By Beth Healey

That's me and my adult son.

Way back when I was a kid, I had just about every symptom of anxiety and depression that there was! However, at the time I was growing up, the subject of mental health was—well—it just wasn’t a popular subject. Things like #anxiety, #depression, #abuse, and #stress in children were rarely identified, much less talked about. And there were so many of us kids who needed help—just like there are today.

A lot of the stressors have changed throughout the years—issues that kids struggle with today differ in a lot of ways from the issues of the seventies. But in today’s world there are numerous resources for #parents. Information is as close as our smartphones. Programs take place in schools and communities that educate and raise awareness. Physicians provide #screenings. Informed parents understand that emotional wounds are as painful as physical ones and require immediate attention.

As a parent myself, I know what it’s like to try and raise a child “the right way.” You don’t want to make mistakes, but no parent is perfect. You strive to keep your child safe and healthy. You want to prepare him/her to live a happy, good life in a very tough world. IT’S NOT EASY.

Although it isn’t easy, you can help yourself and your child by arming yourself with knowledge. If your child has a runny nose and a cough, you know that most likely, he has a cold. But if after a week, his symptoms have not improved and may have even worsened, your gut tells you to get him to the doctor.

But what if your child’s behavior seems abnormal, strange. Perhaps disturbing. Your gut is telling you that something just isn’t right. There are no tell-tale signs like a runny nose, cough, or fever. So HOW DO YOU KNOW if it’s time for your child to see a mental health professional?

Click HERE to review our Facts for Parents. Whether your child is very young, in his/her teens, or is a young adult, you will find useful information to help guide you in recognizing when something is hurting your child ON THE INSIDE.

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By Lynda Bradley, Licensed Professional Counselor

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Some cite this as a children’s rhyme and some an Old English adage sited in 1862. I would strongly suggest humans have always known that names can and do hurt. Wars have escalated due to name-calling. Lives, have been destroyed due to name-calling. Name-calling has the potential to trigger strong negative emotions. Social media is ripe of exam Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. ples of detrimental results due to name-calling.

Are you asking yourself, “Why is she telling us something we already know?” My goal is to provide evidence of how detrimental name-calling can be for all of us. There is a school of psychology called Psycholinguistics. Psycholinguistics is the study of the mental aspects of language and speech. It is primarily concerned with the ways in which language is represented and processed in the brain. In other words, the words we hear, the words we use to express thoughts have an effect on our thoughts.

The words we use to express how we feel about ourselves have significant control of our perception of ourselves. The words others use to express how they feel about us have significant control of our perception of ourselves.

Season your thoughts with the spices of encouragement, resilience, comfort, hope, and love. Let your life taste like a glorious cake.

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By Judith Connor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

As therapists, we frequently hear it said, “I just want to be happy.” Still, #happiness can seem like a riddle because the more we seek it, the more elusive it becomes. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Neuropsychiatrist and holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl wrote, “For … happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen [and] you have to let it happen by not caring about it.”

A personal dedication to a cause greater than ourselves does not occur without the inner and typically intentional cultivation a generous spirit. An openness and willingness to share our material, emotional, spiritual and intellectual gifts with others regardless of our own circumstances is at the core of what is meant by generosity of spirit. Beyond charitable giving and volunteerism, generosity of spirit can be defined as a way of authentically being in and engaging with the world, free from fear, envy, and small-mindedness. It requires one to go beyond mere tolerance to a genuine embracing of the “other,” to risk knowing and being known, and to stand ready to sacrifice for what matters most. In other words, having a true spirit of generosity will often, and perhaps always, mean choosing the high road over the path of least resistance.

The good news is that none of us can attain, or even seek, a generous spirit without also serving and sustaining our own mental and emotional well-being. With each day that we live life informed by purpose rather than ease, when we live generously, we come a few steps closer to the lives we are all called upon to live. It is on that journey, then, that we find what it is to be really happy.

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