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Please Vote YES on Issue 2 (Mental Health and Recovery Levy)

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. We urge everyone to vote YES for Issue 2, which supports the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board. This is a 1.35-mill (0.85-mill renewal and a 0.5-mill increase) levy for five years for current expenses that will raise $5,429,527 annually. This funding is vital …


Be Aware of Suicide Warning Signs — and ACT

by Sarah Babyak National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is an opportunity for a difficult topic to be more widely discussed in our society and communities. It’s a time to highlight resources, share stories and provide facts in an effort reduce the stigma on this emotional and personal topic. We use …


What Does Temperament Mean for You and Your Infant or Toddler?

Temperament describes the way any individual — regardless of age — approaches and reacts to the world. It is a personal “style” that is present from birth, and an important feature of social and emotional health. The compatibility between a parent and his or her child’s temperament can impact the quality …


Treating Teens’ Depression May Have a Ripple Effect on Their Families

 Excerpted from The Atlantic, August 11, 2018 Preliminary new research, presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association on Saturday, suggests that when depressed teens go through some version of mental-health treatment, symptoms of depression in their parents lessen. The finding, based on a study of 325 American …


The Benefits of Outside Play

by Sarah E. Macovitz, LSW Growing up, I was always told by my parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbors that playing outside was “good for you.” Of course, this was long before cell phones, video games or other electronic devices that keep our attention nowadays. I have been working on loads …


The Silent Tragedy Affecting Today’s Children

by Victoria Prooday NOTE: The following article appeared in a blog written by Victoria Prooday for the website Faithit. Ms. Prooday is a registered Occupational Therapist, Psychotherapist, and founder and clinical director of a multidisciplinary clinic for children and parents. The views expressed in this article are her own, and do not …


Suicide Is Preventable – Get Help

The well-publicized recent suicides of two celebrities has resulted in a surge of calls to suicide hotlines nationwide. It’s a good time to remind everyone that help is available for those who are in despair. If you or someone you know is hurting, please seek out the support you need. …


Using Verbal Reinforcement with Your Child

by Louise Kotel, LSW Kids tend to have good days and bad. As parents, it’s easy to focus on the bad moments, times and days. We’re quick to redirect, consequent, and become frustrated with behaviors our children are displaying. We tend to get the negative reports from school, daycare and/or …


Expert Recommends Ways to Talk to Your Children About School Shootings

Source: CNYCcentral.com The horrific images coming out of Texas and Florida following recent school shootings are difficult for adults to process, so how can we help our children make sense of the something so awful? “As adults it’s so easy for us to want to put our own worries or …


Yikes…I mean yay! It’s summer!!

Do you dream about and anticipate the warm, lazy days of summer…until they’re actually here? Do you then start to loathe the thought of kids having too much time on their hands? Within minutes of school being out for the summer, we start hearing the all-too-familiar words “I’m bored!” — …


Depression Through the Eyes of a Teenager

Recently one of our Alta Behavioral HealthCare clients created a poem about Depression and shared it with us. We feel this poem and accompanying illustration gives a powerful insight into what it can be like to suffer from this condition. With the permission of the client and the client’s parents, …


How Well Does Your Child Sleep at Night?

by Rochelle R. Perrotta, LPCC-S One of the main concerns I have heard from parents over the years is difficulty getting their children to sleep throughout the night. Many times, children struggle to fall asleep or wake up frequently. Sometimes children have restless sleep patterns or even nightmares. Problems with …


Infant Mortality Program Helps Pregnant Moms

Are you or is someone you know pregnant? We’re here to help! The Infant Mortality Program at Alta Behavioral Healthcare provides services to pregnant women in order to assist them in establishing healthy lifestyles for healthy pregnancies. Our certified Community Health Workers are trained to identify women who are at …


To Hear Someone Say “I’ve Been There,” and Know They Mean It!

So many times as a transition-aged youth or as a parent, it is common to feel…uncommon. Individuals often keep thoughts, feelings or difficulties to themselves, fearing they will not be understood. What a relief it would be to talk to someone who has already lived through your experience, and found …


How to Help Your Children with Test Anxiety

by Bethany Koenig State testing season is here and with standardized tests come anxiety — for teachers, children and their parents. The pressure is high and the children are feeling it! All children experience anxiety, and anxiety is a normal response to something that is dangerous or stressful. The good news …


Screen Time and Its Impact on Your Child’s Well-Being

Screen time is defined as any time a child or teen spends in front of a television, computer, video game or mobile device. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends youth have less than two hours per day of screen time. However, most youth spend closer to eight hours each …


Expert Recommends Ways to Talk to Your Children About School Shootings

Source: CNYCcentral.com The horrific images coming out of Florida following the school shooting are difficult for adults to process, so how can we help our children make sense of the something so awful? “As adults it’s so easy for us to want to put our own worries or our own …


New Study Finds Children’s Resilience Affects How They Cope with Bullying

This article, published on Florida Atlantic University’s website — summarizes the findings of a recent study on bullying that was co-authored by a researcher from FAU. While in no way minimizing the problems that bullying causes, it points out that we can do more than simply protect our children from bullying — we can …


All Alta Employees Have a Role in Dealing with Trauma in Children

The most comprehensive Trauma Care in the Mahoning Valley is found at Alta Behavioral Healthcare. And that care encompasses more than the dedicated Trauma-Focused Therapy offered by Alta. In fact, every employee at Alta has a role in ensuring that the experiences of children in the agency’s Trauma programs will …


“What? You Want to Have a Family Talk?”

