You don’t have to run away, talk to someone

For some youth, running away may seem like the only option and the best case scenario when things start to go south at home. Therapists at the Youth Crisis Center want all youth or anyone who might be running away from home or their problems to know that it’s not worth it. There are so many other options that could help you. At the Youth Crisis Center, we have staff ready for your calls and a wide range of therapists willing to help you work through some of the curveballs life throws at us sometimes.

 

It’s not worth it

 

Family Link Therapist Quandalyn Prince, MSW says her first advice she would give to a child who is running away is “don’t do it.”

“It’s not worth it. There are other alternatives besides running away and leaving a home that you are safe in versus going out into the real world and experiencing things you may not be used to.”

Prince wants to warn youth that there are people out there who go out of their way to take advantage of and prey on children. She also warns about sex trafficking, access to drugs, and other things that could lead to a negative impact on your life.

 

Talk to someone

Prince believes running away, especially as a youth, could lead to consequences you may not have thought about. Instead, she strongly encourages you to go talk to someone whether that is a parent, a friend, an adult you trust, or even a counselor.

 

“Urge them to hear what you have to say about running away because there are options out there.”

 

Prince says there could be a positive outcome from talking to a therapist. By speaking with someone, you could uncover a deeper reason why you want to run away. Therapy can also help you figure out coping skills and techniques so you’re able to tackle some of the speed bumps of life that come your way.

 

“Because once you run away, you’re no longer the same. You can experience so many things that can impact your future.”

 

About YCC’s Residential Crisis Care Program 

Referred by family members, community resources, schools, law enforcement, and YCC outreach, these youth have either run away or are at risk of running away, been locked out of their homes, are habitually truant from school, or have exhibited ungovernable behavior. Our program is here to provide a safety net to young people and their families when they need it most.

 

 Our residential therapists work with youth and their families to address the immediate crisis and help provide long-term solutions to handle future concerns once the child or teen returns home. Our goal is to reunite families by providing assistance and support with a clear plan for continued stabilization.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Addressing Anger

It is rare to find someone who is happy all the time. Getting mad is just as common as feeling sad, joyful, jealous, and scared or any other emotion. As human beings, we cycle through these emotions and that’s okay; it’s normal. How we feel and respond to things plays a part in what makes us unique. However, it is wise to  never let one emotion rule your life. You take the happy times with the sad. Certain conversations with people can make you angry while some situations can make you scared. Your feelings are valid. However, while your emotions such as getting angry is okay, how you react to your anger is what makes a difference.

Talking to your kids about anger

Outpatient Therapist Ron Bertie suggests letting your child know that anger is normal, but you want to work with them on how they react to that anger. He wants you to help your child come up with positive outlets. This can be something like painting, drawing, or another type of creative outlet. If their child prefers something more on the physical side, it can be dancing, running, or working out. Bertie suggests these kinds of coping mechanisms should already be in place before an incident takes place. He advises talking to your kids about controlling their anger when they’re already angry may not be as effective.

Triggers

Whether it is your child or yourself, Bertie recommends thinking and talking about your triggers. He says when you have identified possible triggers, you can then focus on how you react to that particular trigger. According to Bertie, a way to deal with your triggers better or even overcome is to change your perception of them by being more empathetic, setting boundaries, or if it’s a person – talking to them.

Dealing with anger as an adult

Bertie says his advice would not differ too much when it comes to talking to kids or an adult about their anger. The reason for that is because Bertie explains some issues are derived from childhood. Bertie recommends for adults to learn how to heal from old scars. He also wants adults to evaluate the outcome of their outburst. Once they have completed those steps, Bertie says it will be time to find innate reasons for change.

About SNAP® at the Youth Crisis Center

YCC offers a program called SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. This is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral model powered by the minds at Child Development Institute (CDI). SNAP® can help children, ages 6-11, and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small.’ We know that because small problems can quickly turn bigger or worsening problems if a child or their parent doesn’t have effective emotion regulation, self-control or problem-solving skills. 

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

How to work with your kids to tackle bullying

It’s hard to run into anybody nowadays who has not been affected by bullying. Bullying can be defined as someone who is being hurt by either words or actions on purpose more than once. It can cause physical pain or even emotional pain. According to StopBullying.gov, some bullying can fall into criminal categories, such as harassment, hazing, or assault. Bullying isn’t a new concept as it has been around for generations, it even changes with each generation as today’s youth have dealt with bullying through social media.

