This letter first appeared in the Vail Daily on May 15, 2020
I am writing on behalf of Mountain Youth to express our sincere gratitude for Epic Promise’s support of the Eat Chat Parent family education program. It was one year ago that Eat Chat Parent was recognized for the Community Impact Award from the Vail Valley Partnership, an honor that Vail Health and Mountain Youth were extremely proud to jointly receive.
One year later, Eat Chat Parent continues to make an impact. According to our event evaluations, 96% of participants were glad they came, 91% will apply a new skill to their life and 95% would recommend to a friend. This year we tackled behavioral health topics including youth sexual assault prevention, the importance of self-care, positive parenting and the impact of media on today’s youth.
We also hosted our first-ever event in Spanish for our local Spanish speaking population. We had a significant turnout at St. Clare and St. Mary’s churches where we discussed -—en Español with English translation — therapeutic remedies for behavioral health issues presented by Dr. Janina Fariñas.
Our overall attendance was boosted in a dramatic way when we leveraged national speaker and author Dr. Elizabeth Jeglic, who shared “Consent” education to all 9-12 grade students at Battle Mountain High School. This was a timely presentation for our community as local law enforcement reports that we are experiencing an increase in juvenile sexual assaults.
Always looking for ways to innovate, we have currently transitioned to Eat Chat Parent @Home during COVID-19; this spring we hosted several virtual events: Anxiety 101, How to Stay Positive No Matter What, and Screenagers THE NEXT CHAPTER. In addition, we launched a sister program, Aprendiendo Juntos (Learning Together), for our Spanish speaking families where over 100 participants receive daily behavioral health tips via our new What’s App group. Lastly, we created a Mountain Youth YouTube channel where a library of previous Eat Chat Parent event recordings are available for all to watch.
It is because of the generous support of Vail Resorts Epic Promise, Vail Health/Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Eagle County, Vail Valley Cares, The Town of Vail, The Eagle Foundation, Alpine Bank, Slifer Smith and Frampton Foundation and all of our other sponsors, that Eat Chat Parent is thriving and making a sustained impact for local families.
We look forward to continuing to educate local families, create community conversation and break mental health stigmas as we navigate this “new normal.” Our next event, “Dealing with COVID19 in a Socially Media Driven World” takes place on May 19 at 5 p.m. You can register via https://www.eaglevalleybh.org/get-involved/eat-chat-parent. Please join us to reinforce our mantra of “stronger together.”