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Don’t Rely on Luck: Protect Your Teen’s Mental Health

Girl holding a lucky four leaf clover

Every day, whether through face-to-face interactions or podcast conversations, I have the privilege of speaking to hundreds, even thousands, of adults about the reason A Brighter Day Charity exists and the positive impact we are having on families.  Our resources on stress and depression for teens and their families, with the ultimate goal of preventing […]

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Don’t Become a Statistic!

I am called a “survivor.”  My son, Jake, took his life at age 19 by jumping in front of an oncoming truck on a Montana Interstate. Absolutely horrible and our lives will never be the same. Was he on drugs or alcohol? No. Was he on anti-depressant medication? No. Did he share his feelings with […]

It’s Back to School For Your Teens. Are You Ready For Their Anxiety?

Back to school teens

Has this felt like the shortest summer on record for your teen?  School begins in just a few days almost everywhere. It was only a few years ago that school systems decided to move the starting date of high school from the day after Labor Day to late August, to now the 2nd week of August. […]

July 4th: Independence and Your Teen

July 4th teens and family

Let me begin by wishing you a Happy July 4th, the day of the official signing of the Declaration of Independence when we went from a colony to a country.  Millions of Americans have died since 1776 to allow all of us to keep our freedoms and liberties, the greatest experiment in democracy and capitalism […]

Happy Father’s Day From a Survivor

Happy Father's Day

Father’s Day should be a positive day for dads throughout the year. Better than birthdays. Better than Christmas. Even better than your family vacation. All the attention of your family goes into this day. And for your children, all their attention shifts from themselves to their fathers.  Fathers feel proud, excited, joyous, and elated about […]

Is Teen Counseling a Good Idea?

Nearly one in three teens will experience a major form of anxiety and/or depression this year. With teen suicide at epidemic levels, we as parents must peel away the layers of moodiness and irritability to find out whether our teens are experiencing one-time issues or if something chronic developing.  We can’t be wrong in paying more […]

Spring Has Sprung For Your Teen, and So Has Their Anxiety

It absolutely feels terrific that the weather has turned nice, we aren’t wearing masks (for the most part), and we are planning our summer vacations. However, for your teen, they are coming to the end of this school year. That means taking tests that can create stress, anxiety, and depression. Also, for seniors, it means the […]

Why do people cut themselves? Understanding teen self-harm

Self-harm can cover a range of things that people do to themselves in a deliberate and harmful way. Although cutting is the most common form of self- harm, other methods include head banging, hair pulling, burning and scalding, biting, scratching, stabbing, breaking bones, swallowing objects, self-poisoning and overdosing. By injuring themselves, children and young people are asserting a form of self- control on their life which they feel is otherwise chaotic and meaningless. Self-harm is a way of coping and of channelling frustration and other strong emotions. In the vast majority of cases, it is not a suicide attempt, but rather a way to let off steam.

Many teens struggle with anxiety and depression.  Some turn to self-harm to deal with their intense feelings. Self-harm and self-injury describe a group of behaviors in which you deliberately hurt yourself — not as a suicide attempt, but as a way to release painful emotions.  Cutting is one of the most common ways that teens […]

The 5 Most Important Ways Parents Can Support LGBTQ+ Youth

LGBT is an acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The term sometimes is extended to LGBTQ, or even LGBTQIA, to include queer, intersex and asexual groups. Queer is an umbrella term for non-straight people; intersex refers to those whose sex is not clearly defined because of genetic, hormonal or biological differences; and asexual describes those who don't experience sexual attraction.

All teens face issues like academic pressure, personal identity issues, and tricky relationships — friendships, romance, frenemies, parents, siblings. Adolescents and teens who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQ+) face these issues, as well as an added slew of challenges. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ teens are challenged by concerns like […]

Schools and Life are Re-Opening: Talk With Your Teen

blonde teenage boy wearing white shirt sitting on the water looking into distance

I received three phone calls in the last two weeks from parents whose teen recently took their own life… suicide.  As you can imagine, the parents are messes with thousands of unanswered questions and a lifetime of second-guessing.  The most recent suicide was of a local teen football player who was hoping for an Ivy […]

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