The effects of bullying on mental health

Youth who are bullied over time are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem compared to their peers who have not experienced it, research suggests. It could be difficult for one to determine the exact effect bullying has on someone because we all experience and cope with things differently. That same study also shows that youth who bully others over time are at higher risk for more intense anti-social behaviors like problems at school, substance use, and aggressive behavior.

Duval Charter School Therapist, Clarissa Benitez, MSW claims kids cans often times feel embarrassed after experiencing bullying and will worry that their parents will be upset if they found out. She also says youth may feel like it is their fault and reaching out for help will only cause the bullying to get worse.

How parents can get involved

It is always encouraged for parents to check in with their children and look for any kind of warning signs. Parents should pay attention to things such as whether their child is getting into physical or verbal fights at school. Stop Bullying also says another warning sign could be your child blaming others for their problems.

Benitez suggests to parents to listen calmly and offer comfort while listening to their kids talk about their problems. She says it is vital you offer support during this time. Benitez does admit, for some parents it can be tempting to tell your child to fight back. She says this feeling is common because parents are angry that their child is suffering.

“Let your child know the importance of standing up for themselves by telling someone: a teacher, a parent, or any trusted adult.”

Benitez recommends coming up with a plan with your child on how they can respond to the situation and most importantly, reassure them that you will figure it out. Some other strategies include teaching your child to walk away and telling the bully to stop; however, Benitez says it is important to make sure that your child feels safe and confident enough to do that. She also encourages coming up with a buddy system so your child is never alone and has a friend with them. It is recommended by Benitez to talk to your child’s school about the bullying.

“Don’t be afraid to ask the school what their policies are on bullying prevention and the actions taken if a child is being bullied.”

 

What if my child is the bully?

Benitez says it is important for parents to help their children understand that their actions are hurting others. She goes on to explain that parents need to use this opportunity to tell their child that everyone deserves respect, and that could start with setting examples at home. She recommends modeling nonviolent behaviors for your child and to encourage them from talking to someone. According to Benitez, parents must take this situation seriously and do not pass it off as ‘just a phase.’ She says that being a bully can have long-lasting effects on a child that can lead to aggressive behaviors. Benitez says if the bullying does not stop for your child, seek a mental health counselor.

About the SNAP® at the Youth Crisis Center

YCC offers a program called SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. This is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral model powered by the minds at Child Development Institute (CDI). SNAP® can help children, ages 6-11, and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small.’ We know that because small problems can quickly turn bigger or worsening problems if a child or their parent doesn’t have effective emotion regulation, self-control, or problem-solving skills. 

 

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

Mindfulness for beginners: what is it and how to practice

Let’s start by defining ‘mindfulness,’ according to Headspace, mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we are doing at the moment. Amanda Marker, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the Lead Outpatient Therapist at the Youth Crisis Center says mindfulness has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness. Marker explains there are two key elements of mindfulness: focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.

 

Practicing Mindfulness

According to Marker, mindfulness starts with being aware of our bodies. She goes on to say that very act can be calming.

“You don’t need to buy anything. You can practice anywhere – all you need is a little time and space.”

Marker understands that it can be incredibly challenging to quiet the mind, but she acknowledges that is not the goal during this practice. She says when it comes to practicing mindfulness, all you’re trying to do is pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. Marker says your mind will wander during this practice. You might start to think about your to-do list, the laundry you forgot in the dryer, or even a conversation you had with someone yesterday. Marker explains that is normal and part of human nature. She says when practicing mindfulness, try to not judge yourself for whatever thoughts pop up. Instead, she wants you to focus on your breathing and return your attention to the present moment.

“Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back.”

Basic Mindfulness Meditation 

The first thing Marker suggests when it comes to your practice is to take a seat. She wants you to find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you. She recommends setting a time limit, especially if you’re new to the practice. Once you’re sitting down, it will be time to focus on your breathing. Marker wants you to use this time to allow your thoughts to come and go without judgment. She also wants you to focus on your breath or even a mantra you may have set at the beginning of the day or your practice.

Marker encourages using your senses during your practice. She wants clients to focus on what they see, smell, taste, or even feel. In fact, she recommends you saying them aloud before letting those thoughts and senses go. She also invites clients to allow their emotions to be present during this practice. Similar to the senses, you can describe aloud what you are feeling.

