Recently, a group of teenagers from Kennewick, Washington, were winners in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for their proposed app, “Safe&Sound,” to give teens a way to manage stress and depression. When interviewed on NPR, three members of the group described their own personal experience with depression and anxiety as well as a school shooting in their community as inspiration for the app. While they acknowledge that the app – which offers, for example, inspirational quotes, breathing exercises, and suggestions for coping – does not address all of the elements necessary for dealing with mental health concerns, it is a small piece of the puzzle to help teenagers deal with stress in an increasingly hand-held and web-based world. The app is expected to be released in June 2015. Read more
It can be difficult at the beginning to decipher what is an eating disorder versus what is normal self-consciousness and dieting behavior that comes with the changing bodies in adolescents.
But as the eating disorder progresses, the red flags can get more obvious. Some of these red flags include a change in eating behavior, where people will skip meals or make up reasons why they’re not eating:
We want to raise children who are resilient and can adapt well in the complex and sometimes challenging world we live in, but they don’t become this way automatically. There are four basic steps parents can focus on to help their kids cope effectively with difficult situations they will encounter whether in school or as they navigate social interactions with peers.
When I was asked to write a blog about the difficult transition into high school and I thought, “Interesting topic, but is it really necessary to discuss?” Then I had a 14 year old patient this week whose main concern was this: “How am I going to survive high school?” A mix of pop culture and passed down stories from well-meaning family members had terrified this soon-to-be 9th grader. She had heard that the older high school boys are preying on the “fresh meat” and that fights are breaking out in the halls on a daily basis. She also heard about the prevalence of weapons in school and wondered how she can protect herself. Should she carry pepper spray in her backpack? (This was her actual question to me and my heart broke).
It seems like all school year long kids can’t wait for summer break. And just as soon as the family really starts to enjoy it, it’s August and time to start making the transition back.
Aside from the disappointment of vacation coming to an end, the start of school can be a source of anxiety for many kids as they worry about the unpredictable – who will be in their class, who will they have for teachers, if the work will be too hard for them. And this is especially true for kids who may be moving to new schools with the transition from kindergarten to first grade, elementary to middle school, or middle to high school. But there are ways parents can help.