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two gentlemen enjoying each other's company

The Power of Human Connection

In October, I was able to experience a joyous and long-awaited occasion - a three-day in-person retreat. It became evident that Zoom can never replace the connectedness that results from spending time with another person. As the days get shorter and people tend to go into hibernation mode, there is a risk that the loneliness people already feel will be exacerbated and raised to new levels. I ask you to join me in combatting loneliness by being a “reach out warrior.”
Young woman struggling to maintain hygiene

Hygiene and Mental Health

Personal hygiene is a subject that is often not discussed on a daily basis. Typically, hygiene is overlooked as we often assume that everyone does things in similar ways or have similar levels of frequency. However, hygiene can often be the first sign of the start of mental health issues.
Parents fighting in front of child

Domestic Violence: Impact on Families, Children, and Communities

The month of October recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness. The one thing that is always true is domestic violence spans across family systems and impacts not only the survivor and their families but for communities, too. No matter the definition, domestic violence is much more than two words.
A woman drinking a smoothie

Staying Healthy When You’re Stretched Thin

Let’s talk about self-care for foster parents, shall we? It’s a hot topic that is beautiful and necessary in theory and often feels impossible in practice. When each day is unpredictable, especially as many of our children deal with night terrors and other nighttime disturbances, how do we find the time and mental, physical, and emotional space to take care of ourselves?
Engaging Families

Engaging Families Despite Their Pasts

The child welfare system impacts a parent’s ability to reunify with their child in a timely manner. Because of the difficulties, families may dwell on the brokenness of a system. It is the child welfare workers’ responsibility to understand complex parental trauma to aid healing as well as positively impact foster care services for all individuals involved. Family engagement is critical to ensuring successful outcomes for children and families.
Foster Family

Finding Belonging in Foster Care

The word ‘family’ is commonly interpreted as a group of individuals bound through marriage, blood, or adoption consisting of two parents and one or more children. The question at hand is what makes a household a family? Is it the fact that they are related, live in the same home, or is it because of the connections they have to each other? My definition of family is someone who you can go to for support, ask for guidance, depend on, and have unconditional love for you.  
Struggling Teenage boy at school

Talking to Students About Suicide

Suicide can be a very difficult topic to discuss. Teachers often feel helpless to prevent student suicide, but they probably underestimate the impact of their words on their students. Honest and caring conversations about suicide can save lives. Not only can students in emotional pain benefit from these talks, but their peers can begin to recognize warning signs among their friends and gain the courage to act.
Mother helping two daughter write a crisis plan

Creating a Crisis Safety Plan With Your Child

Are you a planner? As a parent or caregiver, what if there was a way to plan for more than just the monumental moments in life? However, there may be unforeseen moments throughout our children’s lives that lead up to these milestones, and we want to ensure that your child reaches these milestones safely. It is important to help your child develop a crisis safety plan for moments when life may feel a bit too heavy to handle on their own. 
Mother showing love to daughter

Parenting Tips for Suicide Prevention

Suicide is and has been for the last decade, the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States. The reasons why suicide occurs are often not well understood, leaving family and friends wondering what could have been done differently. Here are some things you can do as a parent to help your child if there is a concern about suicidal thoughts or actions.
A depressed women

Suicide Warning Signs

People who are thinking of ending their life often exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. There usually is not one clear reason for why someone may feel suicidal or that suicide is the only answer to their problems. Suicide is preventable and knowing the warning signs allows us to help those around us who may be feeling hopeless.