Easing your child back into a routine after a break or transition

After a few weeks off from anything you do consistently, it could be difficult to get back into a routine. This could apply to taking a few weeks off from working out, returning to work after some time off, and even your kids going back to school after their winter break. When one thinks of a school – bells often come to mind. Students are put on a routine throughout the year and with extended breaks or long weekends, sometimes it can be hard for your child to get back into the groove of things. This also applies to families going through a transition such as having to move and switch schools in the middle of the school year.

 

Amanda Marker is the Lead Outpatient Therapist for the Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program. She says there are multiple ways to help your child ease back into a routine after an extended break or transition.

 

Sleep

 

Marker suggests starting off with ensuring your child is getting enough sleep. She says making sure kids are well-rested could help them be better prepared to learn in the morning. You can help your child find their sleep routine by doing several things.

 

“Laying clothes the night before could really cut down on some of the chaos in the morning.”

 

Marker also recommends cutting down on electronics before bed. She doesn’t give a direct suggestion but says it should be up to the family to decide how long before bed to take away electronics from kids.

 

At-Home Life

 

Setting up a homework station is also something Marker suggests. Having an area dedicated to homework and backpacks can help ensure things do not become lost in the mix. If a child is working on a long-term project – it can stay there in the homework station rather than getting moved from room to room.

 

This also goes along with having an after-school plan, according to Marker. For example, if part of the after-school plan means spending 1 hour at the homework station, that helps promotes the child sticking to a routine and doing their schoolwork. Marker says this also helps with setting expectations.

 

Validation

 

A tip Marker really wants to make gets across is validation for your child. She says interruptions in their routine, environment, and expectations whether planned or random can cause anxiety and uncertainty. She says it’s important to check in with your kids and talk about school to just get a feel about what going. Marker also wants you to make sure your kids know that you do not expect perfection from them – just that they do their best.

 

 

 

 

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 DC. Throughout the past 45 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.

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Moving Away from Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are not helpful thoughts. Negative thinking rarely gets us to the things we desire the most. These thoughts can be anything negative in your mind that gives you a feeling you do not value from. Once you have these thoughts, it could be hard to move away from.

 

Ashton Crawford is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the CINS FINS Program Manager at the Youth Crisis Center. She says there are a handful of ways people can move away from negative thoughts as you take the journey to feel better about yourself.

 

Recognition

 

According to Crawford, her first step to moving away from negative thoughts is recognizing you are having those kinds of thoughts. 

 

“A lot of times, people aren’t even aware of it.”

 

She says these negative thoughts can stem from worrying about a situation, an event in the past, or something that hasn’t happened yet. Crawford believes once someone acknowledges they have a negative thought, that move can help build the foundation for finding the strength to move away from it. Crawford explains this step is important because it allows someone to come to terms with that thought. She says that helps you realize you have control over these thoughts at the end of the day.

 

Making a Choice

 

After recognizing your negative thought, Crawford recommends the next step you take is to make a choice.

 

“You can replace them with a positive thought or you can ignore it and let it fester. But, it’s going to come out one way or another.”

 

She says it all goes back to choosing what you want to do with those negative thoughts. If you wish to replace it, she also recommends trying to get out of whatever situation that is allowing you to have these kinds of thoughts. You can do this by changing your environment or the people you surround yourself with.

 

Think About It

 

It’s also suggested to think about how you’re feeling and how the negative thought impacts you.

 

“How it impacts your life, how it impacts your behavior and your emotions. All of that comes into play”

 

Crawford says once you’re able to acknowledge the negative thought, evaluate how it impacts your life, you are then able to make that choice to decide whether you want to change it.  

 

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 DC. Throughout the past 45 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.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Helping Your Child Set and Reach Their Goals in 2020

“New Year, New Me,” is a phrase often repeated around this time of the year. Some people associate the beginning of the year with getting a fresh start or a new chapter in their lives. Some people even will try to set goals for the new year or resolutions. Whether you believe in setting goals in January or June, it can be hard to stick to them especially if you get your child involved. There are various ways to track goals such as a personal journal, a calendar, a vision board, or something someone can see every day that will remind them to stay motivated.

Liz Overpeck, a therapist at Youth Crisis Center’s Family Link Program believes building motivation is the first step to helping your child set and reach their goals. She recommends encouraging “what if” scenarios with your child.

       “Ask them what it would be like to do a certain thing or how would something change how they feel about themselves or live.”