 

The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

In an article published by Harvard Medical School, mindfulness can bring improvements in well-being. Amanda Marker, LMHC believes being mindful makes it easier to enjoy the positive movements in life as they happen and can help you become fully engaged in activities. Another benefit is being less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past. Mindfulness can also help with improving your mental health and relieve stress.

Introducing Your Child to Mindfulness 

Marker wants parents to talk with their kids about mindfulness.

“When the opportunity presents itself, talk about how you used mindfulness during your day.”

She says children learn by seeing what the adults in their lives do, so she encourages being open about how you practice mindfulness. Marker suggests introducing exercises when things are calm and your child is in a good space. She explains during this time would be ideal to try mindfulness activities as a family, as it could be a great way to connect one another. Marker does warn to keep the time short, especially if your child is on the younger side. She also wants you to let the child set the pace. If they’re done, don’t push it.

For activities, you can start with a walk or breathing exercises with your child. Once you have completed that activity, you can shift your focus to the senses. Marker suggests activities like listening mindfully, eating a treat mindfully, or taking another walk using all of your senses. For example, have your child hold a raisin. Marker instructs having your child notice the color, texture, shape, size, smell, weight, and taste of it for one minute.

 

Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program

The Youth Crisis Center was founded in 1974 as Florida’s first run-away program and has grown to be one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. Nationally recognized as setting a standard in youth services, YCC has been ranked as one of the top five programs in the United States by the Youth Policy Institute in Washington D.C. Throughout the past 46 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships. 

One of the several programs, YCC offers is Outpatient Behavioral Health. This program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to kids as young as three and their families. Parents may also receive individual and family counseling regardless if their child is a client at YCC.

 

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

What is stress and how can we manage it?

Stress happens.

In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, “stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands a life.” The Mayo Clinic even states that a small amount of stress can be good for you, and can help motivate you to perform well. However, for some people, what could seem like a minor challenge to you could push another person beyond their breaking point or affect their ability to cope.

Why do we stress?

The National Institute of Mental Health says stress affects everyone. As stated before, there can be stress that stems from the pressure of daily responsibilities such as work, school, and family other things. The NIH also states stress can be brought about by a sudden negative change like losing a job or a divorce. Trauma can also be a factor of stress after experience a major accident, war, assault, or a type of natural disaster. There is no exact reason why people stress because different people experience stress differently. While the Mayor Clinic stated that a small amount of stress can actually be good you do need to be wary of long-term stress. The NIH says long-term stress can harm your health.

Ways to manage stress 

With there being so many things that can cause stress; there are just as many ways to relieve it. Family Link Therapist Carl Keller says it all depends on what kind of person you are. He says if you are someone who likes staying fit or enjoys exercising, he suggests going on a run. If you are more of a creative person, he believes having a creative outlet can often help relieve stress. Keller even says doing things that bring you joy or comfort like reading or listening to music. He says those activities can also help with relieving stress.

YCC’s Family Link Program 

The Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns, and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Maintaining healthy relationships at a time during social distancing

Time has changed. Some restaurants require us to wear a mask before we sit down to eat and even wear a mask before we walk into the door. Some students have to sit in front of a computer at their own house for their first day of school due to distance learning. Greetings such as handshakes or hugs can sometimes be met with a confused look or are strongly discouraged. Our major parades have been canceled or modified, the concerts we have been saving up for have been delayed, and some grocery stores have lines with them as workers try to limit the number of people inside.

Social Distancing, Social Isolation, and Self-Isolation

“Social-Distance” is something that we as a nation have heard from our government for months now. Having to socially-distance could be a big reason why some parents choose to have their kids learn from home rather than the school halls; it’s the reason for the stickers on the floor at your favorite store to make sure you don’t stand too close; and, it’s the reason some restaurants have limited seating inside to make sure their customers are socially-distanced from others

During a time like this, social-distance at a time like this can often be confused with social-isolation. Now, social-isolation and self-isolation should also not be interchanged.  An article in Psychology Today, says, “social distancing is important in controlling an outbreak.” The article encourages the reader to think about whether it’s smart to go to crowded restaurants. It also wants the reader to think twice about how many kids they allow their child to have play-dates with if any. It also touches on romantic relationships and to decide if it’s best to go on dates and meet up with friends. The answer is yes, those are still good ideas and important to your overall mental health, to where it applies. However, if you are sick or in a very high-risk group, you may not want to participate in those activities.

