Oct-09-2014

How and why you should ease your Ebola fears

How and why you should ease your Ebola fears

The Ebola virus sounds scary.  The headlines about the disease are frightening:  it can be fatal, it is spread through bodily fluids, there’s no vaccine.  The news reports can cause alarm, and misinformation can be easily spread through social media and other Internet sites. And now that a person treated in a U.S. hospital has died from Ebola, people seem to be more on edge about the disease and about the possibility of transmission.

Experts say don’t panic. They say that you don’t have a chance of catching it. They say that it’s highly infectious but not easily contagious. But that doesn’t necessarily reduce fears or anxieties when there’s a report of Ebola-like symptoms reported at a U.S. hospital.

It’s important to always stay alert, to be informed and take precautions if you think you may be at risk for coming into contact with any virus. But to help maintain emotional well-being, it’s critical to ease Ebola fears by reviewing the facts, maintaining perspective, …[Read More]

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Sep-18-2014

Taking a look at the facts of domestic violence/intimate partner violence

Taking a look at the facts of domestic violence/intimate partner violence

The world has now seen intimate partner violence splashed all over their television screens. Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked his fiancée unconscious in an elevator outfitted with a camera. Most people reacted with outrage to what they saw. But I have heard some say, “Well, she hit him first. She deserved it.” Others are very confused about why she has not left him. So let’s look at some facts.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

85% of domestic violence victims are women.

Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.

30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence …[Read More]

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Sep-16-2014

Managing your emotions during your child’s transition to college

Managing your emotions during your child’s transition to college

This strange thought occurred to me when I was making a list of all the stuff I was going to need to send my son off to college: where’s the college shower?

When a child comes into this world there is the baby shower, where experienced parents and a caring circle of friends pile on the onesies, the diapers, and the advice  in preparation for his or her arrival.  But when that very child (now young man or woman) leaves the nest for college there is no communal ritual preparation.  The, now, older parents really don’t have a clue about this transition either, even with the “equipment list” on the college website.

Why focus on the STUFF of college anyway?  Because everything else is out of your control.  Let me repeat: Parents, you are not in control, and the glare of our sons’ and daughters’ independence is oh, so blinding.  So, we compensate by focusing on the supplies as though their lives depended on having the perfect …[Read More]

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Aug-22-2014

It’s OK to talk to your children about suicide. Here’s how:

It’s OK to talk to your children about suicide. Here’s how:

None of us want to talk about suicide, but lots of us are thinking about it. A 2009 study by SAMHSA found that 8.3 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. That’s a lot of people–and it’s just for one year. The study also found that 2.3 million American adults made a plan for suicide in the past year. And 1.1 million actually attempted to kill themselves. Anyway you cut it, lots of people have suicide on their minds.

So, just like sex and drugs, suicide is something we need to be talking about with our kids. And just like sex and drugs, it’s probably something we should talk about early and often.

I don’t mean to say we need to bombard 5-year-old with the gory details of death by suicide, but emotions, mood and how they affect behavior are totally appropriate topics–even for our youngest kids.

Some tips for talking to your kids about suicide:

Keep it …[Read More]

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