• Monthly Newsletters

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    Each month, we send a specialized newsletter discussing current events, topics, and provide resources to help. We strive to provide you with information to increase your knowledge of mental health issues, concerns, and provide tips and guidance to cope. If you have a topic or question, you’d like to learn more about, please let us know! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

    The Benefits of Incorporating Gratitude into Your Day

    November is the month of Thanksgiving. It is the time of the year when we focus on all the yummy food we are about to eat, family time, and gratitude. But, research shows, that gratitude is something we could benefit from every day—not just during one month of the year. It can have positive effects on our mental and physical health and our relationships.

    This newsletter looks at some of the benefits of incorporating gratitude into your day.

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    5 Benefits of Receiving Care from an Associate Therapist or Psychologist-in-Training

    At first thought, the idea of receiving care from an associate therapist or psychologist-in-training might seem a bit scary or even risky. While it is understandable to be nervous about the capabilities of a not-yet-fully-licensed therapist, several benefits are often overlooked. 

    An associate therapist has been participating in a rigorous education program through their school of choice. They have already completed a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field from an accredited program. A psychologist-in-training has a master’s degree and has completed a minimum of 15 graduate hours in their doctoral program. Both are working in an office setting to complete requirements for their formal licensure.

    This newsletter looks at some of the benefits of receiving care from an associate therapist or psychologist-in-training.

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    Suicide Warning Signs and Risk Factors

    It is not a fun topic to talk about but it is a very important one: suicide.September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and I can’t think of a better time to share some of the warning signs and risk factors of suicide — so you know. Half the battle in prevention is being aware of signs that someone is struggling. It can be easy in our busy lives to overlook warning signs thinking that someone is just stressed. You might not be able to fathom the thought that they could possibly hurt themselves or take their life. But, it happens every day.

    Suicide is a leading cause of death, and sadly it is increasing. It is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34, the fourth leading cause among people ages 34-54, and the fifth leading cause among people ages 45-54. It impacts all ages, genders, and nationalities. 

    By knowing the warning signs and risk factors you have the ability to potentially help someone before they take their life.

    This newsletter details some warning signs and risk factors.

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    Helping Your Child (and Yourself) Combat Back-to-School Anxiety

     

    It is hard to believe that summer is coming to a close and another atypical school year is upon us due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You or your child may be feeling some back-to-school anxiety as you anticipate what things will be like this year. Masks, no masks, vaccines, no vaccines, quarantine rules, in-person learning, virtual learning, it is all a lot to take on. 

    Returning to school can cause anxious feelings even in a non-pandemic year with concerns over schoolwork, friendships, social interaction, teachers, getting to classes, etc. Combined with pandemic stressors you might be wondering how you can help your child and yourself combat back-to-school anxiety. 

    First of all, know that whatever you are feeling right now is ok. There is no “normal” way to feel as school begins. Your worries, your fears, even your relief is all valid. 

    Combating back-to-school anxiety may feel overwhelming but there are some ways to help ease emotions and make the transition a bit easier.

    This newsletter details some tips to help you and your child transition back to school.

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    Tips for Re-Entering Society Post-Pandemic

     

     

    It has been over a year since the world, and state of Pennsylvania, shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As things begin to reopen, are you ready to get back out there? If you are feeling anxious, stressed, uncertain about re-entering society, you are not alone. This is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking time. We have all just been through a traumatic event. It is ok to feel whatever you are feeling.

    This past year our mental health has been rattled. We have been faced with constant questions, uncertainty, fear of the unknown, loss of loved ones, time, and experiences. It has been nothing short of difficult. We aren’t expected to just dive right back into “normalcy.” It will take some time to adjust.

    This newsletter details some tips to help you as you make plans to re-enter society post-pandemic.

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    How to be an Ally to Your LGBTQ Friends

     

     

    June is Pride Month. It is the time of the year when the LGBTQ community comes together to celebrate who they are. But, Pride Month is about more than one group showcasing their culture, it is a time for the rest of us to show support and learn how to be an ally to the LGBTQ community.

    Being part of the LGBTQ community comes with a multitude of challenges that are deeply emotional and personal. Although we have come a long way over the years as a society working towards acceptance, there is still a lot of work yet to be done. As friends of the LGBTQ community, we hold the ability to be true allies. The more we show support for our LGBTQ friends, the more progress is made. 

    We all need friends, human connection, and we all want to feel accepted. The more society as a whole works to open their hearts and minds to the LGBTQ community, the more accepted and loved they will feel. 

