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Monitoring your child’s screen time: Let’s talk about it

Monitoring your child’s screen time: Let’s talk about it

Last month, a story in the media about a social media challenge directed at children and young adults, called the “Momo Challenge,” created unease in parents throughout the country. The challenge turned out to be a social media hoax and no reports of children participating in the challenge actually surfaced – but they were still aware of it and were discussing it among friends.

Several questions and concerns in parents arose from this internet scare. Do I have a firm understanding of what my child is actually viewing online? How do I successfully and healthily monitor my child’s social media and internet usage? Below, we offer a few tips on how parents can become more in touch with and supervise their child’s digital footprint.

Establish open lines of communication

It’s important to sit down with children to explain what’s out there and the harmful impact some online content can have on them. Don’t be afraid to have these hard conversations. Children experience fewer damaging effects when they’ve been taught basic media literacy skills.

Make technology use a privilege

Make it known that your children have to earn their screen time. This may be difficult for them to understand, but stay firm in this discipline – lessons learned from delaying gratification and controlling the impulse to use technology are essential for healthy development.

Set clear guidelines

Establish rules that will help your children develop healthy habits when it comes to internet usage. Where can your child use technology? When can they use technology? Which sites are going to be blocked? Set up a meeting to discuss these concerns as a family – and let your children give input! You’ll probably need to have a few of these meetings throughout the years as your child grows older and more mature.

Raising a child can be hard, especially in this digital era. If you would like assistance with talking through these kinds of tough issues, 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.

 

 

Let’s talk: How to discuss your behavioral health illness

Let’s talk: How to discuss your behavioral health illness

You’ve been diagnosed with a behavioral health illness. What do you tell people? How do you share? Who do you tell?

You may have mixed emotions over these questions, and that’s perfectly fine. Know that being scared is normal, and anticipating how friends, family, coworkers etc. will react to your diagnosis is natural.

The decision to openly talk about your diagnosis is a personal one, and you don’t have to share until you’re ready. Do realize, however, that you may never be 100 percent ready. Think about it – are we ever 100 percent ready to do anything that’s difficult in life? But, stepping out of your comfort zone, knowing you have people who are there for you and facing your fears head-on, will likely help you move forward in your journey toward recovery.

Below, we offer some advice to keep in mind when preparing to discuss a mental health diagnosis.

It’s just an illness.
It’s plain and simple. You live with it just like any other person with an illness – diabetes, for example – lives with it. And, just like any other illness, it can be managed and treated once identified.

Most people just need to be educated.
Approach your conversations knowing you’re educating those around you about mental health – not telling them what’s ‘wrong’ with you. The truth of the matter is, most people simply don’t understand mental illnesses because they’ve never been taught the ins and outs. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to learn or hear what you have to say. Remember – it’s just an illness and does not define you. Explain this to them.

You choose who you’re surrounded by.
There’s really no rule for who you need to tell because you get to choose who knows about your behavioral health illness. Choose to be surrounded by people who will support you on the good days and the bad. Need someone to help you decide who this is in your life? A mental health professional, such as a South Bay clinician, can guide you through this decision.

If you’re looking for further guidance on how to talk about your behavioral health illness, consider speaking to a South Bay clinician. Our mental health and substance abuse clinicians treat each individual with specific programs tailored to their needs. 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.

Trauma: Understanding and recovering from it

Trauma: Understanding and recovering from it

Trauma can come from various life instances, and the recovery process can look different for different people. For some, it takes a period of time to heal from trauma. For others, seeking professional treatment is necessary for recovery.

Everyday situations might trigger flashbacks, which may lead to feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, guilt or numbness. Coping skills and grounding techniques are used to work through past traumatic experiences, especially when a painful flashback from the event resurfaces.

Below, we offer tips on how you can begin taking steps towards recovering from a traumatic event.

Meditation

Meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you overcome the side effects from trauma. When first learning how to meditate, try using a guided meditation app. One such app is Insight Timer. Insight Timer offers free, guided meditations, meditation music and group discussion options.

Deep breathing

Increased respiration is one of your body’s fight-or-flight responses. During a moment of panic, focus on breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Pay close attention to how your body reacts when talking or thinking about the traumatic event and identify coping skills that make your mind and body feel calm. Commonly used coping skills are muscle relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga or spending time outside.

Talk to someone

After experiencing a traumatic event, it is important to talk to someone you trust, such as a therapist, a family member or a friend. Find someone who will listen without interrupting and won’t be judgemental. Lean on these individuals while learning how to cope with your trauma.

If you or someone you know is looking for further guidance on how to recover from a past trauma, consider speaking to a South Bay clinician. Our trauma-focused therapy treats each individual with a specific program tailored to your needs and provides you with the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. During a session, you can expect the clinician to provide you with examples of different types of trauma and help you determine symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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

What’s next? How to maintain good mental health post-care

What’s next? How to maintain good mental health post-care

In a hospital or medical setting, mental health challenges can be addressed and managed in a structured environment. Mental health treatment facilities provide you with the tools and guidance needed to live a better, healthier life. However, once your treatment is completed, many wonder…what’s next?

It’s important to understand that treatment doesn’t end after you’re discharged from a facility. Continued guidance is crucial throughout the recovery process. Below, we offer tips on how to maintain good mental health once released from a treatment facility.

Keep your days structured

Continuing to live the structured life you were taught in the hospital can ease your transition. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, plan out your meals at the beginning of the week, schedule set times to exercise and have specific days you tackle chores around the house. Setting up a regular schedule and following it can help relieve life’s stressors. You might be surprised at how happy and accomplished you feel after completing a healthy, productive week!

Practice self-care

Make a point to involve yourself in activities you enjoy – no matter how big or small! Take up journaling, painting or even a new language. Anything that challenges you to stay motivated can help you in your transition.

Work on self-soothing

How can you work around your challenges outside of the structured hospital environment? What techniques can you practice when you’re feeling anxious? It’s important to be mindful of things you can do to self-soothe when life’s stressors rear their ugly heads. Our clinicians can help you find ways to calm yourself when you’re triggered.

Are you interested in speaking with someone who can offer you further post-care advice? At South Bay, our Day Services program can offer you that ongoing support to live a healthier life after treatment is completed. South Bay is dedicated to improving the lives of people who suffer from psychiatric illness to help them regain control of their situation. We strive to give our patients peace of mind and help open the door for a higher quality of life with fewer frustrations and greater opportunities.

Our Day Services programs provide collaborative psychosocial rehabilitation to adults with psychiatric disabilities, through a shared culture of recovery that extends into the community. Our strengths-based treatment model is designed to address each individual’s unique areas of need and ability.

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