Dr. Sarah Stender, with UCSF Fresno and Community Regional Medical Center’s pediatric department, is the Valley’s only board certified adolescent medicine physician. The years that can be most difficult for parents are also tough on teens themselves, she said, as they try to navigate huge physical and hormonal changes and increasing life stresses.
Dr. Stender often volunteers when local high schools have nights when they provide low-cost sports physicals. She said she often encounters troubled teens. “The last one in Clovis, I had a girl who told me she was only doing sports because her parents thought it would help with her depression,” said Dr. Stender. “Before I finished the physical, I had her make a contract with me that she wouldn’t hurt herself.”
Community Medical Centers helped launch the Fresno County Suicide Prevention Collaborative this year to help increase awareness about where teens can turn to when they need help. A new Suicide Prevention Text Line aims to increase awareness for teens in crisis and needing help. It’s open 24/7 and if you or someone you know needs help, simply text “HELLO” to 741741.