New ‘Teen Talk’ series coming to the Darien Depot
DARIEN — Darien students may be able to tell you about reading, writing and arithmetic. But there are some subjects not touched upon in the schools that students about which students want to learn more.
Cue “Teen Talk,” a new program from the Darien Depot. The monthly program will address a different topic each time with community experts talking to students in an open, discussion-style format. The program is open only to Darien high school aged students who live in town.
“We’re going to discuss things that aren’t discussed in schools,” said Janice Marzano, director of programming at the Depot. “It’s not to slam the schools. It’s just topics the kids are talking about.”
The first “Teen Talk” on Jan. 23 will focus on drug use and how to help friends and family. It’ll also touch upon the correlation between opioid use and suicide. Robert DiRoma, a drug and alcohol counselor from the Counseling Center for Discovery and Change will help lead the talk along with Darien Police Department Youth Division detectives James Palmieri and Mark Cappelli.
According to Marzano, the topic for this month’s debut talk was pitched by DiRoma based on what he’s hearing from his teen clients.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of news on opioids going in the area,” DiRoma said. “Some of these overdoses are not accidental and they’re actually purposeful.”
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DiRoma said he’s hoping to teach participants signs of suicidal thoughts in their peers, as well as provide resources to help anyone struggling with suicide or drug use.
“That’s the gist of the talk, just to inform kids about opioids, suicide and just drugs in general,” he said. “What I’m seeing a lot of when it comes to the suicide piece is the impact on peers in the area. I’ve gotten some clients from Darien High School with drug issues and possible suicide attempts and how it relates to being under the influence of drugs and lack judgment and inhibition.”
Future talks will feature different speakers and touch upon topics suggested by students. Marzano said HIV prevention, birth control and bystander intervention when it comes to teen drinking all may be discussed in the new program.
“It’s going to be taboo topics,” she said. “We’re going to cover the most taboo topics we can and educate as much as we can.”