RYE, N.Y. -- A Rye YMCA panel of four professionals recently addressed critical challenges facing teens at a panel at Rye City Hall.
Teens are facing "academic pressure," "access to drugs and alcohol," "too much texting, sexting and social media," according to members of the panel. The meeting in late-January drew about 25 members of the Rye Y’s Healthier Sound Shore Coalition and guests with an interest in youth issues, representatives said.
The Healthier Sound Shore Coalition has the goal of creating long-term, sustainable improvements in lifestyle and health in Rye Y communities.
Dinah Howland, long-time chairperson of the coalition, asked panelists to discuss the issues seen in their work with middle and high school students. Panelists were asked to describe how their organization responds to these issues and to highlight any bright spots.
"While each panelist emphasized different aspects of the problem, all agreed that teens are facing more pressure than ever — whether on the playing field, in the classroom or at home," representatives said.
Peter Green, a social worker at Rye Middle School, said “teens feel responsible for academic success,” but are experiencing new pressure thanks to increased testing, according to a release. Green suggested parents be realistic in their expectations.
Scott Altabet, executive director of the Harrison Youth Council, said "overloaded schedules lead to sleep deprivation which leads to a lack of focus, resulting in kids who are stressed and exhausted," according to the release.
Janet Buchbinder, coordinator of Larchmont-Mamaroneck RADAR, said the group tries to support parents as well as students and that parents are often confused about how to deal with their teens, according to the release. Buchbinder also talked about the “Tiger’s Den,” a new space at Mamaroneck High School designed to support “the emotional, social, physical and mental health” of students, according to the release.