Being socially distant does not mean socially isolating yourself from your loved ones, friends, or activities you like to do. Choosing to social distance is to just maintain your space from others, not in your group, and to be mindful of how close you are to others. According to the CDC, it also means wearing a mask when you can’t social distance, frequently washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face with your unwashed hands. You can still do the things you love and social distance at the same time.

Having to self-isolate is a result of different reasons. The CDC says isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

 

Maintaining Healthy Relationships 

Danielle Masters, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Outpatient Therapist at the Youth Crisis Center say social distancing can make ongoing or developing friendships even more challenging. As parents and caregivers, we can help to create resilience and support our child’s needs while also maintaining safety through communication, encouraging an open dialogue for them to be able to talk with us about their feelings as well as fostering their social connections. We can make time for our children to be able to socialize through phone calls or video chat dates. For younger children, coming up with some creative ways that they can make the most of their time with their friend, like drawing a picture together, making up stories and then taking turns sharing, building things and then showing the other, as well as just allowing them time to “just chat”.  

Masters also suggest virtual clubs or classes for teens. They can also take walks, ride bikes, and do things outdoors with a friend if able to safely social distance. They can also connect through age-appropriate gaming (if allowed in your home and with parental discretion/monitoring.) It is important to have a conversation with your children regarding safety and differing viewpoints about social distancing. By helping them to understand and respect that every family has their values and opinions on how to keep their family safe we are encouraging empathy and can continue to find creative ways to cultivate social connections.

Talking to your kids about healthy relationships

Masters believes as parents or caregivers, it’s never too early to begin talking with our children about what a healthy relationship is. Helping children to define and understand that all good relationships are built on communication, understanding, trust, loyalty, respect, and boundaries. Most of us do this with our children automatically, when we teach them the importance of sharing and taking turns, when we show empathy for them if they fall or hurt themselves or are sad about something and we ask, what happened? Or how can I help you? She goes on to say that we also show this by teaching children about the importance of consent, by asking before taking things that do not belong to them and helping children to understand how their words or actions may influence other people. Helping children understand that no means no and “to listen and stop”.

Masters encourages parents to discuss with kids their boundaries, what makes them comfortable or not comfortable, and helping them to understand that their boundaries, as well as others’ boundaries, need to be respected. Another influential way to teach our children about healthy relationships is by being a good role model within our relationships. Our actions, attitude, and behaviors towards our significant others, family, and friends can have a big influence on our children.

Define what an unhealthy relationship is. Talking with children about peer pressure is especially important. When teens begin developing romantic relationships, helping them to understand that one partner should not try to control the other by intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or even digital abuse. Lastly, being supportive and non- judgmental so that if the child ever feels that a relationship is becoming unhealthy they can talk with you or another trusted adult.   

Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program

The Youth Crisis Center was founded in 1974 as Florida’s first run-away program and has grown to be one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. Nationally recognized as setting a standard in youth services, YCC has been ranked as one of the top five programs in the United States by the Youth Policy Institute in Washington D.C. Throughout the past 46 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships.

One of the several programs YCC offers is Outpatient Behavioral Health. This program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to kids as young as three and their families. Parents may also receive individual and family counseling regardless if their child is a client at YCC.

 

 

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Facing your anxiety while preparing for a new school year

It’s that time of the year again…back to school.

 

This year may look a little different than previous years of going to school. Some students, teachers and staff will be wearing masks. Some students may not see their friends anymore because they moved over the summer, they’re being homeschooled, or if they have the option – virtual school. Regardless of what back to school looks like for some – a lot of feelings come with returning to school; some people are excited while others may be nervous or even anxious.

 

What is Anxiety and why do some people have it?

 

Jessica Beal, a Family Link Therapist at the Youth Crisis Center describes anxiety as a feeling of excessive worry, nervousness, or being overwhelmed. Delving deeper, she says physical symptoms can include difficulty breathing, butterflies in your stomach, and some people may even experience muscle tension. Beal explains everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, but some may experience it more often and at a more intense level. She says genetics, environmental factors, a high-stress level, and poor coping skills can trigger anxiety, but the direct causes are different for everyone.

