Healthy Youth Coalition launches Teen Night

If you’re a teen who likes music, games and free pizza, Monday, January 15 may just be your lucky day.

The Blaine-Birch Bay Healthy Youth Coalition is launching its first Teen Night this Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Pizza Factory, located at 738 Peace Portal Drive in Blaine.

The event will feature live music from Native American singer/songwriter JP Falcon Grady, a spin-the-wheel game for prizes and free pizza. Starting at 5 p.m. American Legion Post 86 commander Matthew Durkee, retired law enforcement officer John Marshall and Karate Quest owner McKenna Pinto-Gonzalez will lead a discussion about bullying.

Later in the evening, teens will have time to work with Healthy Youth Coalition staff to write down short-term and long-term goals for the year.

Blaine and Birch Bay’s Healthy Youth Coalition was formed as a result of the Healthy Youth Survey, which is given to students throughout the state in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 every other year.

Results from the 2016 survey revealed that 26 percent of Blaine 10th graders and 30 percent of 12th graders who answered a question on suicide reported considering suicide in the past year.

While still in the process of refining its mission, the Healthy Youth Coalition aims to make healthy activities more accessible for youth in order to alleviate mental health problems.

Next week’s Teen Night will help the organization “hear what matters to teens and what they would like to see,” said co-founder Jesse Creydt, executive director at Touchstone Health Clinic, located in Blaine.

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