Imagine you’re 7 years old. You come home from school; you’re excited to be home, hungry and looking forward to dinner. In a little while, you smell your favorite meal, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, wafting up from the kitchen. Things seem a little tense at dinner tonight, but that’s …


Early Warning Signs

At Alta Behavioral Healthcare we’ve been screening and assessing children, adolescents and young adults for many years. You’d think we’d have it all figured out by now! Actually, we’re pretty good at identifying early warning signs of an emotional problem. But we’ll never measure up to the most talented screeners …


Early Childhood Mental Health Is Like Eating Your Veggies

When people think mental health, sometimes they think of scary things. Some people think about mental illness that you see on TV, or they think that something is seriously wrong with their child, or that mental health professionals want to medicate their child after taking one look at them. Many …


Mahoning County Juvenile Court’s Early Warning System

Mahoning County Juvenile Court, through a grant from the Department of Justice, has partnered with the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and Alta Behavioral Healthcare to help young people who are struggling behaviorally and academically. The Early Warning System [EWS] program is designed to look at factors such …


Teen depression? You are not alone — help is available

Everyone can feel sad and moody from time to time, but normally these feelings pass. Feelings that are more intense and long-lasting may be depression. Depression can strike anyone at any age, but it can be particularly hard to deal with during teenage years, which are already difficult in so many ways. Depression is …


Alta Behavioral Healthcare’s UPSTREAM™ Program has openings!

Alta Behavioral Healthcare’s UPSTREAM™ Program now has openings for Preschool-age children Kindergarten-second grade Youngstown City School children UPSTREAM is a home-based literacy and social/emotional program to help children from preschool through second grade improve their reading and literacy skills and be socially and emotionally ready to learn. The aim of …


How we were parented impacts us all — for life

In a blog post a couple of months ago, I spoke of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. There are several different categories of ACEs, but two of the most prominent are abuse or neglect suffered by children at the hand of a parent or parents. I recently came across a …


New Year’s resolutions — and how to make them stick

When I was a member of a local gym for many years, there was one sure thing that we regulars could count on — a sudden influx of new gym members in January. We used to joke about it — “Here they come, and they’ll be gone in three weeks!” You …


The Winter Blahs!

Some say it’s the time of beautiful, pure white snow, sledding, crackling fires, festive holidays and family get-togethers. Then there are the others who say it’s the black and white season: cold, stark, imprisoned indoors, expensive, and the season of weight gain. I’d have to say I land somewhere in …


Stop It!

How many times have we wanted to tell someone who’s doing something that we feel is wrong or bad for them to “just STOP IT!”? Of course if we did, they typically would look at us like we’re crazy and think to themselves “why should I listen to you?” or …


Help for Children Suffering from Trauma

About one in four children will experience a traumatic event before the age of 16. Some children may develop psychiatric conditions, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and a variety of behavioral disorders. Examples of Traumatic Experiences Acute traumatic events (singular or frequent): Sudden or violent loss of …


When Three ACEs Are a Bad Hand

In my last blog I used a poker analogy and said there was more to come on adverse experiences in children. So, what better way to follow that up than with another poker analogy (and I don’t even play!). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a term used to describe a …


Fighting Mental Health Stigma

A person who suffers from mental health issues (as well as his or her family) already faces many challenges in attempting to deal with the factors that impact his or her life. But regardless of the individual situation, a common thread that adds an additional burden is the stigma against …


Sad, Mad or Bad? (or Children Have the Best Poker Faces)

Many of us are not very good at cards because we don’t have good poker faces. When we’re happy, it’s not hard to tell by the way we act or the look on our face. When we’re angry, others usually know it. And when we’re sad or depressed, we look …


There Is Hope

by Meg Harris   As a counselor in the mental health field for many years, I have been exposed to a lot of children and families who struggle with emotional difficulties and behavioral concerns. Many people have reported that they were initially reluctant to seek out professional assistance because they didn’t …


Screaming Children and Parent-Shaming

It’s hard enough to remain calm and composed when you’re in a tunnel 540 feet below ground with a bunch of strangers. But when a child of one those strangers is throwing a long and loud tantrum, it can really test your coping skills. I know, because it happened to me. …


Let Them Fail

Instinct. It’s part of our makeup, our character. It just is. But what are we to do when we need to go against our instincts — to do nothing when every fiber of our being is saying “STOP! Don’t let that happen”? As a parent, you learn very quickly that …


“That Kid Is Hopeless”

I remember walking into a school not long ago and hearing a heated argument that was taking place between a student and his teacher. The student was being told to remove an article of clothing that wasn’t allowed. Even when being threatened with discipline, including a suspension for not complying …


The Invisible Child

How do you feel when you see a child with a physical disability, or one suffering from a serious illness or developmental disability? You may have a natural emotional reaction and feel sad or sympathetic. You might look for a way to help — perhaps with a donation or a …


Frustrated with your child’s behavior? Here’s what to do.

Your child’s room looks like a pigsty, you have to nag your daughter to do her homework and you’ve had to remind your son yet again to take the garbage out. And those are the small things. Then you get another call from the school because your son got in …


What is the “right” type of parent?

When you apply for a job, what’s the first thing the employer wants to know? When you apply to a college or technical program, what’s the first thing the program wants to know? Typically, they want to know if you’re the “right kind of person” for the job and whether …


A new name, and a new website

Welcome to Alta Care Group’s new brand name and website! This is a very exciting time for our organization as we are growing, creating new partnerships and alliances, and developing new ways to fulfill our mission. Our new website helps mark the official introduction of our new identity, although we …

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