       This step helps the thinking process for your child. By doing this, your child is thinking about what positive changes they are willing to make in their lives whether it’s a social, personal, or educational goal. Having a goal that relates to the child’s life will keep them interested and will hopefully help them hold themselves accountable for accomplishing their goals. Parents can also use this step to help their children come up with goals if they are struggling.

       The second step is to make sure your child is being specific with their goals. Overpeck says being specific helps measure success when it comes to the goal.

       “Instead of saying ‘I want better grades,’ they could say they would like a B+ in Math.”

        According to the SMART criteria, a person looking to create a goal should try to be as specific as possible. This involves asking themselves why they want to achieve this certain goal, the importance of the goal, and who is involved with creating the goal.

       Overpeck also suggests making sure your child’s goal is timely. This helps set an end-date. This also helps with being specific. Have your child try to put a date on when to reach their goal by. Overpeck says by doing this, you can create check-in points and deadlines.

       The final step suggested by Overpeck is to collaborate on a reward. Having a reward could help your child with motivation. Overpeck recommends working together on a reward that is proportionate to the effort put into achieving the goal.

 

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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The Importance of Setting Boundaries During the Holidays

Many expectations come with the holiday season. It can be the potlucks at your work, coworkers setting up a gift exchange, close friends planning get-togethers, and spending time with family both near and far. During this time of the year, it can be easy to overschedule or get overwhelmed. There could be times when a person will have to learn to say “no,” to participate in such events. 

Desiree Patrick is the Lead Residential Therapist with the Youth Crisis Center, and she says setting boundaries can be beneficial. According to Patrick, setting boundaries can help those who may find certain topics triggering. It can also help if they had family members who were involved or has contributed to a sort of trauma in their lives. Patrick says this also applies to kids in regards to sexual abuse by family members.

“It may be very important to set boundaries due to that trauma. Especially when that stems from family members not believing them or being upset with them for revealing that information.”

When it comes to setting boundaries for children, Desiree Patrick says it’s just as important to set boundaries for them as well. Patrick touched on the yearly reminder from the Girl Scouts when it comes to forcing physical contact. 

“You never want to put your child or any child in a position where they are uncomfortable. I believe that can be damaging especially if something has happened.”

Patrick recognizes that it can be viewed as disrespectful if a child does not want to be around certain people. She says we need to realize kids are people too. Patrick says sometimes parents forget kids have feelings and sometimes they do not want to be included in situations. Patrick recommends talking with your child and asking them why they are uncomfortable. It could be a handful of things such a child being shy or something that has happened and the parent is not aware of.

The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. 

 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Staying on top of your mental health this holiday season

The year is coming to a close and the holiday season is upon us. Some people look forward to spending quality time with family and friends through a handful of social events while others may dread this time of the year. Those feelings could be due to stress, anxiety, depression, or several other factors in their lives. Someone could be stressing over money to make sure their family has something to open up this year. Another person could be stressing out as they try to fit in every single social event they were invited to. Whether someone falls into one of those categories or something completely different, there are several ways to stay on top of your mental health this holiday season.

 

Danielle Masters, a Licensed Intake Clinician and Outpatient Therapist at the Youth Crisis Center says mindfulness, boundaries, budgeting, and self-care are good places to start when it comes to your mental health.

 

Mindfulness

 

“Remember to breathe,” Masters wants to remind everyone as the holidays get closer. She says it is easy to “get lost” around this time of the year. Masters suggests remembering to be present. She says the key is to focus on one thing at a time rather than channeling all of your energy into worrying about upcoming events, future preparations or memories from the past. She recommends trying to enjoy the time you have with your kids, family, friends and the present experience of togetherness.

 

Boundaries

 

This time of year can sometimes be associated with a long list of family members to visit, work functions, or events with your friends. Masters says holidays often bring a lot of “obligations” that can add more stress for both the parent and the child. She says this is the time to make that you are not overbooking or overscheduling. Especially during the holidays, Masters wants to assure people that it is okay to say no. She says learning to manage your stress as well as practicing assertive and respectable communication can also influence your kids to learn how to do the same.

 

Budgeting 

 

With stores constantly announcing various holiday deals the pressure to get everything on a wish-list can be stressful for some. Whether the item you want is on sale or not, Masters says it’s okay not to overspend on gifts. “The holidays are a perfect time to spend quality time with your children and enjoy togetherness,” as she suggests playing games instead, or starting a new holiday tradition. Masters suggests that parents set expectations upfront about gifts or holiday activities depending on the age of their kids. She adds this can be used as a method to explain to them the value of responsible spending as well as showing them that some of the most treasured gifts are those that do not require a lot of money.

