Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:48pm
Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.

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Sep. 4, 2013 at 2:41pm
B2S Series: How to Help Your Kid Overcome Friend-less-ness

When your son or daughter gets a cut or scrape you know exactly what to do--place a bandage on the boo-boo. Monsters under the bed? Not on mom or dad's watch! Afraid of the dark? Nightlight to the rescue! Your kid doesn't seem to have (m)any friends? As a parent, that can be a little difficult to figure out?

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Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:57am
B2S Series: Are Social Phobia and Shyness the Same?

As a part two of our Back to School Series' third installment we're continuing the conversation on social phobia.

Social phobia or social anxiety disorder (SAD), as defined by Dr. Bruce A. Grellong in Thinking Children newsletter, is a distressing condition characterized by marked physical and emotional symptoms of high anxiety in the presence of others that interferes with functioning at school, at work, and in social situations. But social phobia is not shyness. Shyness as an individual style need not be labeled as a disorder requiring psychological treatment unless it begins to create significant discomfort and interference with normal functioning. Shyness is a trait characterizing the way an individual approaches new situations or persons and responds to experiences in their world.

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Aug. 30, 2013 at 11:24am
B2S Series: 5 Scenarios of Therapy Helping Teens Deal

You bring them into this world. As a mom, dad or guardian you wait for the day your precious little one says their first words possibly, quickly followed by the golden silences of bedtime when "Dora the Explorer" isn't the constant subject du jour. Then one day they grow up and keeping yourself in the loop of their adolescence becomes a struggle. We're talking about the joys of parenting teens!

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Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:16am
B2S Series: Teens Seeking Guidance

Welcome to our Back to School (B2S) series  covering mental health related topics for school age children.

You're a high school student. You want to discuss the trendiest nail colors for this Fall (FYI think fruit: deep plums, berries, cherries and something along the 3-d or metallics lines) with someone. Figuring out last night's Chem assignment is a breeze because in either case you can immediately turn to your lab partner, classmate or friend, right? But, where are would you, a teenager turn if there were a more pressing worry going on in your life? For instance, there's a reason to be concerned about a friend with a potential eating disorder? It becomes really difficult to focus in  class? The loss of a loved one is experienced? What if you, the high school student don't have any friends and are being bullied? Where do you go?

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Aug. 28, 2013 at 9:58am
Turning The Dream Into A Reality

Surprised to see a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. outside of January? Don't be. The focus on the blog today will center around King's "I Have A Dream" speech to mark the historic 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Now don't fret. The rules haven't been forgotten. Money, politics, religion are in the prohibited discussion realm. Got it. Proceeding with caution....

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Aug. 23, 2013 at 11:30am
One in Three

Sigh. Another statistic, right? And yet, this is one you shouldn't turn away from. According to research presented at the American Psychological Association's (AMA) 121st Annual Convention in Honolulu, it was revealed that about one in three American youths ages 14 to 20 say they have been victims of dating violence or have been violent toward a date.

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Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:36am
Emergency Rooms and the Psychiatric Patient

We've written here before about how much mental illness can cost the government. People who are uninsured can have a range of problems and when you throw in a psychiatric disorder, that ups the ante on emergency room visits and undiagnosed accompanying problems.

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Aug. 21, 2013 at 3:47pm
It's Never Too Late

A loved one committing suicide is one of the hardest things to come to terms with. With shock, grief, and agony, thousands each day are left to wonder what drove them to that point. It's often the teenager who no longer "felt" after years of depression, or the daughter who felt she had no control over her life. But what about senior citizens? Grandma and grandpa or mom and dad. How many times have you heard of a senior citizen committing suicide? Sounds taboo right? Unfortunately, as it turns out elderly people commit suicide at a surprisingly alarming rate and face a whole different kind of stigma. 
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Aug. 20, 2013 at 11:21am
Making Travel For Kids With Autism A Little Easier

It's summer time! As the beginning of the school year nears and August draws to an end for many this also means it's the final countdown to take that family vacation. However, choosing a destination or making hotel accommodations is a lot more challenging for some families who have to take great care when planning a trip--particularly those who are parents to children with special needs.

