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Hands to Heal GA raising funds for program to help youth cope with stress, anxiety

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (Atlanta Now News at 10) – Reports show kids returning to school are dealing with more mental health issues than ever, and a local non-profit is launching a program to provide some relief.

Kendall White, 15, is an athlete at Norcross High School and a client at Medical & Sports Massage, where Denise Leslie, the founder and CEO of the practice, has provided therapy for pain and stress for 10 years.

“I train a lot as an athlete, and I recognize that recovery is definitely going to be a part of my development, and Denise has helped me with all my aches and pains in getting through sports and school,” White said. “Balancing training for sports and all the schoolwork, especially with advanced classes, can be very stressful for students,” she said.

Leslie provides mainly physical therapy for White, but she says there’s an urgent need to address the mental health issues youth are facing. “The students that I see have an enormous amount of stress and anxiety, and it shows itself through fatigue, lack of focus, lack of personal hygiene,” said Leslie.

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