Youth mental illness, 'OK2Talk': Palm Beach County events discuss issue

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It's "OK to Talk" is the name of a forum being held Friday to discuss youth mental illness.

The event begins at noon at the Quantum Foundation on North Australian Avenue where the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County is looking for input on how to keep young people with mental illnesses out of the legal system. 

The program will discuss preventing tragedies involving young people with mental illnesses like school shootings.

The Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County says one out five young persons have a mental illness, but rarely receive treatment for it.

Experts say those who have a mental illness usually start to struggle with the condition around the age of 14.

These "OK2Talk" community conversations are part of a bigger action plan that will be unveiled at a county conference in April.

Other upcoming events are being held at:

* Belle Glade on Feb. 4 from noon to 2 p.m. at Palm Beach State College

* Jupiter on Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Southeast Florida Behavorial Health Network

* Delray Beach on March 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at Delray Beach Public Library

The Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County says this is their way of answering President Obama's call for communities to get involved and creatively come up with ways to help youth with mental illnesses.

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