Remembering Life: Infant Loss and Grief

One of the toughest questions I have to answer often as a mother is, “How many children do you have?” I never thought such a simple question could turn my world upside down. If I am in a good place mentally, I might reply, “Do you want the real answer?”   I was one of those people who did things according to plan: met a great guy, dated for a while, got engaged, got married, and then got pregnant… quickly. Everything was going according to my plan. I now look back at those times and cringe because I was so innocent and unaware. Life is not always simple. It doesn’t always go according to plan.  I was about to learn some hard truths in a real way.  We planned a family gender reveal for the night of my 20 week anatomy scan, expecting the sex of our baby to be the focus of the appointment. But during the scan, a leg abnormality was found on my son.  I didn’t want to rob our families of the excitement of finding out the sex of the FIRST grandbaby, so I masked my fear at the party that night. Thinking back, this was when my journey of strength truly began. While I wanted to lay in bed and cry, I pulled it together. I [...]

2021-10-01T09:30:40-04:00October 1st, 2021|Family & Youth, Women's Health|

Managing Teen Stressors and Anger

While adolescence can be an exciting time of growth, it can also be filled with social and mental health struggles. Teens face huge decisions about who they want to be and what they want to do in their lives, while also dealing with a storm of new emotions and experiences. They may rebel at the restrictions left over from childhood, while also feeling nervous about the new responsibilities they must take on. It’s a time filled with new freedoms but can also be a scary and uniquely stressful one. Given the complex developmental circumstances of adolescence, it should come as no surprise that many teens struggle with anger. Anger is an emotion we all feel, although we express it in different ways.  Anger can be a completely normal and understandable response to what teens are going through – but how do you know when it’s too much, or when it’s a sign of an underlying problem? And what can both teens and parents do when that anger rears its head? If you or your teen is struggling with constant irritability and anger, or anger that seems to come on with no apparent trigger, it could be a sign of mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression of a reaction of traumatic events.  If you have concerns about a teen, you [...]

2021-08-30T12:13:45-04:00August 4th, 2021|Family & Youth, Mental Health|

Hope

by Margaret Pelleriti, DBHIDS Suicide Prevention Task Force What does it mean to have hope? Hope means a desire for things to change for the better, and to want that better situation very much. Hope carries us beyond the current hardship so that we may have a better future. In today’s world, it seems that hope can be hard to come by and this tends to be the case for anyone who has lost someone to suicide. My name is Margaret and several years ago, I lost my son Michael, then 16, to suicide. Prior to my loss, suicide never really affected me. To me, it was always other people who faced that tragedy. Not something that would affect myself or my family. When I lost my son to suicide, he was in the 11th grade and did not present any clear warning signs or clues. When he died, I genuinely believed that I would die also. There would be no way that I would be able to survive. I knew that I had to get up each day and do the same routine as before. I was still a wife to my husband and a mother to a 13-year-old daughter. It felt like family and friends expected me to return to some sort of normal. I had faith from [...]

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Did you know that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month? When we think of February we often think of Valentine’s Day on February 14th . On this special day we might take the time to celebrate love by treating our partners to romantic dinners, showering them with gifts, and posting cute photos of each other on social media. With all the hearts, flowers and hope of love, it’s easy to forget that not every couple in these pictures are in healthy relationships. For teenagers in relationships, the chance of them being abused by their partner is very high. Nearly 1 in 11 female and approximately 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year.* Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month reminds us that abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter the race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic background. As a parent or caregiver, you’re in the best position to help make a difference in your teen’s life. Here are some tips on ways you can help the teens in your life develop healthy dating relationships: Define a healthy relationship- Helping your teen understand what a healthy relationship is will help them set their own standards for dating. Discuss healthy relationship habits to [...]

2021-02-04T09:18:16-05:00February 3rd, 2021|Domestic Violence, Family & Youth|
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