SDC hosts events for students to address substance abuse, mental health

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but young people have unusual issues.

Things like social distancing can be especially hard on kids who are developing their social skills

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Milwaukee's Social Development Commission showed off some artwork created by middle and high school students.

They were encouraged to use art and poetry to express their feelings about mental health, substance abuse, even suicide.

We talked to the adults who have worked with these young people and asked if it's hard to reach them and voncince them to share such deeply personal feelings.

"I think a lot of people think it's harder than it really is," said Christopher Davis, SDC program assistant. "But if we really just take the chance to really listen to what young people have to say, they really can speak a lot. 

"Maybe they don't want to open and talk about it," said Prevention Specialist Priscilla Fernandez. "These are difficult topics to talk about. But we know, research has shown us, that people who are dealing with suicidal ideations want someone to ask them."

The event was called "Rise Above the Influence." 

There will be another one held Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. near Chase and Oklahoma on the city's south side.

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