    How can we support our LGBTQ friends?

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    Why Staying Socially Connected Is So Important

     

     

    Humans are social beings. It is in our DNA. Studies of our primate ancestors show that they traveled in groups for a variety of reasons, from more success hunting/gathering to reproducing and raising children. Social groups, at that time, were the difference between life and death.

    Things might look different nowadays but, as people, we are still very much hardwired for social interaction. Being isolated from others is uncomfortable, even for the introvert. It is no wonder that feeling connected with others is so important to our overall mental and physical well-being.

    As we enter Mental Health Awareness Month and reflect upon the past year and all the social isolation we have endured, we want to share reasons why staying socially connected is so important. As the National Alliance on Mental Illness touts in their latest campaign: You Are Not Alone. This newsletter looks at why that matters.

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    How to Talk About Anti-Asian Racism with Your Kids

     

     

    Over the past year, since the start of the COVID-19 virus, there has been a rise in anti-Asian racism and discrimination. These acts of hate can be difficult, yet necessary, topics to approach with your children and other family members.

    Having these conversations can be daunting as a parent but ignoring that these events are happening, especially if you or your child is of Asian descent or is acting out against others of Asian descent, is giving the message that these actions are ok. In this newsletter, we offer some tips to guide you in having this conversation and share some do’s and don’ts when it comes to supporting those in our Asian communities.

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    Why Do Some People Inflict Self-Harm?

     

     

    Some people turn to self-injury or harm in response to emotional distress. These non-suicidal injuries are a way for a person to mirror psychological pain with physical pain.

    But, as the person on the outside, witnessing self-harm to a loved one can be confusing and scary. The tendency is to jump to the idea that this person was trying to commit suicide when that is not usually the intent.

    Why would someone choose to hurt themselves? There are a few reasons we explore in this newsletter.

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    How Healthy is Your Self-Esteem?

     

     

    Self-esteem is feeling good about who you are. It is not devoting your life to pleasing everyone else but rather being true to yourself, your needs, and your desires. People with low self-esteem put a lot of weight into what other people think of them. They twist and turn events to make them reflect negatively on themselves. They get hurt and upset when faced with personal failures. Rather than forgiving the past and moving forward, those with low self-esteem hold on to past mistakes and consistently think of themselves in the worst ways. 

    It is important to take care of yourself and work to increase your overall self-esteem. Those with a healthy level of self-esteem have a greater sense of confidence and wellbeing. Overall they value themselves and have more positive relationships as a result. 

    How do you know if you have healthy self-esteem and what changes can you make to enhance your self-esteem?

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    Easing the Winter Blues

     

     

    For some people, the winter months are a time to embrace, whether it be a love of skiing or other outdoor sports, or a desire to snuggle up with a cozy blanket and a book by the fire. But, for many, the cold months of winter are a struggle to get motivated, find energy and, overall, a time of feeling down and depressed.

    It is estimated that as many as 10 million Americans struggle with seasonal depression each year, while many more face the winter blues, according to Psychology Today. Bring with that the social isolation, fear, and despair brought on by COVID-19 and you might be feeling more depressed and hopeless than ever before.

    The good news is there are ways to help yourself feel better and get through the winter months and on to happier, brighter times. What can you do to ease the winter blues and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this year?

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    Why it is Ok to Mourn Loss of Experiences

     

     

    It’s fair to say that 2020 has been the year of disappointment and even with a vaccine on the horizon that disappointment feels never-ending. Everything from birthday parties, family events and concerts to school, sports, and well, normal life has been canceled. And, now as the holiday season is in full swing, you might be feeling an extra punch to the gut over the loss of experiences. 

    You are probably feeling a whole slew of different emotions — sadness, grief, anxiety, depression, guilt, fear, regret, hope, and gratitude, to name a few. Whatever you are feeling, it is ok. It is ok to be upset at everything that isn’t happening. It is ok to grieve and mourn the loss of experiences. Grief isn’t just something you feel when you lose someone you love, it can be a healthy part of healing from any traumatic experience—something 2020 has given us a fair share of. If you are struggling with accepting the emotions you are feeling, give in. Let yourself feel so you can heal and keep moving forward. 

    Besides allowing yourself to feel, what are some other ways for you and your family to deal with all this disappointment?

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    How to Manage Post-Election Stress

     

     

    Post-Election Stress Disorder is a very real thing, especially these days. It doesn’t seem to matter which side of the fence you are on, tensions and anxiety are at an all-time high. Whether you are concerned about the future of the country, your children, the economy, health care, or having conversations with friends/family, there is a good chance you are struggling with some form of post-election stress. Add to that the uncertainty of a global pandemic, and it just might feel like your plate is overflowing. 

