, Kelly Grover, Ellie Molise and the staff of Response for Teens' Operation Snowball program, who are recipients of a $5,000 grant from the Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF). Response for Teens is among 35 agencies that were awarded HPCF grants for 2017. This year’s grant will allow Response for Teens to serve 40-50 students from District 113 in the 2018 Operation Snowball Program.

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Thinking about Coming Out? Here’s Some Advice

October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a time to celebrate anyone who announces their LGBTQ identity. Coming out takes courage, pride, and self-esteem. For some, it is a joyful experience, filled with support and acceptance from family and friends. For others, it can be scary or even risky.

If you’re thinking about coming out as LGBTQ, here are some things that may help make it a safe and positive experience.

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Coming Out: How to Support Your LGBTQ Teen

In honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11), we celebrate those who bravely choose to live openly as LGBTQ. Coming out is always emotionally charged—not only for the person doing it, but for those they’re telling. For LGBTQ teens, who are often reliant on the adults around them for support and protection, the decision to come out can be extra-emotional and filled with uncertainty. They may be deeply scared of suffering rejection (or worse) at the hands of loved ones.

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Response Responds to "13 Reasons Why"

By Robin Stein, LCSW
Director, Response

True confession… I binge-watched the entire Netflix series titled “13 Reasons Why!” My initial reaction was that it was a show that covered truisms that many adolescents face in today’s world (bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment, isolation, drunk driving, parent-teen communication issues). The characters were well developed and, while often graphic and painful to watch, I thought it did a good job of addressing some pretty dicey subject matter. But after processing the series more with colleagues, I began to have concerns about some of the missed opportunities to more transparently shed light on the theme of mental illness; something that impacts one in five teens in our society today. While we occasionally see Hannah and Clay (two of the main characters), sitting alone in the lunchroom or apparently feeling invisible in classroom scenes, the only references to mental illness are within Clay’s family scenes, when mom identifies that perhaps he might want to return to therapy or re-start some medication; she’s concerned about him.

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