Teenagers and their families are invited to a mental-health festival at Maricopa’s Pacana Park in early May.

Express Fest, 4-10 p.m. on May 6, is aimed at providing mental-health awareness and resources for teens and their families.

“We have had some devastating losses within our community and this is my way of giving back to and fighting for the lives of our Maricopa youth,” said Jelani Elliot, owner of For The Kulture and an organizer for the event. “This battle was already a personal one for me but since the loss of my own son to suicide, it has now consumed me and has become my life’s mission.”

The festival will feature a variety of teen-friendly activities, including games, raffles, giveaways and a movie screening to conclude the night. Food trucks, live music and vendors will be onsite.

“We really want to get people talking about mental health and seeing that it doesn’t have to be so taboo,” said Brianna Reinhold, clinical director of Northern Lights Therapy, and among the festival organizers. “It is going to be so much fun but also so important.”

Among the highlights will be a fishbowl discussion group, in which teens may jumpstart conversations on difficult topics associated with mental health.

If you go

When: Saturday, May 6, 4-10 p.m.
Where: Pacana Park, 19000 N. Porter Road
Cost: Free

The event is sponsored by Northern Lights Therapy and Maricopa Water & Ice