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Helping teens care about mental health

Helping teens care about mental health

Every teenager is going to experience pressure at some point in his life – pressure to achieve academically, pressure to fit in, pressure to establish a career path, etc. With the increasing demands put on teens today, it’s essential for them to understand the importance of mental wellness. Developing self-confidence through mental wellness will make it easier on teens to resist peer pressure.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial for teens to appreciate its role in wellness as they prepare to venture into the world on their own. Below, we offer a few tips on how to encourage your teen to prioritize mental health.

Teach coping skills

Learning how to deal with and conquer negative emotions takes time. Work with your child to establish healthy coping skills that will ease the stress of the daily struggles he faces. Coping techniques can be different for every teenager, so work together to find what works. The goal is to establish a habit that will help your child put his negative feelings into perspective, allowing him to seek a healthy solution. 

Be open to having hard conversations

It’s no secret that talking with teenagers about controversial subjects can be challenging. However, being open to discussing mental health issues with teenagers not only diminishes societal stigma, but it also allows parents to prove themselves as an ally and a confidant. Look for everyday situations that can be used as teachable moments.

Instill self-esteem

Let your child know his worth. Make sure your teen knows he is good enough and accepted no matter what. Praise your teen, regardless the size of the accomplishment. And if the outcome is not what was hoped, make sure you still commend the effort. Encourage your teen to always stay true to himself, and let it be known that he is free to explore the interests that makes him a unique individual.

Your teen is not alone in his struggles. You’re not alone either. If you feel your child is struggling with his mental wellness, you might be interested in learning more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

 

Have you told yourself how awesome you are today?

Have you told yourself how awesome you are today?

The impending stress of the holiday season can bring about a mix of emotions, especially to those dealing with mental health challenges. We all could benefit from reminders about how valuable we are. Sometimes, we have to be the one to give that reminder. Always remember that you have the right to feel good about who you are, and there are steps you can take to feel better about yourself. Below, we offer tips on how to boost your own self-esteem this holiday season.

Think positive thoughts

One of the first steps in changing the way we feel is changing the way we think. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and say them out loud or in your head with full confidence. Give yourself a reminder that you are enough, and make it a daily task to mentally accept both your strengths and your flaws. You might not feel immediate results, and that’s OK. Slowly and gradually, positive self-talk will begin improving your quality of life.

Do unto others

Once you start telling yourself you matter, let others know they matter! Showing kindness and compassion to others is rewarding. Make time to volunteer, spend time helping your family or simply tell a stranger good morning. Take note of how you feel when you set aside time to focus on cultivating positive relationships with others.

Find things that make you happy

You deserve to take time to treat yourself. Find something healthy that you like doing, and do more of it. Make an effort to take time out of each day to do something you enjoy – no matter how big or small the activity.

Staying committed to boosting your own self-esteem can be difficult but definitely not impossible, and regularly talking with someone about it can help. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, our Mental Health and Substance Abuse clinicians might be who you need this winter. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

 

 

Beat the college stressors: Back to school for college students

Beat the college stressors: Back to school for college students

Whether you’re a college freshman who’s independent for the first time or a college senior who’s tasked with landing a job upon graduation, students of all ages deal with a lot of change, which can often be stressful and scary.

It’s true that your college years can be some of the best years of your life. But, we won’t sugar coat it – life in college can definitely be hectic, demanding and intimidating for some. The good news is you’re not the only one feeling this way. Experiencing anxiety over major life changes is normal. Some levels of stress can actually be a good thing, as the right kind of stress can lead us toward positive change and growth. However, stress and anxiety become a problem and a health risk for students when they exist for an extended period of time and seem impossible to control.

Whether it’s social or academic pressures, it’s important to seek resolutions from healthy outlets instead of harmful ones – such as drugs and alcohol. There are several resources available on campus to help you cope with and manage student stress. If you feel you need further guidance and support, these resources can connect you with a therapist – such as a South Bay clinician.

Whether you’re entering college or leaving college, know that it’s not a weakness to feel anxious about these life changes, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Below, we outline a few of the most common stressors students experience, plus advice on how to take steps toward coping with them.

Living away from home

For many students, college is the first step toward complete independence. Experiencing this in an unfamiliar environment can be intimidating – especially since your support environment has changed. If you’re struggling with a lack of in-person support, connect with a South Bay clinician. A one-on-one session between you and a clinician will allow for a deep examination of your life, emotions and relationships. Treatment pace is based on your vision – it’s a balance of minimizing risk and achieving your goals. Our clinicians’ primary goal is to build a deep trust and understanding with you while guiding you through anxiety-management techniques.

Academic demands

Academic demands in college may be very different and more intense than they were in high school. Test anxiety symptoms can come in both physical and mental forms. If this anxiety hinders you from performing your best on an exam, seek assistance from academic advisors who can provide you with guidance. The on-campus academic services office should be able to arrange a tutor or other academic help.

Financial problems

Experiencing financial responsibility for the first time can be scary. Whether it’s textbooks, food, gas or social life, college can be expensive, and figuring out ways to budget your expenses is necessary. The financial aid office will have information and advice about money management, on-campus job openings and scholarship opportunities.

South Bay’s outreach program is unparalleled to any other behavioral health service in the area, which gives our clinicians the opportunity to physically reach those who need us most no matter their circumstances or where they are, including colleges.

Are you a parent feeling anxious about sending your child off to college? We understand how stressful the process can be. Counseling sessions with a South Bay clinician could benefit you, as well.

If you think you could benefit from our counseling sessions, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We strive to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. Let us help you have the best possible beginning this school year!

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

 

Depression: Just because it’s not visible, doesn’t mean it’s not real

Depression: Just because it’s not visible, doesn’t mean it’s not real

There are many faces of depression.

For some, depression can be so severe it’s crippling – keeping them from accomplishing day-to-day tasks. For others, getting out of bed and going through life’s motions is possible, but inwardly, they may be absorbed with a challenging set of symptoms invisible to those who know them. These individuals are considered to have high-functioning depression.

Because those suffering from this are able to function normally, the people surrounding them may not realize what they’re feeling inside. It’s important to understand, however, that this diagnosis can carry significant risks if left untreated.

Do you have a loved one who’s seemed ‘off’ lately? It might be time to reach out and talk about his or her mental health. Below, we outline feelings individuals suffering from high-functioning depression may experience – even though they don’t always show them.

Self-doubt

Those suffering from high-functioning depression may experience a constant worry – over their past, present and future. This doubt is inescapable and much more pervasive than the normal worries most of us experience over life’s stressors.

Criticality

High-functioning depression can cause insistent criticality – of oneself and of others. Those suffering from high-functioning depression are often their own worst critics, and it’s difficult to turn that criticism off.

Low energy

A lack of energy can cause a change in attitude and performance. Even though people suffering from high-functioning depression are able to get up and go through their daily routine, it doesn’t mean they don’t struggle to find the mental, emotional and physical energy to do so.

If you identify with the emotions discussed in this blog post or recognize some of the above characteristics in a friend or loved one, know that help is out there. South Bay Community Services strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. At South Bay, consumers can find the support and guidance they need the most.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.