The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 5

Teens Hope for the Future
In the 2022 - 2023 school year, the TeenHope program provided 2,723 middle and
high school students with screenings in 16 local schools and one community partner.
From those screenings, TeenHope helped identify 677 (or 24.9%) students who
presented signs of depression, anxiety, or being at risk for suicide. Of those students, 264
(or 39%) reported thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideations within the last two weeks.
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of early identification and intervention
in mental health and the role it plays in recovery. And looking ahead at the upcoming
school year, TeenHope hopes to expand to other schools and counties.
TeenHope's goal is to reach as many students as effectively and efficiently as possible
and offset the screening costs for schools. We aim to educate more adolescents on the
importance of mental and emotional well-being and when to seek help for oneself or
another person.
The TeenHope mental health program is largely donor-funded, so we thank you for
supporting local kids in receiving the help they so desperately need.
Hope the Hedgehog
Hope is more than a feel-good emotion; it is
an action-oriented strength involving agency,
motivation, and confi dence that goals can be
reached. It is the belief that a desired goal is
obtainable in the future.
Having hope does not mean having false
impressions; having hope means that despite
current circumstances, things will change, life will
move forward, and goals can be reached.
As TeenHope enters its 10th
Finding Our Way
Renee Kurz, LPC, BC-DMT - Dance/Movement Therapist
Whether we are kicking a soccer ball, shaking out the wiggles, or
practicing standing up taller... change through movement happens! A
9-year-old girl with big feelings gets to create her own world where she
rules the rules and her passionate expressivity is reflected back to her. A
7-year-old boy with worries gets to voice his moments of frustration with
assured trust that he has what it takes to create great moments. A 5-yearold
girl with social-emotional delay gets to experience herself as enough just as she is in
her silent yet story-filled play. From heartbeat finding to performative adventures, dance/
movement therapy supports the story of not just having a body but being a body: being
somebody with a voice and a heart worthy of being listened to, danced with, and led by.
Very often, I see children because their behavior has been getting them in trouble at
home and at school. By the time I meet them, they have already internalized the idea
that something is wrong with them or that they are bad kids, and now the fact that they
are being brought to therapy reinforces this belief all the more. Within the first moments
of meeting, I am making attempts to transform their thinking - and to open the door to
the possibility that perhaps they are not here because they are bad, but rather because they
are made so, so good! And this belief transformation is not just for the child, but for the
caregiver as well. The stressors and hustle of the day-to-day stretch the family thin and
the caregivers need hope all the more.
Seeing beyond the problem behaviors and into the heart of the matter is at the core
of my presence as a dance/movement therapist. Whether it is flailing tantrums or silent
retreats into a corner, the power of an empathy-attuned presence can calm the storm and
help translate what is hidden underneath. I use intentional movement, facial expressions,
and the tone of my voice to communicate that it is safe enough to be seen, safe enough to
move, and safe enough to rest. And in the end, what I am honored to witness are little
eyes lighting up again and tender connections reclaimed with loved ones. Where both
can look in each other's eyes, seeing anew their goodness and their loveability.
I love my work as a dance/movement therapist because I am witness to the possibility
of change in creative and surprising ways, which for an onlooker may seem silly or absurd,
yet from the inside it is just what is needed to find our way.
year, the program
continues to maintain a proactive approach in
advocating for mental and emotional well-being
in adolescents within Lancaster County.
New this year, TeenHope welcomes Hope the
Hedgehog to our team! Hope is part of the
animated education presentation given to
students in the schools. We all face challenges
and Hope is there to help guide us through
diffi cult conversations.
Look for Hope in future Samaritan and
TeenHope communications!
5

The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023

Contents
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - Contents
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 2
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 3
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 4
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 5
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 6
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 7
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 8
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 9
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 10
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 11
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 12
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 13
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 14
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 15
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 16
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com