 

Self-Care

 

Parents and Caregivers may have their own needs and mental health problems they are dealing with or may experience more stress around the holidays. Masters says this can be due to any losses, demands of regular work, kids and home life. According to Masters, parents need to take care of their physical, spiritual and emotional needs as kids are often affected by the well-being of their parents or caregivers.” Remember, it is okay to ask for help.”

 

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 DC. Throughout the past 45 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.

 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Dealing with Holiday Stress in the Workplace

The holiday season is now in full swing, and some people are probably counting down until their long weekend or the vacation they have been waiting all year for. The end of the year can also signal a race to the finish line, as employees work to meet their deadlines to get everything done before the New Year. During this time, employees might try to juggle different projects at once or work overtime to make sure their deadlines are met. Workers could find themselves dealing with stress and burnout in the workplace if they try to add more tasks than they can handle. 

There are several ways to keep your holiday stress in check at the workplace, as you try to avoid burnout. 

Kristen Wendle, the Director of Human Resources at the Youth Crisis Center has three tips for workers on how to avoid burn out during this time. 

Prioritize

Wendle says she wants employees to prioritize and organize their work. She says this is important because the end of the year does typically bring projects and deadlines.

“With the holiday season already being a stressful time for many, let’s encourage a more de-stress work approach and ask that employees prioritize and communicate realistic and unrealistic deadlines.”

She explains not all projects and positional responsibilities require things to be finished before the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. Wendle also encourages staff to talk with their supervisor and set a realistic deadline to get projects done by. For tasks that need to be completed during this time of the year, Kristen Wendle recommends taking a morning or afternoon to map out the next five weeks. This time can also be used to set goal dates for each week. This is a habit that can also benefit work-life but also someone’s personal life.

Personal Time

Director of Human Resources at YCC, Kristen Wendle strongly encourages employees to take some personal time. Holidays not only bring stress but can impact anxiety and depression levels. Wendle says it’s very important for employees and staff to slow down and take time to focus on themselves.

“If everyone is always going 100 mph, people aren’t putting enough focus on themselves to take a break, relax, and address anything that is going on internally.”

 

It’s a suggestion Outpatient Therapist Ronville Bertie also agrees with. If taking time off is not possible, he recommends making the most out of a lunch break. 

“It is essential to leave the office environment at lunch to rejuvenate.” 

Going back to Kristen Wendle’s first point about prioritizing, Bertie says keeping up with tasks is necessary, especially if someone is taking time off for the holidays. He explains it is best to keep up with your work, so you’re not swamped when you return. By prioritizing, employees are also able to get the most out of their time off; without worrying about work and can use that time to create memories with family and reconnect.

Say the Word ‘No’

One of the last things Wendle wants employees to take to heart is to not over-commit during this time of the year. She says this goes along with her first point, about prioritizing and organizing the coming weeks. 

“Saying ‘no’ is sometimes healthy.”

This doesn’t just apply to the workplace, it is important to not overcommit financially to holiday spending. This can also be applied to overcommitting socially, such as going to parties and taking trips. Human Resource Director Kristen Wendle, says employees can limit their chaos by saying “no” when they want to. 

Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program 

Founded in 1974 as Florida’s first runaway program, Youth Crisis Center has grown to one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. YCC’s emphasis on care is for those who have been exposed to traumatic situations such as divorce, homelessness, relocation, loss of life, bullying and abuse. YCC provides a variety of services for children, adolescents, young adults, parents, and families. 

The Outpatient program at the Youth Crisis Center provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to kids as young as 3-years-old and their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling regardless if their child is a client at the Youth Crisis Center. 

 

 

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Expectations, Routines, and Acts of Kindness: How to get your kids ready for the holidays

There could be a new kind of excitement in the air for kids when they get to be included in the holiday festivities with their families, for the first time. These festivities can vary from dinner parties, social outings, or travel – it all depends on the family. These festivities can be a positive experience but it could also disrupt your child’s routines.

Sadie Schultheis, an Outpatient Therapist with the Youth Crisis Center recommends three topics for parents to consider when it comes to getting your child ready for the holidays.

Expectations: 

“The expectations placed upon children during this holiday season are often fairly unreasonable,” Schultheis says as she suggested going over table manners before holiday dinners. It is also recommended that parents try to understand that in some cases, their child’s ability to sit still is limited as well as their attention span.

