Roswell Rotary and WellStar partnered to update the Wellstar North Fulton Family Waiting Room and launch a podcast and video series designed to impact student and parent behavioral health. Roswell Rotary invested nearly $60,000—raised at the 2021 Golf and Tennis Tournament—and contributed over 100 hours of more than 40 Rotarians to spread the word throughout the community. Wellstar managed the project and provided the behavioral health expertise.
The project kicked-off in February 2022 when Roswell Rotary hosted an innovative Wellstar Behavioral Health meeting with various community leaders including Rotarians, school counselors, board of education members, Fulton County Board of Health leadership, medical professionals and the Mayor of Roswell to discuss innovative ways to address behavioral health of our youth that did not duplicate existing programs and resources. The project developed in three phases:
Phase 1 – Roswell Teen Talk Podcast Series
Phase 1 of this project was the development of a series of podcasts highlighting student, parent and professional voices. Roswell Teen Talk is a five-episode limited series podcast. Students and alumni from Roswell High School and Blessed Trinity High School sharing the stresses of High School and ways to overcome them.
The podcast addresses a wide variety of topics related to relevant behavioral health and suicide prevention topics while provides critical information on when, where and how to seek help, personalized for the North Fulton community. The series was created in response to the persistent increases in and severity of behavioral health needs of teens and young people in the Roswell and North Fulton communities. Roswell Teen Talk is a locally grown production that features authentic peer-to-peer content and stories that are guided by Wellstar behavioral health providers to ensure they share to ensure accuracy of content and resources.
One student noted that participating in the podcast series “was empowering. I felt less alone knowing I could talk about the state of my own mental health and also hearing that so many teens felt the same way I did. I’m also proud of myself because I know that I’ve helped at least one other person by speaking up and making mental health issues less taboo.”
Phase 2 – Roswell Teen Talk Video Series
Parenting teens has never been more difficult and handling social media concerns is outside the experience of most parents. During Phase 2, Wellstar & Roswell Rotary developed a series of videos highlighting parenting tips for talking with teens. Viewers were guided to an initial 2 minute “Scenario Start” video, which then brings them to a “choose-your-own” adventure moment where they can decide which parenting decision to make. Depending on their decision, they will then be lead through two other branching videos, each approximately 2-3 minutes in length . This series launched in April, 2023!
Phase 3 – Sponsorship of the WellStar North Fulton Family Waiting Room
For the third and final phase of this project, Roswell Rotary sponsored the Wellstar North Fulton Family Waiting Room and is recognized as the perpetual sponsor via signage which will be seen by everyone entering the Emergency Department. A celebration event was held on April 13, 2023 at WellStar North Fulton to recognize the sponsorship and provide an opportunity for Rotarians to visit the Family Waiting Room .
Background – Need for Behavioral Health Resources in North Fulton:
In Georgia, nearly 4 million people are living with a behavioral health condition. Unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 pandemic have only exacerbated the severity of this problem and the need for enhanced behavioral health resources.
During the pandemic, we have seen behavioral health issues intensify particularly for our youth:
- Youth ages 11-17 have been more likely than any other age group to exhibit moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- With 1,451 deaths by suicide in Georgia in 2019, leading into the pandemic, and suicide as the 2nd leading cause of death in the state for individuals 10 to 34, there is an urgent need to expand education, support, and access to behavioral health care in our community.
About Wellstar North Fulton
WellStar North Fulton Hospital in Roswell is recognized for its Accredited Cancer Program and Primary Stroke Center designations. The Stroke Center provides high quality integrative care that includes neurosurgeons and neurologists with stroke expertise, along with neuroscience critical care, acute care, and rehabilitation nurses. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology are all on site, as well as 24-hour access to radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services. The hospital also offers a pain and spine center, a sleep lab, a cardiac rehabilitation center, wound care and hyperbaric treatment, and an inpatient rehabilitation unit. As a Level 2 Trauma Center, its emergency department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.