A pair of Sauk County Drug Court graduates and a clinical psychologist will examine the motivations behind the poor decisions some young adults make during a Nov. 13 presentation.
Milwaukee-based clinical psychologist Dr. Brian Fidlin will lead Brainstorm: Understanding the Mysteries of the Adolescent Mind at the River Arts Center in Prairie du Sac.
The event seeks to help listeners understand how the behaviors, choices and vulnerabilities of young people connect to their developing brains, according to a news release about the event.
Fidlin is a clinical psychologist at Milwaukee Psychiatrics & Psychologists Chartered and was previously the director of an adolescent chemical dependency program.
He will be joined by Eddie and Cora Hatfield, who recently graduated from the Sauk County Adult Drug Court program. The couple will discuss their history and experiences with substance abuse.
None of the presenters could be reached for comment about their presentations.
“These presentations are inspiring and informative,” said Morgan McArthur, community educator for Sauk County UW-Extension. “We are aiming them at middle school parents, but anyone who wants to learn more about teenage brain development will be enthralled by what they hear. This will be time well-spent.”
Other local agencies such as Sauk Prairie Healthcare, SSM Health, Sauk Prairie Police Department and the Reedsburg Area Medical Center are sponsoring the event as well.
“First and foremost mental health as well as substance use and abuse are two of our four top community health topics to address,” said Ken Carlson of Sauk Prairie Healthcare. “Collectively, as the Sauk County Health Coalition, we’ve identified those as important. And when we find organizations that are doing the work that’s really great, we are happy to offer help and support.”
Carlson said he expects the presentation to be thought-provoking.
“It’s going to be important for people to understand the physiology of what’s happening,” he said. “I’m personally very excited about it, it’s a good community outreach event.”
Jodie Molitor, community relations coordinator for the Reedsburg Area Medical Center, said people in the medical field and first responders have battled the effects of substance abuse for some time and the event provides members of the community an opportunity to get a better look at why kids sometimes make destructive choices.
“When we are telling them the consequences of their actions and they are still making ridiculous choices, I think it might help us to understand how their brains develop and how they can’t always make that correct decision,” Molitor said.
She said mental health and substance abuse were two of three major topics the community wanted to address in its most recent community health needs assessment.
“It seemed to make sense for us to join together to fight the problems,” Molitor said.