Schultheis suggests bringing coloring books, card games, dolls/action figures to keep your child busy and to promote desired behaviors. It is also recommended that you talk with your kids about bedtimes to prepare for late-night parties and to serve as a reminder that kids still need plenty of hours to sleep. 

Routines: 

It’s no secret that the holiday season can be busier than normal for families. For children who experience anxiety, routines make them feel safe. This can go back to expectations but in a different sense. Rather than setting expectations on manners and how to act at the table, parents can explain to their kids what to expect and how it will affect their daily routine. According to Schultheis, having a routine can help reduce added stress due to additional family gatherings, holiday parties, and travel.

Acts of Kindness: 

The holiday season means a lot of different things to different people, but it is often associated with bringing families together from near and far. Schultheis says around this time of the year it is important to remind your child that this is also a time for giving and not only receiving. She recommends encouraging your kids to go through their toy boxes and donate the ones they no longer play with. There are also a handful of soup kitchens or animal shelters looking for donations and/or volunteers. Another activity Schultheis recommends is having the kids participate in caroling or sending holiday cards to servicemen and women.

YCC’s Family Link 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 DC. Throughout the past 45 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships. 

One program, in particular, YCC’s Family Link, 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.

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

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family

Hayden Hurst Family Foundation and Youth Crisis Center Hosting First Golf Tournament

Jacksonville-native and Baltimore Ravens’ tight-end Hayden Hurst is planning a return to Jacksonville in February for a golf tournament.

The very first Hayden Hurst Family Foundation Golf Tournament will take place on Deercreek Country Club on February 24, 2020. Hayden established the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation in 2018 as a way to provide funding to programs that address mental health issues and provide mental health services to teens.

READ MORE: Hayden Hurst Family Foundation 2020 Golf Tournament

Hayden recently opened up about his own struggles with mental health during the NBC Sports documentary, “Headstrong: Mental Health and Sports.” The Jacksonville-native and Bolles explained his struggles with mental health while playing football in college. He explained that based on where he is right now, he thinks reaching out for help is more “manly” than sitting in silence and suffering.

“I didn’t get the help that I needed and it just really started affecting who I was,” Hayden told the camera.

WATCH: Hayden Hurst on NBC Sports’ “Headstrong: Mental Health and Sports.”

The Youth Crisis Center

Hayden adopted the Youth Crisis Center as one of his organizations to help benefit those who are seeking help with their mental health in Northeast Florida. YCC was founded in 1974, as Florida’s first runaway program. It has grown to one of the largest and best-known nationally accredited providers of services for youth and families. The Youth Crisis Center’s emphasis on care is for those have been exposed to traumatic situations such as divorce, homelessness, relocation, loss of life, bullying and abuse.

The Youth Crisis Center offers several programs such as SNAP®, Family Link, Outpatient Behavioral Health, Transitional Living Programs, and a Residential Program. The House of Hope program is currently in the works at YCC. The Youth Crisis Center is partnering with Changing Homelessness and JASMYN to create a residential facility that would provide early intervention services to members of the LGBTQ community. The House of Hope will also include a safe place to stay where clients will have their physical, emotional and mental well-being needs to be met

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

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Is My Child Just Experiencing The Holiday Blues Or Is It Something More?

Throughout childhood and adolescence, it’s normal for your child to experience a wide range of emotions. However, if the negative feelings last longer than a normal “bad mood” and begin to impact your child’s ability to function normally, they could be experiencing depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.9 million children ages 3-17 years old have been diagnosed with depression. Having additional disorders is most common in children with depression; about 3 in 4 children diagnosed with depression also have anxiety.

Holiday Blues

Just like adults, children can also exhibit signs of stress or depression around the holidays. On one hand, children are like sponges and it could just be them absorbing the stress and anxiety from those around them. On the other hand, however, some children are directly affected by the holiday stressors themselves. Here are common stressors many children face around the holidays:

  • The child may feel anxious about attending a different daycare or childcare during the holiday break because it’s different from their normal routine.
  • If parents are unable to afford presents this year, the child may feel sad and experience social anxiety when they go back to school and the other kids are showing off their new toys and clothes.
  • The child could be deeply affected by the loss of a loved one earlier in the year, and this may be their first holiday without them.
  • If they don’t typically see their extended family, they may feel anxious about socializing with people they don’t know or don’t get along with.

5 Warning Signs For Childhood Depression

Mental disorders in children can have a significant impact on the way they learn, behave, or handle their emotions, which causes distress and a multitude of problems they have to deal with regularly. Sometimes it can be difficult for parents to determine if their child’s behaviors or emotions are just a regular part of growing up or if it’s something more.

