It's tough to be a teenager, at least so I remember. Beset by the effects of hormonal activity - sprouting hair, morphing bodies, cracking voices; caught between the carefree dependency of childhood and the autonomy of full adulthood; contending with the roiling emotion of blooming sexuality, teenagers have a struggle to figure it all out and craft a satisfactory life. And that's if everything else is relatively normal. Then there is the stuff than can go wrong. One might have to cope with psychological or mental challenges such as autism. There might be stress at home or at school. There is the very real possibility of physical or sexual abuse. There is the possible misuse or incorrect prescription of behavior-altering drugs. There may be unbearable pressure to perform or the debilitating condition of poverty. Yes, it can be tough to be a teenager. We should be thankful that we have folks who realize this and work with kids to help them through their problems. And we should be thankful that we have the Meriter Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, the only one of its kind in the area. In our cover story, contributor Nathan Comp highlights this facility, which more than one parent credits with saving the life of their child, and the little-known area of medicine in which it specializes. The hospital is an irreplaceable resource for the community and one that, to our great benefit, exists because of need rather than profit. To doubt the need of such an institution is to deny the impact that the conditions it tries to treat have on our schools, families and society. The proclivity to drop out of school, to resort to violence, to end up unemployable is not randomly visited upon the population at large. There are causes for these conditions, and often those causes derive from mental situations. According to the Mental Health Center of Dane County's annual report, during the 2006-07 school year 1,891 sixth-graders in Madison and Sun Prairie were screened for "exposure to trauma, symptoms of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], and symptoms of depression." Fully 15% of students screened showed signs of these conditions. MHC, with financial support from United Way of Dane County and in collaboration with six nonprofit agencies, has instituted CBITS (Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools) to help students in the two school districts. We in Dane County are lucky to have facilities and programs like these. Of course, this is a case where, with the help of people with foresight and community-aware institutions, we make our own luck.