Two years ago, Gila County Public Health Department got Jeff Yalden on their schedule to come and speak. A couple of snags delayed us and finally on September 10, 2018 renowned Teen Mental Health Motivational Speaker Jeff Yalden finally came to town. Last April on the day of Jeff’s visit the teachers in the state of Arizona decided this would be a day they can protest their contracts and schools were cancelled.
Finally, Jeff made his visit to Gila County and the students of Payson, Arizona - Payson High School.
Last year, a week before school started a young man, his name was Dillon, made a forever decision and ended his life. They’ve had other students with suicidal ideation, many students caught up in a sexting situation, and this is the number one county in the state of Arizona for Teen Pregnancy.
An hour and a half drive from Phoenix, Jeff arrived and spoke to the 6-8 graders first. Immediately followed was the high school students. Two great student bodies where Jeff spoke for about three hours. He talked about teen mental health, resiliency, motivation, attitude, choices, and more. The students were silent the whole time. Jeff says, “a great student audience captivated, respectful, and eager to hear more.” Jeff also said he was surprised how many students wanted to chat afterwards as students kept coming up and wanting to say, “Thank you.” and wanting to just talk.
“This is a very conservative community, but the adults don’t understand how much the teens are doing and what they know. Conservative or not, if we are going to connect with teens at their level we have to reach them at their level and sometimes our values and morals don’t meet up to the values and morals of teens growing up today.”, said Jeff.
One of the young ladies, a 15 year old came up to Jeff after his talk and wanted to know how she could tell her foster mother that she is pregnant. After a few minutes of talking with her and getting the guidance counselor involved the Gila County Public Health Department got permission to do a pregnancy test at the school. The test was administered (twice) and we found out the results were negative. As we were talking to the young lady and she was telling us how strict her foster parents were we asked how she got pregnant. She got pregnant during lunch outside behind one of the buildings on campus. She said that many of her friends have sex outside on school property during lunch.
Another great visit to a small community struggling. “These kids need trusted adults and guidance every day.” says Jeff.
Who is Jeff Yalden?
Jeff Yalden is a mental health speaker and celebrity life coach who specializes in suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Jeff is also the founder and Executive Director of The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to prevent suicide, improve community mental health, and shatter the stigma of mental health by initiating a positive movement to speak up and reach out.
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Make a donation on this website, learn more about Jeff Yalden by visiting the Foundation page, subscribe to Jeff’s podcast, Mental Health & Motivation, browse his available online training courses, or learn more about his life coaching services here.