Blog

When Emily (not her real name) first came to North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, she was experiencing anxiety and depression that was largely caused by her fear of coming out to her family. Her fears weren’t unfounded. “Her parents were very disapproving and would not accept their daughter’s bisexuality,” explains Elissa Smilowitz, LCSWR and Coordinator of Triage & Emergency Services at the Guidance Center. “It was devastating to Emily,...

Does spending time outdoors as a child improve mental health as an adult? According to a new European study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, exposure to nature—or what the researcher calls NOEs, for natural outdoor environments—does, indeed, lead to better mental health for youngsters as they grow into their adult years. The study found that, “Compared to high levels of childhood NOE exposure, low levels of childhood NOE...

For many generations, popular music has played a significant role in the lives of young people. Although it seems quaint now, the uproar over Elvis and his gyrating pelvis or the Beatles and their long hair was a real source of contention among the youth of the 1960s and their parents. But in that same generation, music played a central role in important events like the anti-war movement and the...

By Andrew Malekoff I wonder what young people think of the endless parade of public figures - government officials, businessmen, entertainers, professional athletes, college coaches and administrators - crashing and burning before their eyes. Perhaps F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best when he wrote: "Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." A few years ago, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, where I am the Executive Director, asked...

Each year, May 9th is designated as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day shines a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and reinforces that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work.” According to the Centers for Disease Control...

When parents think about illicit drugs that can harm their children and teens, they probably first think of substances such as marijuana, LSD, heroin and cocaine. Also looming large is the epidemic of opioids, which is an enormous crisis for both youth and adults. Sadly, newer drugs are finding their way into our kid’s lives, sometimes with deadly consequences. One of these is a substance called kratom, an herbal extract that...

What is your favorite thing about springtime? Here at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, the warm weather of April marks the joyful start of planting season at our two organic gardens—one at our headquarters in Roslyn Heights and the other at our Marks Family Right From the Start 0-3+ Center in Manhasset. When they begin as clients of the Guidance Center, many children and teens have low self-esteem and...

Today is National Pet Day, but in reality, for the estimated 65% of U.S. households that own a pet (nearly 80 million homes), every day is Pet Day! The benefits of having a pet in the family are enormous, impacting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Dog owners, in particular, reap health rewards when they walk and play with their favorite four-legged family members. But research shows that interactions with any type...

Many adults reflect on their childhood days through rose-colored glasses. We tend to remember the happy times— fun family vacations, close friendships, holiday celebrations and more. And there’s nothing wrong with reveling in such memories. But if we take off those glasses, we’re likely to also remember the pressures of doing well in school, or the bully who made us feel small, or the fights our parents had over money....

Does your child beg you for the latest version of the iPhone, or the hottest videogame, or even an outrageously priced handbag from the latest designer? “Our kids are growing up in a world where what you have is sometimes seen as more important than who you are,” says Andrew Malekoff, Executive Director of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center. “It’s the job of parents and other role models to...