Taking a Break from Social Media

Sometimes it can feel like your adolescent may live on their phone/tablet/computer. Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, on and on! Everyone wants their attention!!

You give likes, you get likes, your phone buzzes, little red numbers come up on the apps letting you know about every interaction, every moment someone may notice you.

Are you giving yourself time to just be you? For them to just Be Them?

Photo Credit: Joe The Goat Farmer via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Joe The Goat Farmer via Compfight cc

There are some ways we can encourage our youth to take a break, to enjoy life outside the screens… 

There are lots of ways to take a break from social media without having to “disconnect” completely. One way is to take all “push” notifications off your phone – that way you have to actually open the app to see if anything is happening. This is especially useful if the notifications distract you from school work or other tasks.

Another option is only using the computer for social media. This means taking some or all of the apps off your phone. It makes it so that when you sit down at your computer you know whatever is happening on your social network doesn’t have to literally be with you all of the time.

Taking a break from social media does not have to be an All or Nothing situation. It can be a simplifying of what you engage in.

How do you take a break from social media? Have you ever done it on your own? Have you tried a day with out checking your various accounts? How did it feel? Would doing a family day without screens be useful? Tell us about your experiences with social media and adolescents.  

Tips for Parents

Photo Credit: Stewart Black via Compfight cc

Adolescence is marked by a whirlwind of changes that are exciting and scary for parents. Teenagers become more independent and are developing problem-solving skills, but they are also at an increased risk for developmental, mental, and behavioral health problems. Often these problems result in teens having lower school- achievement which can be hard for parents to see- because often they know that their child can do the work.

Continue reading Tips for Parents

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

The first week in May is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.


The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is an advocacy group that works on policies, legislation, services, and fundraising to improve the mental health of children.

On their site, you can:

  •  find a local chapter
  • find information on Certified Parent Support Providers who can help provide peer support

Let us know if you checked it out and what you thought!

Giving your Profile an Update

Maybe you’ve already noticed that some folks have images beside their nicknames here on the wiseSOVA website. We want everyone to be able to have a photo there! Remember something that will not identify who you are because of the continental nature of our study!

On the left hand side of this page there is a box that says:


Below that it says: Update Your Profile (or you can just click this link!)

Now you can just upload a picture to the avatar section!

Having a personalized space is great on social media, because you can craft an image of yourself. Sometimes people make their life seem perfect on facebook, twitter, or instagram, but it’s important to remember that…

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” – Wendy Mass

Sometimes our children may have issues with what they see on social media versus what may be happening in real life. How do you talk to your adolescent about social media and how people portray themselves?

Confidentiality during Mental Health Treatment

The biggest worry that patients most often carry leading up to and/or during their first sessions of mental health treatment is how their privacy will be maintained throughout. Will my friends know I am seeking help? Is this safe for me?

There are actually state and federal laws that define confidentiality both from a medical standpoint and a psychological standpoint to keep you safe and your thoughts and emotions private.

Photo Credit: University of Nevada School of Medicine magazine via Compfight cc

Continue reading Confidentiality during Mental Health Treatment

Finding a Mental health Professional

Photo Credit: 小查 via Compfight cc

Starting to look for a mental health professional for yourself or an adolescent can seem overwhelming at first.  First, the basics – a great resource that can help you search for a therapist based on what insurance you have, where you live, whether they see adolescents, what kinds of symptoms they treat or therapies they practice is the find a therapist link at psychologytoday.com. A doctor or your insurance may refer or suggest someone to you, but it is important to know that you or your adolescent have rights in this process, and should be able to ask questions and feel comfortable with the professional who will be working with you.

Continue reading Finding a Mental health Professional

Numbers, Data, and Statistics


Photo Credit: Daniel Pascoal via Compfight cc


If you’re looking for basic public health information about mental health, look no further than the Center For Disease Control’s (CDC) Mental Health page.  This website provides users with a good starting point for learning about mental health.
This page gives:

  • a definition of mental health
  • indicators of mental health
  • data and statistics on depression
  • data on surveillance of mental illnesses
  • information on psychological distress
  • data on the stigma of mental illnesses
  • information on well-being.

Viewers also have access to published papers for additional, more in-depth research.  Additional links to other organization’s websites are included.

Did any fact, number, or statistic on this site surprise you?
Featured image: Fe_Lima via Compfight cc