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Aug. 19, 2013 at 11:06am
What It's Like to Have Anxiety Issues

in Photos

Photographer John William Keedy is using his own experiences with anxiety to help others understand what sufferers go through. Keedy has been dealing with anxiety for the past 9 years and has turned to his skill of photography to illustrate what living with mental illness look like. 

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Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:55am
Should a Mental Illness Prevent You From Being Admitted to the Bar?

You studied hard in law school. You crammed for the bar exam and felt confident going in. You even passed. But you're still being barred from being inducted to the bar. What gives? Read more →

Aug. 15, 2013 at 2:18pm
Hire A Vet! Or Are they All Crazy??

There is a dichotomy in this country in the way veterans are thought about and portrayed. There is a huge push going on to hire veterans--they're able bodied, well trained, and in need of work. And then in the next article you read, it says that nearly 30 percent of veterans are suffering from PTSD--and immediately we picture shell shocked incompetents who should NOT be hired to work in factory or anywhere. Yet how many of us really understand what PTSD even means and how it manifests itself in people suffering from it? 

In the At War blog in the New York Times, veteran David Eisler takes this split personality head on. 

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Aug. 14, 2013 at 10:19am
Behind The Vaguebooking

You know those annoying people who always post those cryptic statues on social media about their life and feelings? You know, the ones where you think "they're just looking for attention." We all have friends like that, don't we?

But could there be a deeper underlying reason to why they're acting so "weird" and looking to get attention from everyone? Certainly, you have to remember they could mean a number of different things--right?

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Aug. 13, 2013 at 10:02am
Moms Know Best: Autism Myths Debunked

At JBFCS, parents hold a special place in our hearts. Being a parent isn't easy and having a child with a mental illness or developmental disability can make child rearing an even more difficult process. Having an autistic child can present many challenges for a parent. But it also allows them to strive to know everything they can about autism. That's why we trust them so much. Parents with autistic children have immense knowledge, so we were delighted that the Huffington Post chose mothers of autistic children to debunk 10 autism myths rather than fancy professionals. Sometimes you don't need the scientific breakdown of chemicals from neurotypicals but rather the practical advice coming from an everyday mom who deals with the humanistic aspect of  mental illness everyday.

So without further ado, here are the 10 Biggest Myths About Autism From Moms Who Know:
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Aug. 13, 2013 at 9:55am
Skype Me, Maybe?

Here's my number...so skype me maybe? Could this be the future of therapy? Changing times in the field suggest that many are now considering ditching in-person appointments and log onto their computers to talk to therapists.    
The change demonstrates the willingness of current generations to use technology in order to accomplish their goals by using the convenience of the internet. Previous generations may have been timid to have a therapist online, but with an estimated one in every four people being affected by a mental illness and busy work schedules that offer little time to go meet face to face, an online therapist could be a innovative technique that allows many to see a therapist who couldn't do so previously.

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Aug. 9, 2013 at 9:50am
The New Great Generation

This entire week, we've been referencing an eye opening article that exhibits the severe pressures that are placed on Indian Americans. The extreme (and often unrealistic) expectations that are placed on Indian Americans drive them to severe depression and often times suicide and cutting. 
It's clear in our blogs throughout the week the overall themes seems to suggest that first generation children of immigrant parents have a tough time being able to live up to the American dream. Let's be honest, America is the "land of opportunity" but it comes at a great price. 

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Aug. 8, 2013 at 9:19am
Everything Is A-ok, Isn't It?

In yesterday's blog, we talked about parents, friends, and relatives who said they never knew that a loved one was suffering, that someone was depressed? scared? distressed? enough to take his/her own life. Well, part of that may be not paying attention to signs and symptoms, but part of it may be due to the person hiding his/her depression and symptoms.

The article we've been referencing all week about Indian Americans and suicide shows so many different angles of this problem. Parents who never knew and children who hid their stories from others so well. Because kids often feel that they must be happy--after all, their parents have worked so hard to ensure their happiness. But by denying the depression that exists within them, these children may go down the darker path of suicide.
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Aug. 7, 2013 at 9:24am
We Never Knew

This week we've been referencing an article about suicides among the Indian American community. One of the oft-repeated comments is "We never knew." "We never suspected there was an issue." This, of course, isn't unique to the Indian American community. So many parents, friends, relatives of suicides are left dumbfounded, not sure what led their loved one to take his/her own life.

