Programs target teen, youth behaviors

TEEN is a new healthy lifestyles intervention course

A new program targeting healthy lifestyles for teens is being offered through the Pediatric Clinic of Sweetwater Memorial.

TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, and Nutrition) is a 15-session program. This program is meant to complement and to build on the skills learned in the COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) program, which has been helping children for about four years.

Joshua Walker, the clinic's Child Life Specialist, leads both programs. Here's a breakdown of both programs

TEEN: This is a manual-based cognitive behavioral skill-building program. The healthy lifestyle intervention course is for teens to build upon the skills learned in the seven-session COPE program. It includes sessions on healthy nutrition and physical activity.

It's a very comprehensive and structured 15-week program that will help the participants gain knowledge and skills needed to make healthy lifestyle choices with regards to physical and mental health, Walker said.  

"For patients who have been through the COPE program and are interested in the additional eight sessions of healthy lifestyle intervention, they can call the clinic to get signed up immediately," he said. "There are some spots available."

COPE: It's a seven-week cognitive behavioral therapy program designed to build resiliency skills in children and teenagers. Openings are available in the program aimed at helping children, teens and young adults cope with stress and anxiety. The cognitive behavioral therapy-based program is aimed at helping anyone from age 8 to 21 who is struggling with anxiety and depression.

"We welcome new patients to explore the seven-session COPE program or the 15-session TEEN program," Walker said.

"I focus on supporting children and families in the healthcare setting," Walker said. "Our providers identify kids who are dealing with anxiety and depression and I am able to quickly start them on a course to gain some insight and skills that can help them thrive."

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-based programs are the gold standard for mild to moderately anxious and depressed kids and teens.

1 in 4 children, teens and young adults have diagnosable and treatable mental health conditions.

Less than 25% of this population gets the treatment they need.

Depression is a significant risk factor for suicide.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 24.

To find out more about the program or to make an appointment, call 307-212-7717.

For more on this and all Sweetwater Memorial has to offer, go to


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