Taking the first step in becoming a foster parent or learning about adoption can be intimidating. It’s hard to know where to start and who to contact. Sonja Stang, PATH’s Director of Community Relations, writes about the initial steps to becoming a foster and adoptive parent.
For some people struggling with mental health, medication can be a lifesaver. When prescribed by a doctor and taken appropriately, medication can make a real difference in people’s lives. For some, medication isn’t the answer for them or they may decide to stop taking the pills. When taking medication, it is important to stop taking the prescription with the guidance of your healthcare professional
The phrase isn’t uncommon. It is used so much that most people don’t know exactly what it means or if there is truly a cause for concern. According to Medical News Today, a “nervous breakdown and mental breakdown are dated terms describing emotional or physical stress that temporarily makes someone unable to function in day-to-day life.”
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between being anxious and having an anxiety disorder?
Dr. Simon from the N.Y.U School of Medicine explains that “anxiety is a natural reaction to stress–it’s not necessarily pathological or dangerous. There’s the point where it becomes a condition, and the way we separate those has to do with the level of persistence, severity, distress, and if it’s impacting day-to-day function.”
Social media is a large part of our society today, but is the everyday use of social platforms harming our young kids and teens? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, families should be aware of the potential negative effects of social media. Here are six key points about how social media may be impacting your child’s mental health.
When thinking about mental health, personal hygiene isn’t one of the first things to come to mind. For most people, hygiene means everyday tasks like brushing teeth, washing hair, and changing clothes. These tasks are often second nature, but for those struggling with certain mental or emotional disorders, these tasks are some of the most difficult things to do.
“13 Reasons Why” is a show created by Netflix depicting a high-school student who commits suicide and leaves behind a set of pre-recorded cassette tapes that describe her painful experiences with peer pressure, bullying, and sexual assault. Jay Asher, the author of the book released in 2007, shared in a recent interview, “When we do or say things, we can never know exactly how another person is going to take it because we don’t know what they’ve already dealt with.”
Caring for a child is challenging and stressful, and becomes even more taxing when that child struggles with emotional and/or behavioral issues. When this is the case, your family will be working through many worries, fears, and concerns about your child’s future and general wellbeing.
As an adult, we want to look after our youth. We find it our duty to keep them safe and out of harms way. When that harm is not from an outside source, it’s hard to know when you need to reach out. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,1 “one in five young people ages 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness in their life. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness start by age 14.” 2
Dealing with negative emotions is a learned exercise, one that needs to be practiced. The video “I had a black dog, his name was depression” allows children to learn about mental illness in an easy and low-stress setting. “Just like a real dog, it needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks, and ultimately brought to heel.”3 The video opens up the world of mental health for them in a way that is accessible. It can be a visual aid in understanding that they are not alone in feeling this way, and that it does get better with help.
Bringing a new member into the family, whether through foster care or adoption, can be an adjustment for your children. Your child is most likely used to having his or her parents all to themselves. To help your child adapt to having a new family member, you can discuss their concerns and involve them in the foster/adoption process. Here are some tips to begin preparing your child for the transition.
Children live in a new age of technology. Communication is mostly done through texting, Facebook messaging, and Snapchat. Cyberbullying can and does exist through each and every one of these platforms. Whether it’s a rumor, mean or degrading comments, embarrassing pictures, or fake profiles, children are experiencing the brunt of this bullying on their cellphones, computers, and tablets. With the Internet, sometimes it’s hard to tell who the source is, making it even harder to shut down the bullying.
When a child struggles with socializing, branching out into their school community, stress, and anxiety, it can be hard to know what can help. Recent studies show that a furry friend may be just the right thing. Whether they walk on four legs with a silky coat, fly around on colorful wings, or run on a wheel with tiny feet, welcoming a new friend to the family can make a child come out of their shell.
Anxiety can be present in your child’s life in a multitude of ways: preparing for a test, learning to drive, etc. , so it can be difficult to distinguish whether your child’s anxiety is normal part of growing up and having more responsibilities, or if it’s becoming a serious struggle.
It’s safe to say that adolescents experience a wide range of emotions and behaviors. So how do you know when those emotions or behaviors have strayed beyond the range of “normal”? Just what is considered “normal” behavior? And, more importantly, how can a parent know when a child’s emotions or behaviors require attention by a mental health professional?
Mental health issues in youth and teens often present themselves as difficulties in school, and, if left untreated, can result in school drop out. The U.S. Department of Education reports that approximately 50% of students, ages 14 and older, with mental health problems eventually drop out of high school
You've probably seen failed exams and missed curfews, yelling and tears, tickets and fines, community service and jail time. But you've also likely seen the sideways looks of accusatory blame, sighs of exhaustion, curled lips of exasperation, and backs – lots and lots of turned backs.
All humans experience anger, and your child is no different. A child's brain often cannot process their emotions, especially during a stressful time. That can result in an emotional or behavioral outburst. Parents typically resort to one of two reactions when their child is acting out. A parent might “bring down the hammer” as Kim Abraham, LMSW and Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, puts it, trying to stop the anger/outburst through intimidation and punishment. Or, a parent may do everything in their power to change the situation and get rid of the child's adverse behavior.
Do you suspect your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, but don't know how to address the topic? Maybe you've noticed a rapid weight change, odd sleeping patterns, falling grades, or a change in the group of friends he/she hangs out with. Maybe your child's mood or energy level has changed. Perhaps your child has become secretive, or just seems off.
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