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PITT HOSTS SIXTH ANNUAL TEENS AT RISK CONFERENCE

 PITT HOSTS SIXTH ANNUAL TEENS AT RISK CONFERENCE
 PITTSBURGH, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Depression, drug abuse,


alcoholism, school phobia, sexual or physical abuse and suicide are just some of the topics to be addressed at the Sixth Annual Services for Teens at Risk Conference, it was announced today.
 The conference, sponsored by Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will be held on Monday, Dec. 16, from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., at Benedum Hall, 3700 O'Hara Street, Oakland.
 David A Brent, M.D., chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Center at WPIC, will present recent research findings concerning the link between several psychiatric disorders and suicide.
 "School-aged children and adolescents with substance abuse problems, family problems and behavioral difficulties may be at a higher risk for developing psychiatric disorders," said Brent. These individuals often manifest such disorders through emotional and personality disturbances, social and academic impairment, and suicidal behavior.
 In the study, Brent conducted a psychological autopsy of suicide victims, and compared these adolescents to a group of randomly selected teens with identical demographics.
 "We were able to identify some fundamental risk factors for suicide and, in turn, develop strategies to prevent suicide," said Brent, who has received national recognition for his work on adolescent suicide.
 Key risk factors for suicide include: major depression; substance abuse; past suicide attempts; problems with the law, and other pressures such as disciplinary problems, physical abuse, and interpersonal conflicts with parents and peers; and finally, the availability of a handgun in the home.
 Conference participants will learn about the characteristics of adolescents who are at risk for suicide; dually diagnosed youths and preventive strategies; and the correlation between substance abuse and suicidal or "at risk" behavior.
 Two workshop sessions will identify the various psychiatric disorders teens-at-risk may experience as well as treatment and preventative approaches. Topics include:
 -- Dual diagnosis: focus on prevention;
 -- Behavioral family therapy with suicidal teens;
 -- Developing psychosocial skills: helping at-risk children
 catch up;
 -- School phobia, diagnosis and treatment;
 -- Cognitive therapy with adolescents;
 -- Recognizing depression in elementary school children; and
 -- Detecting and responding to suspected sexual or physical
 abuse.
 Educators, school administrators, mental health clinicians, counselors, professionals in the youth services field, parents, and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.
 The conference is open to the public. For more information, please call 412-647-8265.
 -0- 12/12/91
 /EDITORS: Interviews with presenters can be arranged by contacting Kathia Kennedy or Gloria Kreps at 412-624-2607.
 /CONTACT: Kathia Kennedy or Gloria Kreps of Health Sciences News Bureau, 412-624-2607, or fax at 412-624-3184/ CO: Sixth Annual Services for Teens at Risk Conference ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


JT-CD -- PG004 -- 1827 12/12/91 09:56 EST
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Date:Dec 12, 1991
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