Children's Mental Health Blog
The Privilege of Teaching in a Mental Health Setting
When I tell people that I am a teacher in a youth mental health treatment centre, I get some interesting reactions. They range from shock and disbelief, to disgust and judgement, to frank curiosity. Interestingly, people seem to frame their reactions in a series of questions which reveal some very interesting perceptions and misunderstandings of mental health. I would like to share three typical questions and my responses with you.
Communicating with your Teen Using Validation
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your teenager, and after seemingly endless fidgeting, blank stares, grunting and defensive responses, you found yourself frustrated, fuming and eventually found your conversation had turned into a screaming match? You are not alone. Teenagers are notoriously uncommunicative with their parents and more often than not parents find themselves puzzled about how an attempt at having a simple conversation with their teenager ended in an argument.
Let's Talk About Depression
As a clinician working in Lutherwood’s Mental Health division, many clients I work alongside suffer from depression. A Mood Disorders Association of Ontario FAQ Sheet cites “almost 3 million Canadians have serious depression. It accounts for 30% of all disability recorded at three of Canada’s best known companies. Depression affects 10 to 15% of men and 15 to 25% of women.”
Is Social Media Helping or Hindering us Socially?
Most of us have liked a status on Facebook, filtered a photo on Instagram or hash-tagged something trending on Twitter. Social media is becoming a part of society. But what kind of impact is social media having on our children’s ability to socialize?
7 Strategies to Cope with Exam Stress and Anxiety
Do you have exams coming up? It is easier to be successful when you feel good, less anxious and less stressed. Whether they admit it or not, everyone feels stressed and/or anxious at some point during exam time.
Summer Employment Supports Teen Mental Health
As I write this, cold winter temperatures and blowing snow have returned to Southern Ontario making it that much harder to think about summer employment. Yet for parents, it is time to start helping our teenagers look for a summer job. While not all teens are ready for summer employment, those who are will find a successful job search and work experience can offer mental health as well as financial benefits.
Recovering from the Holidays
The holidays are a time of great anticipation. For weeks we plan, decorate, shop, wrap, prepare meals and do last minute runs to the store in preparation for seeing friends and family. Then over a matter of days, we visit, host, overeat and “burn the candle at both ends”. While all that social activity may fill us with great joy and excitement, it can also result in a post-holiday letdown. The subsequent combination of cleaning, taking down the decorations and returning to our normal routine can be difficult to manage for children, youth and adults alike. Here are a few tips that may help ease the transition for you and your family.
Help for Children Struggling with the Holiday Season
What is your image of the festive holiday season? To many it is a time of abundance, hope, spirituality and family togetherness. We shop for others, decorate, bake, share meals and have fun while the music reminds us of the “most wonderful time of the year”. Some children anticipate meeting Santa while others speculate over his existence. Some travel great distances for joyous reunions with family while others stay put and welcome guests. Sadly, not everyone’s holiday season experience is as positive.
A Blog to Strengthen Children’s Mental Health
I have had the privilege of working at Lutherwood for many years and by far, the most awe-inspiring experience is to watch the positive, life-altering changes in the lives of those who come through our doors. These changes have been so profound and long-lasting that some of our clients kept in touch and became friends while others have visited us years later to let us know that everything worked out just fine. Few things are more gratifying than when one of our kids comes back decades later to say we played a crucial part in helping them build a happy and productive life for themselves.