Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bullying Awareness

Since October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month we would like to do a post about bullying.

Bullying can happen to anyone, children are not the only people bullied. Adults in relationships or even at work can be bullied on a regular basis.

Bullying can be described as harm done to an individual through physical, emotional, or verbal abuse by someone who thinks they are stronger than the individual. People can be belittled, picked on, or even have rumors spread about them.

Bullying is not a part of life, and no one should have to live with being bullied, especially with all the stories in the media recently of how bullying led children and teens to suicide.

Many people are bullied for two main reasons:
  • Their appearance
  • Their social status (including sex, religion, race and sexual  identity)

It is terrible that some children wake up scared because they are worried they will be bullied at schools. Our students should be safe in school, because that promotes a better learning environment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Everybody's Doing It

For some teenagers, fitting in is the most important thing. They constantly think about how people perceive them. Do their clothes look cool enough? Is their hair styled correctly? Do they look fat?

Peer pressure is a huge influence of many problems in teenagers today; from drinking, eating disorders, and drug use.

The definition of peer pressure is the social influence from a peer group that exerts on individual members, as each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group, and can also be called conformity. Kids do this because they want to be cool, fit in, and be praised by their peers. If they don’t succumb to peer pressure some other pressures at become prevalent like bullying, another serious issue that we will cover in a later week.

“Everybody’s Doing It”

It is almost unheard of to not hear of peer pressure, in almost any stage of life from adolescence to adulthood. Their peers pressure them constantly to attempt risky behavior

                       gives us a few risk factors Peer Pressure Risk Factors
There are certain risk factors for peer pressure, personality traits that make you more prone to give in to pressure. The traits that put you at higher risk for falling in to the peer pressure trap include:
  • low self esteem
  • lack of confidence
  • uncertainty about ones place within a given peer group
  • no personal interests exclusive of one's peer group
  • feeling isolated from peers and/or family
  • poor academic abilities or performance
  • fear of one's peers
  • lack of strong ties to friends
  • feeling that friends could turn on you
  • close bond with a bully

Some risks teens may take can include binge drinking. At parties teens can be easily influenced to try and drink alcohol. Another risk is drug use. Teens can feel the need to fit in and smoke cigarettes and even try more drugs like marijuana and prescription pills. It can also cause dangerous behavior, ever heard of, “if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too?”.

Prevention works best when you are fully prepared. Talk to your child about peer pressure, alcohol, and drugs. Let them know how peer pressure works and how they can combat it. Preparing statements like, “I can’t smoke because I have asthma” or “I don’t drink, I’m driving tonight”. Even simply telling them to say I cannot do drugs because my parent’s drug test me can work.

Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable, and if you feel pressured you can always just walk away. “But they are my friends!” Let your friends know you do not want to do the activity and if they were really your friend they wouldn’t want to do anything that hurts you. Making new friends may be another option. Peer pressure is hard to overcome but it is well worth it, kids may make mistakes but keeping them safe is important. Please talk to you kids today about peer pressure.

As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and come back next week for a new post!

-Maxwell Law

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Team of Concern: Reducing Use

It doesn’t have to be addiction, it can be that first time experiment, the choice you make to do what your friends are doing, getting behind the wheel when you know you shouldn’t, and bringing the past into your future…it doesn’t have to be addiction.

The use of alcohol or other drugs is far reaching, affecting most everyone at some point in their life, Preferred Family Healthcare’s Team of Concern is an early intervention, prevention education program aimed at reducing the number of youth who decide to use. 

Through engaging presentations, utilization of a multitude of art medium and individualized interventions we can create an environment that allows youth to make healthier choices. 

Team of Concerns prevention education programs are school based, the intervention component happens in schools, the home and community where or youth live.  

If you are concerned that someone you know maybe at risk to choose alcohol or other drugs contact us at the location nearest you or refer something by calling 636-946-6376 ext. 123.

Some at-risk behaviors and signs can be…
  •  Use of cigarettes
  • Absences from school
  • Drop in academic performance
  •  Isolation or withdrawal
-Jean Sokora

About the author: Jean sokora is School Teams Liaison for Preferred Family Healthcare.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Power of Music

It is rare to find someone whose life has not been touched in some way by music.  In many ways it is a language all it’s own, inspiring emotion, catalyzing movement, relaying poignant messages or thoughts that are so difficult to express in everyday conversational language.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.-Victor Hugo

PFH’s Achieving Recovery Through Creativity program has made it a central part of our mission to harness the power that exists in music and utilize it as a tool to assist our consumers in achieving their full potential.  Whether through the use of popular music to inspire engaging discussion using lyric analyses or through music composition and recording, it is our ultimate goal to help our musically inspired consumers to find their voices.

Although I could compose pages upon pages regarding the power of music, I believe the work of our consumers is a much more meaningful and powerful way to demonstrate the use of this incredibly versatile and engaging tool for personal growth.

Take a moment to listen to our newly created playlist at reverbnation and get a glimpse into the minds and hearts of our insightful and talented consumers.

 -Kasey Harlin

About the author: Kasey Harlin is the Program Director for Preferred Family Healthcare’s Achieving Recovery Through Creativity (A.R.T.C.) program. A.R.T.C. uses the arts in all forms as a collective, innovative, and integrated strategy for both therapy and education for youth and adults struggling with substance use disorders, mental health concerns and a variety of high risk situations.