 

Overcoming your Anxiety

 

Beal says anxiety management starts with knowing yourself. You need to ask yourself some serious questions, such as: what worries you the most, what situations make you feel uncomfortable, and what are some negative beliefs you are carrying around with you. Beal explains anxiety is typically rooted in fear and worry. With that being said, Beal believes negative thinking patterns can allow the cycle of anxiety to continue and worsen over time.

Beal says Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a highly effective treatment for anxiety as well as learning healthy coping skills to lower your overall stress level.

 

Follow the “C’s”

 

Beal suggests for anyone anxious about the start of the new school year is to follow what she calls the “C”s.

 

Community – Surround yourself with your loved ones. You should want to be around people who love you, care about you, and want to see you succeed. This can be your family, friends, neighbors, or anybody else who makes a positive impact on your life.

 

Confidence –  Believe in yourself. Beal wants to remind everyone that they have survived everything life has thrown at them so far. Even though you didn’t think you would be able to make it through some things, you have made it this far in life. That alone took resiliency and strength. You were able to adjust to whatever was going on in life and this new school year is just something we all will need to adjust to.  

 

Caring – Take care of yourself. Beal says self-care is extremely important. You need to know how to listen to your body and know when to stop when you are over-doing it. It’s not just your body, Beal also wants you to pay attention to what your emotions are telling you as well. She also believes in developing a routine and sticking to it is important when it comes to self-care. She also wants to stress the importance of making sure you have time for yourself and you’re taking breaks when you need them and not before it’s too late and you’re already dealing with burnout.

 

Creativity – Find a creative outlet to channel some energy into. 

This isn’t just restricted to just being creative with drawing, painting, writing, etc. Beal says it is important to have hobbies. Hobbies are necessary for some people to get their feelings out there, especially if they cannot necessarily verbalize them. If you are someone who struggles with opening up about feelings or has a hard time finding the right words to say, Beal strongly suggests looking for a creative outlet or something to channel those emotions into.

 

Coping Skills – Beal reveals that a good set of healthy coping skills is what is lacking the most when she meets with students. She says coping skills can be anything from practicing mindfulness to having hobbies. According to Beal, you must have something that you enjoy doing.

 

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

 

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 720-0007.

Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

The Power of Routines

Everybody has some type of routine in their life. Whether it’s waking up and making your favorite pot of coffee or doing some type of skin or self-care before bed. Bertha Barrett is an Outpatient Therapist for the Youth Crisis Center and is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She challenges people to think of how important routines are to our overall health. A routine is like a habit, it is a consistent practice for completing a series of tasks daily.  

Routines and your health 

Going back to the different parts of routines, some parents often help their young children create routines that will help them in the long run as they grow older. Some kids are often taught to wash up, brush their teeth, and eat breakfast once they wake up. It’s not just setting up healthy habits or to prevent cavities, routines can help your mental health as well. According to Barrett, routines help elevate stress, anxiety, and insomnia. “Think about those days when you were attempting to incorporate multiple things in your week along with work, school, and any other extra activities you have. You may have experienced some anxiety, difficulties sleeping, and felt extremely stressed throughout the day as you thought about all the things you had to complete.”

Barrett says while you were having those feelings emotionally, you probably felt something physical as well. According to Barrett, there was a chance you felt tense in your shoulders and neck, there was a sense of butterflies in your stomach, or you felt fatigued and irritable. 

Keeping it consistent and goal-oriented 

The articleThe Importance of Creating Habits and Routines” in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine states that learning ways to create and practice routines around one’s daily lifestyle is significant for improving overall health and reduce chronic issues. Barrett believes having a routine helps to free up mental resources for other tasks. When establishing a routine, it is critical to consider your set goals as the purpose. 

Barrett also wants to point out that it is important to remember that like habits, routines take time and have to include a repetition to become an automatic response. It is common for some to say that it takes 21 days to create a habit. However, research from  The British Journal of General Practice, it can take on average 66 days or 10 weeks for something to become habitual. Barrett says this simply means consistency is key. 

She stresses the fact that one cannot establish a routine and follow it for only a couple of days or a week and expect to reap the many benefits it offers.  

S.O.S

 A lot of us sometimes wish we could just make a sudden change to our lives and it sticks with no problem. Unfortunately, we can’t always get what we want. Barrett reminds us as with anything, too many sudden changes can overstimulate our mind and create more stress. She wants to start off small.  It is also recommended to keep your routine simple at first and precise. For example, it will not be realistic to go from reading this blog to telling your household everything needs to be done by 7:00 pm for you all to have family time. Barrett says it’s not going to happen because it’s too broad and you need to be specific when setting a routine. She encourages people to make a list of daily things that need to be done. Focus your routine around those daily things, from there you can decide how to go from getting those done every day to make sure they are done with enough time to spare to add in routine family time.                                    

Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health 

The Youth Crisis Center was founded in 1974 as Florida’s first run-away program and has grown to be one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. Nationally recognized as setting a standard in youth services, YCC has been ranked as one of the top five programs in the United States by the Youth Policy Institute in Washington D.C. Throughout the past 46 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships. 

One of the several programs YCC offers is Outpatient Behavioral Health. This program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to kids as young as three and their families. Parents may also receive individual and family counseling regardless if their child is a client at YCC.

Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

The Great Indoors: Staying inside and entertained with your family

 

There are more options for things to do as a family are starting to open up with the news of some of our local beaches opening up along with parts of our country. For some, cabin-fever is the only thing they are feeling as many people in our country have been told to stay at home and to practice social distancing. Social distancing has led to strict rules at our grocery stores, favorite shopping areas, and even to our parks. Staying inside has become the “norm” for the majority of us and we could still see certain restrictions throughout the next couple of weeks.

 

Keeping kids entertained

 

Family Link Lead Therapist Jazmin Jerome says it is important to keep kids busy to prevent the feeling of anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings. She says that can sometimes be a result of feeling isolated. Jerome is a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern with the Youth Crisis Center. She recommends helping your child find new hobbies to engage in, increase family time, and encourage a healthy amount of electronic communication with peers. She also says there are a number of things you can do as a family to stay entertained such as watching movies or even holding a marathon of some sort. You could learn a new recipe as a family to make something new and enjoy it during dinner as a family. Jerome recommends eating together at least three times a week.

 

Keeping yourself occupied

 

For adults adjusting to the current pandemic, Jerome says it is important to participate in self-care frequently. She says anything from taking a few moments to relax, to taking a hot shower are just a few things that can be done. If you have children and you’re able to work, you are probably having to help home-school kids while ensuring your daily tasks get completed. According to Jerome, being able to keep a healthy balance between work, school and personal life is key to keeping your sanity during these questionable times. She recommends having structure for both yourself and the kids so you can have some sort of routine similar to what life was like months ago.

 

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

 

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family.

 

All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

 

 

 

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family

Staying on top of your mental health during COVID-19

The kids are home from school and you’re probably working from home as the world continues to deal with COVID-19. For some families, this could be a dream come true to spend the entire day with their loved ones every single day. Others might not know how to deal with this kind of scenario because it rarely ever happens for them. Being at home with your loved ones all day when you’re not used to it could cause conflict, according to Family Link Therapist Jessica Beal.

Finding Time for Yourself

Beal recommends finding time for yourself as the calls for “social-distancing” continues. She says the feedback she gets from her clients is that tension is higher due to boredom and feeling trapped. Beal says she has been suggesting to her clients to spend time safely outside. She also recommends using your extra time for personal hobbies like video games, exercising or developing a new skill.

Establishing a Routine

It can be difficult to keep track of days for some people who are being told to stay home due to the virus. Whether you’re working from home, doing your college work, or helping your kids get their schooling done; Beal strongly encourages getting into a routine. Before this happened, chances were that you had some type of schedule or routine for your job or everyday activities. As the world deals with this time of uncertainty, having a regular routine can help you keep your mental and physical health in check.  Beal says she has been recommending that her clients continue to wake up at their normal time, eating regular meals, and taking care of their hygiene. This also can be said about working or schooling from home, for example setting up a work space or designating an area in your home to schoolwork. Setting a routine can also help with possible tension in the house by limiting distractions while one is trying to work or learn.

Social Interactions

At a time of social distancing, it is important to not social isolate yourself form your loved ones. Beal shares that many of her clients have been getting creative and using video conference platforms to hang out with friends as a group. She says social interaction with others is especially important during this time with an emphasis on video chats and phone calls.

Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program

YCC’s Family Link program provides professional and compassionate short-term, outpatient counseling services to families with children ages 6-17 who are experiencing concerns that could disrupt the health and stability of the family. These services are available at no cost to residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties through appointments at the child’s school or other community locations. Click to learn more about Family Link and the 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family. All Family Link counseling sessions are confidential. To learn more about services, please call (904) 725-6662.

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