Here are 5 distinct warning signs that could indicate depression:

  • Isolation or withdrawal from family and friends
  • Lack of interest or motivation with school, sports, or other activities
  • Irritable behavior or everchanging moods (extreme highs to extreme lows)
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of hopelessness (thoughts of suicide in extreme situations)
  • Constant fatigue, aches, or sick feeling

Let Them Know They Are Not Alone

Whether your child is open about their feelings to you or more closed off, it’s important to know they are not alone in experiencing these emotions. Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst has been open about the anxiety and depression he’s faced throughout his adolescence into early adulthood and recently visited the Youth Crisis Center to share his story with the children there to let them know they are not alone. Hurst was a phenomenal baseball player, but one day, he began experiencing the “yips” a condition that would cause hands to sweat and tremor uncontrollably, and he lost the ability to pitch due to his depression and anxiety. Hurst received the help he needed and found a new passion for football and was later drafted into the NFL.

“I still battle with depression and anxiety today. It’s part of the makeup of who I am,” said Hurst. “I want to tell my story. I want it to be out there. I don’t care if it makes me vulnerable. I want people to be able to relate to it so they can change the course of their life.”

How You Can Help

If you think your child or family could benefit from speaking with a counselor, the Youth Crisis Center provides short term crisis care, mental health counseling, skills-based group training, and transitional living services program for children, teens, young adults, and their families in need. To learn more about the programs we offer, click here or call (904) 725-6662.

If you would like to get involved, join us on February 24th for the first Hayden Hurst Family Foundation Golf Tournament benefitting the Youth Crisis Center. Click here to learn more.  

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Teens On The Run – How To Spot Runaway Risks and How To Prevent Them

Every year, between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away, according to the National Runaway Safeline. There is a multitude of reasons why youth run away, whether they feel unsafe in their home, are in a constant battle with their family, feel shunned due to their sexual orientation, are experiencing mental health issues, or have a history of truancy or residential instability. 

 

5 Indicators Your Child Could Run Away

 

Parents know that as their children grow older, they will attempt to assert their independence, but some may struggle with finding that freedom more than others. Their child could act out in extreme ways, such as abusing drugs or alcohol, committing crimes, skipping school, and running away from home. 

 

A decision to run away can be triggered by several factors, so parents need to pay close attention to changes in their child’s behavior and be on the lookout for some key indicators that their child is thinking about running away:

 

  • Threatening or talking about running away
  • Changes in their usual mood or behavior (withdrawing from family and friends, becoming extremely irritable, or engaging in self-harm) 
  • Increase in rule-breaking or reckless behavior (coming home late or not at all, drug abuse, truancy, stealing)
  • Developing new relationships outside their typical network, including high-risk peer groups and gangs, that cause them to act out
  • Saving their money for no apparent reason or keeping their belongings packed away

 

Prevention Begins With The Family

 

Most children run away due to problems with their families. The child may leave home because of a heated argument or abuse, they did something they’re ashamed of and are afraid to tell their parents, or maybe they don’t want to adhere to their parents’ rules anymore. However, there are also other, more emotional reasons, that cause a child to run away, such as feeling neglected because of a newborn sibling, death in the family, or a family financial crisis. 

 

Children who are thinking about running away may also not have adequate problem-solving skills or the right adults in their life to help them work through the issue. The child may feel that running away is the only choice to get away from or solve their problem. Whatever the problem may be, it’s important for parents to make sure their child knows there are other ways to deal with their problems besides running away. 

 

“Families who fear that their teen has run away, or is planning to run away, should reach out for help,” stresses Youth Crisis Center’ mental health counselor Lonnie Erskine. “If you fear your child is thinking of running away, reach out to them and talk to them. Give your child comfort, time to be angry, allow them their space to find some quiet time, listen to music so they can center themselves. Remember communication is the first key, followed by compassion and love.”

 

YCC Family Link 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 DC. Throughout the past 45 years, YCC has helped thousands of youth and their families overcome adversity and build stronger relationships. 

 

One program, in particular, YCC’s Family Link, 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, leading the child to run away. 

 

“Providing intervention and prevention are the keys to success for families and youth in the community,” explains Erskine. “I have had the opportunity to help youth in our community that has run away, or thought of running away, face their fear of anger, depression, and anxiety of school, and become better equipped with coping skills and strategies to face issues head-on.” 

 

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

 

 

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Family