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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 …