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Dr. Lisa Machoian is a nationally recognized expert on adolescent mental health. — Photo by Nathaniel Horwitz

In response to rising concerns about mental health in schools nationwide, the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Task Force will host a professional development presentation by Dr. Lisa Machoian, a Harvard researcher, at the high school’s Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, March 12, at 6 pm.

Dr. Machoian is a nationally recognized expert and writer on adolescent mental health, with a specialty in girls and the psychology of women. She is the author of The Disappearing Girl: Learning the Language of Teenage Depression, the first book on depression in teenage girls, and she has been a speaker for the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Harvard Medical School, from which she received doctorate and master’s degrees.

“Dr. Machoian will be coming to Martha’s Vineyard to support staff, professionals, parents, and youth with the increasing issues involving our youth and their challenges around managing stress and anxiety,” the Youth Task Force announced in a press statement.

Dr. Machoian also worked with Island educators on Tuesday, March 11, as part of the professional development program for teachers.

“This training focuses on empowering educators of youth in grades 9-12 to recognize and respond to stress and anxiety in the classroom and school environment,” according to the press release. “We will address adolescent psycho-social development within a context of gender, peer, group, and family stressors.”

During the presentation, Dr. Machoian will discuss how educators can foster self-esteem, healthy coping, and resilience within the classroom and school community. Participation at the presentation may be reserved by e-mailing info@mvyouthtaskforce.org.