Getting help for a young person with a mental health disorder or a substance use problem is hard. It’s even harder when these disorders occur in the same person. According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, “Often, when a mental health disorder goes untreated, a young person will attempt to self-medicate — using substances to relax, fit in socially, numb emotional pain, or relieve anxiety….Furthermore, substance use and mental health symptoms mimic one another, confusing diagnosis for professionals without expertise in mental health and addictions.” In order to help better understand the right course of treatment, they have put together this excellent guide in conjunction with the Child Mind Institute.
In light of #METoo and in the interest of strengthening our girls’ voices, these 7 tips are a great place to start. Number 2 should give us all pause to think about who WE could mentor each and every day. While we all know the influence parents have on their children, as our kids get older, the adults in their lives who are NOT their parents matter a great deal. Young people need a mentor and there are so many ways this can happen. Is there a pre-teen or teenage girl you interact with on a regular basis? Babysitter? Niece? Neighbor? Lift them up; make sure they know they matter!
And middle school is a key time to start!
picture above as seen in Washington Post.
Parents are parenting in an environment very different from the one they grew up in. And while some of those differences can’t be controlled, how we respond to the importance of school and academics is. These authors suggest empowering our children in an age of anxiety comes from letting them fail.
College is not always the carefree environment we hope it is for our kids. Recent study identifies the prevalence of stress, anxiety and suicidal thoughts on college campuses. The challenge is to identify those students who are suffering quietly so they get the help they need. One of the ways we can do that is to talk about what is happening. Read more in this ABC News Story.
While social media can be one source of anxiety, there are many others. The growing discussion on anxiety allows us to dispel myths and reduce the stigma in order for people to get the help they need. Check out this helpful list of myths about anxiety from a local Pelham, licensed psychotherapist, Carolyn Cullen.