In the article, Sunil Tripathi suddenly dropped out of Brown University and disappeared. His body was found a month later. His mother said she and her family were struggling to understand what had happened.

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Aug. 5, 2013 at 10:25am
When A 95% On A Test Isn't Good Enough

Imagine a high school student running into their home, excited to inform their parents that they received a 95% on a recent test they took. Filled with personal satisfaction, they're proud that they've been rewarded for the countless hours spent studying. As a teenager, they feel as if they have finally done something right.

Now imagine the parents response. What if it was something like "well what happened to the other 5%"? Think that's unrealistic? Think again.

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Aug. 2, 2013 at 10:14am
Faith and Therapy

I remember going to a fundamentalist church one time when I was in college. It was a beautiful, faith-filled service that was quite out of my realm of experience. My friends and I were talking to some of the congregants after the service and we were introduced to a little boy who obviously had Down Syndrome. But the mother and other relatives claimed that yes, he was born with problems, but they had prayed and now he was better.

I'm sorry to say I was dumbfounded. Better? Really? Did this faith mean that the child would not get the health services he needed? Did they really believe that he was cured of a genetic disorder?

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Aug. 1, 2013 at 3:37pm
What's Fair in Sports and Fighting?

Fallon Fox is an MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter. And she's a winnner too. But when she revealed that she had been born a man and had gender reassignment surgery, the sh*t hit the proverbial fan.

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Jul. 31, 2013 at 8:46am
The Double Edged Sword in the Latino Community

Latinos are increasingly becoming a larger part of the population. But that doesn't make them more likely to seek mental health care.

According to a recent article, in addition to the stigma there is another barrier to Latinos: language. The article released the result of a study that points to the notion that Latinos don' feel comfortable seeking and talking about mental health care. 

"We found that Blacks and Latinos [remain] in care, including using outpatient services and filling psychotropic drugs, for a shorter time than whites,” said lead study author, Benjamin Le Cook, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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Jul. 30, 2013 at 2:51pm
The Strength To Stay, The Strength To Love

The life of a parent who has a child with a developmental disorder is far from easy.

Imagine going through the ecstatic feeling of knowing you have a child on the way. From name picking, to clothes shopping, and telling loved ones that you're a parent to be, you wait in anticipation for your beautiful, perfect baby to arrive.

But then something goes terribly wrong. You learn at some point before or after birth that your child has a developmental disability. Your world comes crashing down. This is the life of a parent with a developmental disability. Jack Barr Jr. is one of those parents. 

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Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:02pm
Why Haste (in Judgement) Makes Waste In The Case of Addiction

Someone with a drug and/or drinking problem has fallen through the cracks and died of an overdose. What's new? Cory Monteith who played Finn Hudson on the popular hit television show Glee passes away from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol?!?! STOP THE PRESSES!

In the aftermath of Monteith's sudden death on July 13th the media circuit was more abuzz post mortem than they were when he went to rehab a short time prior. Why, oh why, is such a greater value placed on the life of an actor, entertainer, singer, movie star, and the like even in death than of the common man who struggles just the same with addiction?

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Jul. 26, 2013 at 3:07pm
Mad Geniuses?

In yesterday's entry, we referenced a New York Times article that suggested expanding access to mental health care as a cost-effective way to help the economy. 

People who are out of work and relying on government assistance due to mental health issues cost the government oodles of money--in time out of work, in food stamps, in rent help, and more.
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Jul. 25, 2013 at 3:13pm
The New Underclass?

"People with serious mental illness earn, on average, $16,000 less than their mentally well counterparts, totaling about $193 billion annually in lost earnings, according to a 2008 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry."

That quote was taken from an article in the New York Times talking about 1.4 million Americans in federal disability rolls for mood disorders. People with persistent mental disorders can be stabilized and can live lives that appear as "normal" as anyone else's. But setbacks happen, people stop responding to certain drugs, and experimental treatments are often NOT covered by insurance.

