In a surprise twist, Middletown Citizen Summer School is back for a fall edition, this time to educate parents on risk factors for teens. The class will be held at the Municipal Center this Thursday at 6:30 and will address subjects such as anxiety, addiction, and suicide.

A new school year brings more stress as students get back to books, extracurriculars, and more intimate social environments.

Drug addiction and mental health issues are prevalent as ever for teenagers, with the Center For Disease Control reporting the highest rates of suicide among American teens in more than 20 years.

The seminar is being held the same week as World Suicide Prevention Day, held September 10th every year. Board of Supervisors Chairperson Amy Strouse says the timing of this seminar is no coincidence.

“We tried to time this to hit several important initiatives,” Strouse said. “One is Suicide Awareness Day, the other is going back to school and how that affects young people. All of those events coincided in September to have this as the topic of our Summer School series.”

Speakers from St. Mary’s Medical Center, the Neshaminy School District, the Neshaminy Coalition for Youth, and The Middletown Township Police will provide attendees with vital information on how to be there for their children.

The topics include how to talk to a child about drug use and other high risk behaviors, signs they may be struggling, and what resources parents and teens have available to them.

No registration is required for the session which offers take-home information, free light refreshments, and free babysitting. This will be the final Citizen Summer School class of 2018.

“While it’s last, it may be the most important session that we have when you talk about the opioid crisis,” Strouse said. “Anything we can do to prevent addiction, suicide, and other risky behaviors early in teens is positive. This is something I want to be sure a large portion of our township hears about.”

Video of each of the three previous Citizen Summer School seminars is available on the Middletown Township website under the community programming tab.