by Laurence Hayes, M.Ed.
Clinical psychology doctoral students at Florida Tech volunteer their time and talents to support Taylor 4 Teens, a local charitable organization. Taylor 4 Teens is a nonprofit group with a vital mission: to bring awareness to teen issues and guide teens to available resources. This group was founded in 2010 after Taylor Renae King, granddaughter to Dr. Thom Harrell and Pam Harrell, decided to end her suffering by taking her own life at the age of 14. In response to this tragic loss, her family members created this group in Taylor’s name to educate the community and empower teens with the knowledge and resources needed to identify mental health issues and obtain help in an effort to prevent any additional premature termination of life in our local area. In addition to family members, Taylor 4 Teens is highly supported by a small army of 15 impassioned FIT Psy.D. student volunteers. These students are eager to donate their time, their training and creative approaches to design and deliver presentations and discussion groups, and assist running fundraisers and table events to spread awareness to teens and their parents about adolescent issues, signs of distress and how to help. Recent presentations have addressed such topics as being able to identify various substances and their effects on the body, accepting differences in others, a two-part series on applying and transitioning to college, bullying, facebook and sexting: how to stay safe in the cyber world, depression and suicide, and body image and self-esteem. Upcoming topics will include parent sessions about how to communicate with your child throughout their development, substances and how to help, and depression and bullying. Community support for this group is continuing to increase as this group is operated completely on donations of time and gifts. For information regarding Taylor 4 Teens and future events, please visit their website www.taylor4teens.org.