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Jul. 23, 2013 at 3:35pm
East Stigma Meets West Stigma

What happens when treatment for Autism meets in between East and West culture? One big mess.

Continuing the conversation of how different cultures view and approach mental health, the New York Times recently explored a culture that hadn't been previously studied: The South Korean community. The mental health stigma in the South Korean community is one of the worse we encountered. While many cultures deny or ignore mental illness, the Korean community seems to be taking a much more radical route: ignoring it and hoping it will go away.

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Jul. 22, 2013 at 3:41pm
Taking Stigma To A Whole New Level

Imagine living somewhere where if you had a mental illness and instead of going to see a doctor, you're chained to a post and then have your ear drum punctured. This is the reality of many in India.

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Jul. 19, 2013 at 3:44pm
Troops Still Wary of Admitting Mental Health Problems

Yesterday, we discussed how important it is to allow veterans to feel apart of something bigger than themselves when they return from serving. This is largely  due to the stigma of admitting that  they are lonely and depressed. This feeling of isolation in combination with the traumatic experiences that occur while serving can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Jul. 18, 2013 at 3:48pm
Can Service Save Us?

When veterans return home, we all want to help them. We offer counsel and try to get them back into the swing of civilian life. But have you ever considered that maybe they are the ones that want to help us?

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Jul. 17, 2013 at 3:52pm
Stepping Off The Ledge

Continuing with our conversation about Kevin Breel's Ted Talk consider the following:
Would you rather post a status about you can’t get out of bed because you hurt your back or because you’re depressed? 

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Jul. 16, 2013 at 3:59pm
Living Two Different Lives

A young man is a stand-up comedian. You figure he's got the world on his shoulder, can always look at the sunny side of life, and if he has worries, then he knows how to make fun of them or put them in a better light. Kevin Breel might even agree with that, and yet, he will tell you that's what he shows to the outside world. What he doesn't disclose is the underlying depression that has shaped him since his early teen years. 

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Jul. 12, 2013 at 3:15pm
A Look Inside an Author's Breakdown

Part 2

In yesterday's blog, I introduced you to author Julie Gray, who so eloquently wrote about when she checked herself into a psychiatric ward. Her words provided insight into her world in which living wasn't something she aspired to anymore. And how she screwed up the courage to admit that was a horrifying thought and sought help.

One of the ways she sought that help was by asking a friend to go with her when she checked herself into the psychiatric ward. How scary was that! "Here is what saved my life. I admitted to my best friend that I was feeling suicidal. Darcy took me seriously and did not freak out -- at least not to me. No, she took action in the form of arriving at my house in one hour flat."
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Jul. 11, 2013 at 3:11pm
A Look Inside An Author's Breakdown

Part 1

Writers have the ability to bring you into a world that's not your own. To create a vision of something you might not ordinarily deal with. Depending on your favorite reading genre, that could mean you become part of a sexy new romance or join adventurers battling their way through a foreign land or explore new territory on Mars. 

Sometimes writers take you someplace you're not sure you want to go. Author Julie Gray has done just this on her blog on The Huffington Post. She writes about her mental breakdown and checking herself into psychiatric ward to get help. She creates a quiet world, one that you wouldn't necessarily expect to reflect the inner turmoil of a woman on the verge of a breakdown. 

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Jul. 10, 2013 at 9:05am
How to Love Someone

Often times feel lost on how to help a loved one get over depression? What do you do to get them out of their rut? The answer may actually unexpectedly be nothing.

It goes without saying the devastating consequences depression can have on one's life. Seeing a loved one battle through depression on a day to day basis can be one of the more difficult and helpless situations you can ever be in. So how do you help them? Andrew Lawes from the Good Men Project has offered a simple yet interesting solution. He feels we are all making a mistake when it comes to how we approach someone with depression. According to Lawes, often times people make the mistake of  treating depression as a mood instead of what it really is- a mental illness.

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Apr. 27, 2013 at 9:12am
10 Practical Ways to Cope with Depression

The top contributing factor to depression is stress. “Minimizing stress as much as possible is a good idea when you're depressed, especially unnecessary or avoidable stressors that people can be pulled into when they're depressed," says Erik Nelson, MD. Everyday Health lists 10 Ways to Cope with Depression:

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