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Being a teenager brings with it many challenges, especially in a world where technology can spread a nasty message throughout a school in minutes. But, while all teenagers face the prospect of being bullied, for teens who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning), the statistics are especially alarming: • LGBTQ youth are nearly twice as likely to be called names, verbally harassed or physically assaulted at school compared...

Do you know someone with a mental illness? Odds are that, even if you don’t know it, you have a friend, colleague or a family member who experiences some form of mental illness, whether it’s severe depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or a host of other conditions. This week has been designated as Mental Illness Awareness Week, and it’s a good time to look at some facts that might surprise you: According...

We’ve all heard the complaint that, because of government and state education policies, teachers are being forced more and more to “teach for the test.” That leaves them little time for engaging children in more creative forms of learning. For their part, parents are often overwhelmed by the responsibilities of balancing work and family time, making it harder to put their energies into encouraging creative pursuits by their offspring. Plus, kids...

In a recent blog, we talked about the importance of teaching mental health as part of school curriculum. In fact, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last year that requires schools to provide instruction in mental health on or after July 1, 2018. But earlier legislation also required schools to include education on the use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances. All of these areas are extremely important to bring into the...

It’s the ultimate tragedy. When any child, teen or adult commits suicide, the reverberations can devastate friends, destroy families and spread fear and sorrow throughout communities. Suicide knows no race, gender or economic status—and teens or even younger children are at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 14, and the second...

September is National Yoga Month, designed to educate the public about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.  How does yoga relate to our mission to restore and strengthen the emotional wellbeing of children and families? According to the American Psychological Association, yoga relieves stress and anxiety, reduces muscle tension and inflammation, and calms the nervous system. It has even been shown to help reduce depression. Another area...

Reading, writing and arithmetic. For many years, that’s what was viewed as the main curriculum for schools to cover. But for those who believe we should teach not just academics but also focus on a student’s wellbeing, there’s some good news out of Albany. Legislation signed by Governor Cuomo in 2016 requires that public schools in New York State begin providing instruction in mental health on or after July 1, 2018....

There’s no putting it off. Summer is waning and that means school is right around the corner. Although it’s no surprise when the bus comes that first day, the change can be hard for anyone to handle. The transition from carefree summer days to school days is challenging. And it’s not just kids who are stressed. Parents also suffer from the back-to-school jitters. While parents appreciate that their children will be...

As the summer comes to an end and back to school is on the mind, let’s consider our kid’s mental well-being. It can be hard to walk down the halls of a school when you’re not feeling good about yourself. Help your kids start off the school year on the right foot by promoting their self-esteem and self-image. Here are some tips parents can share with their children: Stop critiquing yourself:...

Going off to college, whether it is your first time or your last can be a lot to manage. There are so many internal and external costs and benefits.  The responsibility of independence, as well as social, academic, and financial commitments, can feel overwhelming.  The transition to college, while exciting, can often add a great deal of stress to one’s life. Be equipped to make this upcoming year a happy...