Sometimes we all need a little extra help with something hard. Many people, including youths, start smoking and find it incredibly difficult to quit. image currently has campaign to for people to help other people quit the deadly habit. It’s called “Quitters Always Win” and you can win a $5000 scholarship by signing up to send a card to someone trying to quit! You can sign up here!

Do you think this kind of positive encouragement is useful? Where in your life could you use a card? Tell us about if you signed up and made a card or if you need a little extra boost in your life! 

Trust Somebody

Now when you’re outta your mind

Working that blind

To turn it around you better trust somebody

Look at yourself you like what you see

If you want something else you better trust somebody

Ain’t no one but a stranger to you

But I can show you what love can do

What do you think of this song? Have you trusted someone before with awesome results? How can we cultivate a trusting relationship with adolescents? 

What Depression Really Looks Like

Photo Credit: Ian Halsey via Compfight cc Photo

An awesome article by Buzzfeed was published about what depression actually looks like. We think it’s important to understand that depression is a universal thing, meaning that it can affect ANYONE. Often, depression and anxiety are portrayed with sad, gloomy, black & white pictures- which is not always the case. In fact, people experiencing depression, anxiety, and many other mental illnesses often look exactly like somebody who is not experiencing mental illness! These dark and gloomy pictures used to portray depression are one of the major reasons people think the way they do about mental illness. It is crucial to share articles like this and inform people that these photos are not how mental illness actually looks. This is a perfect place to start in the battle to end the stigma around the topic. 

Click the link above and let us know what you think! Do you think the pictures used to portray depression play a role in the stigma around it? 

Let your light shine

Photo Credit: fjny via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: fjny via Compfight cc

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

What do you think? Are you letting your light shine? 

More than Sadness

Depression is more than sadness. It is more than not being able to get out of bed. Depression means many things to many people.

depressionIt can be hard to talk about or even get a handle on what your depression is.

How do you talk to your adolescent about their depression? How do they talk to their friends about it? 

Has your adolescent signed up for the SOVA website yet?

Communication Tips

We found a great article about how to have more effective communication, not just with your parents, but with everyone!

Why this resource is helpful: It gives advice on good communication, not only between parents and teenagers, but between people in general. It stresses being a good listener. It also stresses paying attention to non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is difficult, and takes time to learn how to do.

Paying attention to your own stress and emotions while communicating is important.


  • Effective communication is a learned skill, and it takes time and effort to develop this skill
  • Listening is important; focus entirely on the speaker, without distractions, and avoid appearing judgmental.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal communication, such as clenched fists or someone not maintaining eye contact.
  • Manage your own stress when talking with other people. Too much stress might result in you saying something you regret.
  • It is also important to be aware of your emotions when arguing with someone. Understanding your own emotions will help you communicating your feelings with other people. It is also important to understand others’ emotions, so that you can better understand them.
  • Here is an article to help develop nonverbal communication!

What do you want to work on when it comes to communication? Tell us in your comments!