The Stand Together Initiative

For young people with mental health concerns, school can be a negative space. Individuals with mental health concerns, like anxiety and depression, can come up against stigma from their classmates, and maybe even the faculty. There’s much that can be done to change the stigma that can be a part of schooling. We’ve mentioned before that learning and talking about mental health can be a powerful way to reduce stigma. Luckily, there are people working within schools to make change from the inside out.

http://standtogether.againststigma.org/
http://standtogether.againststigma.org/

Continue reading The Stand Together Initiative

Social Media and Self-Esteem

The urge to maintain an online presence can be exhausting. Sure, social media isn’t always negative, but there are important things to keep in mind about using

Photo Credit: Visual Content Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Visual Content Flickr via Compfight cc

social media that can prevent it from being a bad experience. For example, monitoring self-esteem and the impact social media has on it. It’s important to be self-aware about the way social media makes us feel, especially for adolescents and young adults. If your adolescent uses a particular social media site and you comes away feeling worse about themselves because of it, it might be time to reconsider the use of that platform. If I log onto Facebook and become frustrated and unhappy about my life because of the way it compares to others, it’s important that I consider changing the way I use the site. This might mean changing how long I use Facebook, or who I am interacting with, maybe even considering if it’s worthwhile to use the site at all. Continue reading Social Media and Self-Esteem

Difficulty with Diagnoses

If your doctor tells you that your child may be depressed, what does that really mean?

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Photo Credit: ? by Leo Amato CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Maybe some of the “symptoms” they have could be from something else like:

  • trouble adjusting to a new situation at school or home
  • a bad break-up, a friend who let them down, or not making a sports team or other extracurricular
  • bullying at school
  • a medical problem like anemia (a low blood count), headaches, belly pain
  • not getting enough sleep from being overscheduled, overhomeworked, too much online time, or having to wake up too early
  • another mental health or physical problem like ADHD, anxiety, or anemia

Continue reading Difficulty with Diagnoses

Balancing Work and Mental Health

When your adolescent or young adult is struggling with anxiety or depression, this can create obstacles to being successful in their work, and possibly even your own work. In the case of your child’s work, it can be difficult to balance their mental health and the job duties. Many parents might struggle with meeting the demands at work while attending to their adolescent’s mental health concerns. Recently, Time Magazine posted an article outlining tips for finding a balance between mental health and work. This article also discusses parent’s of individuals with mental health concerns and the struggle with finding a balance between work and caring for a loved one. Here are some of the tips:

Photo Credit: DiariVeu - laveupv.com Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: DiariVeu – laveupv.com Flickr via Compfight cc

Continue reading Balancing Work and Mental Health

Getting Help for Your Child: Where to Start

Image Source: BK on Flickr
Image Source: BK on Flickr

As a parent or caregiver, you want the best for your children or other dependents. You may be concerned or have questions about certain behaviors they exhibit and how to ensure they get help.

A wonderful place to start is at http://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/parents-caregivers/

This website gives some information about signs to look out for, how to get help and how to support your child.

Do you think this is a good resource? What about it was helpful? 

 

What Does Privacy Mean to You?

What does privacy mean to you when it comes to Social Media?

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What does it mean to you when something is on Facebook or another social media website? Is anything truly private once it’s on the internet?

Have you ever run into someone in person who knew something about you because of what they read on social media? Did it feel strange that they knew about it? Sometimes when you post something, you expect that only certain people will see it, but you don’t know who laid eyes on what you put on the internet.

We try to keep our website secure and anonymous to protect your privacy so that you can share your experiences without worrying about who will see what you wrote. Also we got feedback from parents that privacy is VERY important to them and they have a lot of concerns about how to make sure they and their children’s information is kept safe. There might be other situations where you do want to publicly share your story too. But if you do make that decision, it should be your choice. For those situations when you want to protect your privacy – what have you done on social media to protect your personal information?

Tell us your experiences with social media and privacy and what that means to you?

Talking about Depression

It can be really hard to start a conversation about depression with someone you care about. Because depression doesn’t show up as a physical illness like a chest cold or a stomach bug it can be hard to describe what you are going through. Having a starting point to talk about depression is a great way to begin the conversation. Adolescents may have fears about opening up about how they are feeling. Not only because of the depressive feelings but also because they may have fears about being judged or being unworthy.

On a prior post, we talked about what depression is and how it may present itself. That list may be a great place to start talking to your adolescent about what is happening. Ask them about how they have been feeling or if any of those things have been happening. You can help relieve some fears by saying “I am just here to listen for you right now, not judge or give advice unless you want it.”

Tell us about how you’ve started conversations in the past. What was useful to start with?