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Grant Halliburton Foundation News, April 2011
Youth and Family Support Community Impact Mental Health Beat
TAG, You’re It! teaches critical warning signs
Annual conference offers tools, tips for dealing
with teens
I AM H·E·R·E Coalition driving change for youth mental health

TAG, You’re It! teaches critical warning signs

Just about everyone knows the signs of an oncoming cold. But few people know the symptoms of depression—a treatable medical condition that, left untreated, can lead to worse problems. In fact, depression is the leading cause of suicide.

Teaching people to recognize the signs of depression and suicidal crisis is the object of TAG, You’re It!, a program developed by the Grant Halliburton Foundation. Through presentations in schools and in the community, the program empowers teens, parents, and people who work with youth to respond to a friend or family member in emotional or suicidal crisis, aided by the acronym TAG, which stands for Take it seriously, Ask questions, and Get help.

This year, Foundation president Vanita Halliburton has made the presentation to more than 1,800 students, faculty and parents in North Texas.

TAG materials A recent grant from the American Medical Association Foundation enabled the Foundation to produce additional support materials for the TAG program. Posters explaining the symptoms of depression and how to lead someone to help now hang on classroom walls. Wallet cards with the
same information and resources reside in teenagers’ wallets, backpacks, purses and lockers. Buttons with the TAG, You’re It! logo affixed to backpacks and binders remind teenagers how to help a friend in emotional crisis.

“Recently, we presented the TAG training to over 150 faculty members at a large North Texas high school,” Halliburton said. “One of the most rewarding experiences was seeing almost every teacher pick up posters to take back to their classrooms. We know that the critical information in TAG, You’re It! will continue to reach and teach teens and teachers long after the presentation is made.”

In addition to the printed materials, the grant also enabled the Foundation to produce a series of video interviews with young people who have experienced depression, anxiety, cutting, eating disorders, addiction and suicidal attempts. The Foundation plans to incorporate these powerful personal stories into the TAG presentation to reinforce the message that there is help and hope for struggling teens.

Annual conference offers tools, tips for dealing with teens

How can you tell if a teenager is experiencing normal fears and nervousness or has an anxiety disorder that requires treatment? How do you raise kids to have a positive, resilient attitude in a world full of negative influences? How does the development of the adolescent brain affect teenage behavior?

These are some of the questions that were addressed at the Grant Halliburton Foundation’s second annual When Life Hands You Teenagers conference held in September.


Designed for parents, educators, counselors and other people who work with youth, the day-long educational conference brought in leading experts who shed light on topics such as the latest research on brain development, anxiety in teenagers, recovery after a treatment program, and raising positive kids in a negative world. In addition, a panel discussion featured three parents who shared candidly their families’ experiences dealing with depression, anxiety, suicidality and addiction in their teenage children.

One conference attendee said, “Thank you so much for including school counselors in these conferences. The presentations were so relevant and helpful. I will be better tomorrow than I was yesterday.”

When Life Hands You Teenagers provides an educational opportunity that increases the effectiveness of school counselors and therapists, empowers parents to discern between what is normal teenage behavior and issues that are cause for concern, and encourages a dialogue between the mental health community and consumers.

“The information is current, real and useful as both a parent and school counselor,” another attendee commented, and added: “Please continue to provide us with this great information. I plan on learning something new every year.”

I AM H·E·R·E Coalition driving change for youth mental health

Why are we here?

This is the question we ask at the beginning of every meeting of the I AM H·E·R·E Coalition. It reminds our members that we are here to stop the rising tide of teen suicides in North Texas. Statistics show that we lose a young person between the ages of 15 and 24 to suicide at the rate of two per week in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Founded by the Grant Halliburton Foundation in 2009, I AM H·E·R·E is the only coalition in North Texas focused solely on teen and young adult mental health. Over the past two-and-a-half years, dedicated members from all sectors—including the medical and counseling professions, education, juvenile justice and concerned parents—have worked together to drive real change in adolescent mental health. These are a few of the coalition's accomplishments over the past year:
  • The Living Room is a new network of support groups for teens with depression and other mental health issues, started by the coalition. The groups meet regularly in schools and in the community through partnerships with Communities in Schools and the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance.

    "The students have responded positively to the opportunity to meet and talk about depression and other issues they are facing," says Monica Ordonez, one of the Communities in Schools facilitators. "They are very honest and open with one another and are ready to share experiences."

    The Living Room will expand in 2012 as more support groups are launched in high schools and on college campuses.

  • TeenScreen for Primary Care is a depression screening tool for adolescents that was introduced in six Dallas pediatric practices in 2011 to make mental health checkups part of routine physicals. The coalition makes screening tools, training and other resources available to help pediatricians identify and refer children with behavioral health issues.

    "This has really opened the door to conversations about mental health-related issues with my teen patients," said Dr. Tina Deuber of Inwood Village Pediatrics. "We have picked up a couple of issues in patients that I am certain would have been missed had we not had this tool."

  • The New Age of Bullying is a back-to-school conference presented by the coalition for teachers, counselors, administrators and parents. Nearly 150 people attended the second annual conference in August, where they learned the latest strategies for bullying prevention.

    One attendee commented, "Excellent conference! I gained new knowledge that will help me be proactive in my circle of influence."

I AM H·E·R·E plans to expand these initiatives and launch others in 2012, living up to the acronym in its name to strengthen the Help, Education, Resources and Encouragement available in our community for young people with mental illness.
What's New
A Beacon of Hope Community Luncheon

Former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple will share his personal journey with depression and grief at this community luncheon, benefiting the Grant Halliburton Foundation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Northwood Club, Dallas

Get more information

I AM H·E·R·E Coalition is the only coalition in North Texas focused solely on teen and young adult mental health. More than 50 organizations work together in this collaborative community effort.

Wed., January 11
Tuesday, March 6
Wednesday, April 4

4:30-6:30 p.m.
Center for Community Cooperation |map|

Coffee Days is an outreach group for mothers of youth with mental health issues. The group meets monthly to share resources, support and encouragement. All women are welcome to participate, and no advance reservation is required.

Monday, January 2
Wednesday, February 1
Thursday, March 1

9:30-11 a.m.
La Madeleine, Preston & Forest |map|

TAG, You're It! teaches teens—and the adults in their lives—how to recognize and help a friend in crisis. Contact us to schedule a TAG presentation for your school or organization.

Check out our online resources to find helpful information, including:
Connect with us
Grant Halliburton Foundation
800 E. Campbell Rd., Suite 290
Richardson, Texas 75081


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Grant The Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of a gifted Dallas artist and musician who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before taking his own life at the age of 19. The Foundation exists to raise awareness and understanding of adolescent mental health, to promote treatment and wellness, and to prevent suicide among teens and young adults.