Children Who Self-harm: A Guide for Parents
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
Many children and teens self-harm. Most start in their early teen years, but some start earlier.  What counts as self-harm? Self-harm is when a child hurts their body on purpose. Cutting or burning the skin are common forms of self-harm. Self-harm is more common among girls than boys.  Most children who self-harm are trying to cope with overwhelming emotions and stressors. Some self-harm to stop intrusive thoughts. Helping your child cope and not turn to self-harm can offer an opportunity to help them feel better about themselves, learn to deal with stressors in a healthy way, and st ..read more
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I cannot stop cutting myself. Please, help me understand why!
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
Cutting, burning, scratching, hitting, or biting oneself is often called “self-harm.” Self-harm refers to the deliberate act of causing physical harm to oneself. It is typically done to cope with emotional pain, distress, or overwhelming feelings. For example, a teenager feels very upset after an argument with their mom because they got a bad school report – or because they are dating and their families do not approve.  Feelings of distress can be very overwhelming. Then the teen might experience the urge to cut to calm down. Some teens say that “seeing the blood come out” calms them. Oth ..read more
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Are ‘soul ties’ codependent relationships?
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
While love is wonderful for our well-being, not all relationships are healthy. ‘Soul ties’ refers to an intense connection between two people who share a lot in common, such as beliefs, hopes, and tastes. Unfortunately, not all soul ties are positive. Some soul ties lead people to stay in unhealthy or even destructive relationships that can hurt their mental health. How can that happen? The beginning of a romantic relationship activates what is called an “attachment style.” Every person develops their attachment style from their very early relationships as the deep emotional bond and connectio ..read more
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School Counselors Vital to Students Wellbeing and Success
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
Feb. 5 celebrates school counselors for the important role they play in the lives and wellbeing of children during their school years. School counselors can be found in every school in Philadelphia. But some people don’t understand the important work they do and the role they play in the lives of students. We’ve answered some common questions about school counselors below. What do school counselors do? School counselors provide guidance and counseling to help students navigate personal challenges, academic difficulties, and career planning. They help reduce bullying in schools, help kids under ..read more
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How to Keep Your New Year Resolutions for Better Fitness, Healthy Eating, and Mental Health in 2024
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
Fitness and good food are important for your mental health. Research suggests that exercise helps lower anxiety and improve mood. And we know foods impact the way we feel. New Year resolutions are an opportunity to set fitness, nutrition, and mental health goals for 2024. But the reality is many of us fall short of our goals by Jan. 3.  As a trainer, I want to share simple tips that will help you stick to your resolutions for better mental health, diet, and fitness. Let me tell you about my experience. I believe we can do anything once we decide. I lost 35 lbs. and completely transformed ..read more
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Managing Trauma Triggers During the Holiday Season
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
The holidays can be very stressful for people coping with traumatic experiences. Some people with a history of traumatic experiences may feel overwhelmed and dysregulated when confronted with intense emotions around the holiday time. Others may feel numb and have a hard time feeling connected. Fortunately, we can take steps to cope with trauma. When we make connections between experiences and memories that create traumatic responses, we can better recognize and prepare ourselves for potential trauma triggers. Here is a three-step approach to mitigate the impact of trauma on your well-being dur ..read more
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How I Survived Social Media
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
How I Survived Social Media   My experience with social media started at age 10 with the app Musically. I danced every day, and I dreamed of being a dancer. When I heard about the app Musical.ly, I immediately downloaded it. Musical.ly helped shape my identity! Dance was a goal I wanted to achieve. It boosted my confidence and gave me pride. It also helped me cope with anxiety. After a couple of years went by, I was in middle school at the time and was bullied for my weight. I was chubby and it was the main thing people saw in me. Not even my personality stood out anymore. The bullyi ..read more
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Navigating Relationships During the Holiday Season
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
The holiday season can be a time of great joy and gratitude. Movies, commercials, pictures in social media, all give the impression that every family (except our own) is perfect.  For many, however, the holidays can be very stressful. Many families experience difficult situations including estranged relationships, personal disappointments, loss, and grief. These difficulties hurt in a very real way. Here are some tips to help prepare for this time and experience less stress during the season. Plan ahead to feel empowered. Many people feel pressured during the holidays to join activities ..read more
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Losing Jack
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
Two years ago, I managed volunteer guides at a local museum. A college student named Jack collided with the museum like a meteor on a chilly fall day, took a tour, and decided to become a tour guide himself. All who knew him sensed Jack was living life at high speed.    Jack soon became a favorite at the museum. He was funny and insightful, and we became friends. One day, Jack sheepishly told me of his bipolar disorder. He was on a fast train to death, he said, and taking his life was his destiny. I asked Jack if he was medicated and had a therapist, and I tried to offer another ..read more
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Homeless, Hungry, and Hopeless
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Blog
by Janine Monico
4M ago
As a child, my family moved around a lot. Because of that, my thinking was not always consistent or stable. The memories of my childhood lists many addresses: By the time I was 10 years old, we had just moved to 46th and Market in a basement apartment. Prior to that, we lived with my great aunt in South Philly. Before that, we lived in the Southwark Projects, at 15th Christian and 4th south. Hunger was a constant in my childhood. It seems like we never had enough food in my home. I went hungry a lot. My mother worked hard. During the day she was a teachers’ assistant at Nebinger Elementary S ..read more
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