    You and your family’s 

     is important, so what can you do to combat post-election stress and breathe a little easier in the face of uncertainty? 

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    Coping With Pregnancy and Infant Loss

     

     

    Losing a child is devastating. It doesn’t matter if that child was growing inside of you or your partner, or was lost after birth. It is heartbreaking, emotionally-jarring, and traumatic.

    Pregnancy and infant loss whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or other complications are more common than one might think. One in four women will experience this tragic and painful loss. Model and Actress Chrissy Teigen recently shared her experience with pregnancy loss.

    When this happens you may feel as if you can’t go on. You may be fearful of the future. You may feel alone and lost. You might feel like you are at fault—wondering what happened to cause this tragedy. All of these feelings are ok and perfectly normal, which is why it is so important that you take care of yourself.

    How can you move forward after pregnancy or infant loss? How can you cope?

    Signs Your Child Is Struggling and How to Help

     

     

    Certain emotions can be hard for anyone to process, but even more so for children. They might not know how to react when they feel a certain way, so, as a parent, it is important to be aware of other signs your child may be struggling.

    The signs are not always obvious. Instead of telling you how they feel, they might act out in behavioral ways or complain of physical discomforts.The best thing you can do is pay attention. Note any sudden shifts in mood, behavior, or physical symptoms. These can be indicators your child could use some help coping. And, listen to your gut. Parents tend to have a sense something isn’t right.

    The past few months, living during a global pandemic COVID-19, have been particularly challenging with everything being canceled and closed down. Now, as we begin another school year and our children and teens take on education in a new way—whether in-person or remote— it is perfectly normal for them to be having a hard time. They might be mad that they have to wear a mask or confused as to why they can’t be in school with their friends. They might feel anxious about getting sick.

    Whatever it is that is ailing them, what are some signs to watch for? And how can you help?

    Managing Depression During A Pandemic

     

     

     These times are tough for everyone. Disappointment is all around us, fear of the unknown, financial struggles, concerns about our children and school, isolation as we try to be socially responsible, and anxiety over the potential of getting sick. For those struggling with depression—new or chronic—COVID-19 has compounded symptoms and made treatment feel more out of reach. 

    The good news is online therapy is available and many insurance companies have made changes to their plans to include coverage for online services, making treatment more easily accessible. But even so, we could all use some tips on how to manage depression during these unprecedented and extremely trying times. 

    Minority Mental Health Month

     

     

    As our society’s current climate brings to light important movements like Black Lives Matter, reminding us to take a look at our own internal prejudices, I find it fitting that July is Minority Mental Health Month. Underrepresented minorities such as people of color, immigrants and their families, and LGBTQIA individuals face a host of additional obstacles when searching for treatment.

    LGBTQ + Pride Month

     

     

    While we celebrate, reflect, and acknowledge the growth of the LGBTQ community, there is still a significant amount of work to be done, specifically for our transgender community. Understanding what it is like to be transgender can be hard, which can make acceptance difficult.

    In this month’s newsletter, we will focus on the transgender community and help you gain an understanding of transgender individuals and the best ways to support the community.

    Mental Health Awareness Month

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This has been held every May since 1949 to help spread the word that mental health is something everyone should care about.

    It is even more important this year. Just weeks ago, we had no idea the world would be turned upside down by COVID-19. Worry, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety is something everyone is experiencing.

    Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. There are tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with.

    National Stress Awareness Month

    April is Stress Awareness Month. This has been held every April since 1992 to help increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for modern stress.

    Read more!

     

     

    Developmental Disabilities Month

    March has been recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month since 1987 when President Ronald Reagan issued a public proclamation urging Americans to provide individuals with developmental disabilities “the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”

    Read more!

     

    Trauma

    Trauma occurs when a person has experienced a distressing event that made them feel threatened, anxious, or frightened as a result. A traumatic event is an incident that causes physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological harm.

    Trauma has no boundaries with regard to age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

    Read more!

     

    Dealing With Holiday Stressors

    As much as we enjoy this time of the year, the holidays tend to be stressful. From buying the “right” gifts to clashing personalities within a family, on top of not having enough time for everything, many people deal with holiday stress.

     

    What is Anxiety?

    This month, we discuss anxiety disorders, symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

    Everyone will experience anxiety at some point in their life.