Episode 20 “Depression Nasal Spray?”

The FDA recently approved a new drug to treat severe depression using a derivative of the street drug Ketamine. What makes this drug so interesting and appealing is that its form of delivery is via a nasal spray like common allergy meds. This announcement received a lot of national press, and a bunch of people reached to ask what this was all about, and how it can help with depression. On today’s show we discuss the pros and cons of this new depression medication, and talk about what types of depression it is intended to treat.

*this episode references the following article

Episode 19 “Momo Challenge?”

Have you seen this viral topic circulating on social media and the news lately called the Momo Challenge? Apparently Momo is a devilish figure that appears spliced into children’s shows on YouTube that encourages kids to harm themselves and in some instances commit suicide. Obviously, very serious, scary stuff. But, after some research, this challenge has been shown to be nothing more than a hoax, exploiting the anxieties and fears of parents, and the curiosity of young children. But, just because it is a hoax, should parents or kids not be concerned. We discuss this and more on today’s show.

Episode 18 “Mental Health First Aid”

If you or a loved one hurts themselves physically in some way, you know exactly what the response should be. Since we were kids, adults have taught us to call 911 or the police when there is an accident or a serious emergency. But when the people around us are struggling with mental illness, do you know how to recognize the signs, and better yet, do you know what to do to get them the help they need? On today’s episode I talk about a Mental Health First Aid course that is available to anyone who is looking to do exactly that. Much like a CPR certification, the class is an 8 hour course designed to help us recognize people who are struggling with mental health issues, and offers solutions to how best to direct them to get the help they need. I hope you enjoy!

*this show references an article from bustle.com

Episode 17 “Alarming Study”

The growing sentiment in the USA is that the mental health issues are on the rise amongst children and that many of these children are not currently getting the help they need. To bolster this claim with some real hard data, a new study recently published highlighted some alarming statistics on the rate at which children are suffering from mental health disease, how many of them are getting help, and how those rates vary amongst different states. The authors cite the stigma of mental health disease, lack of health insurance coverage, and the shortage of mental health providers as some of the major reasons for children not getting the help we need. Join me on this episode as I discuss the results of this study and their implications. Info sourced from study referenced above and a summary article from CNN.

Episode 16 “Brain Reset”

When our computers or phones freeze up or get stuck in a loop, sometimes a “Reset” is all it needs to get things back on track. The same logic applies for our brains. Sometimes, especially in children, the brain can get stuck in a loop, and if this loop is instructing a bad behavior or poor focus, the brain will keep going and going…so what can we do? We can perform a brain reset. Join me on today’s episode as I explain this concept and talk about some easy ways this can be achieved and utilized at home and in school.

Episode 15 “Kids Must Think”

Critical thought is what separates humans from the other animal species. Our ability to stop, think, plan, and then make a decision is what separates us and truly makes us special. Nowadays, humans are thinking less and less thanks to technology that can think for them. When we need to know something we don’t ask questions, we ask Google. When we go online and read an article about something, we don’t ask where it came from or entertain the possibility that the article might not be factual, we take take it for face value. Kids do this more than adults, and therefore are more susceptible to the problems this blind acceptance brings. Teaching kids, especially the 21st century kids, how to critically think is so important to raising a sound, highly functioning human being. On today’s episode I discuss an article that talks about ways we can model critical thinking behaviors to teach children how to use their brains, and think!

Episode 14 “Are Schools Pushers?”

Classrooms have begun to look more like a Best Buy story than a school nowadays. With TVs, and Chromebooks, and tablets everywhere, why are schools pushing so much technology at younger and younger grade levels? And how is it hurting or helping kids? Did you know that technology activates some of the same centers in the brain as drugs do? So every time we watch TV, or use our phone, our brain is creating a reward so that we always seek this 3 dimensional, bright, highly dynamic, button pressing, feed scrolling behavior. And because a child’s brain is more plastic and less experienced, these behaviors and rewards are heightened, and is laying the ground work for an addiction…that is, a brain wiring to constantly seek technology. On today’s show I talk about this topic and in particular what the research is saying about how this technology push is helping or hurting our kids. We discuss the difference between preparing kids for a world of technology, versus immersing them in it and where this mandate for technology is coming from.

*The article written by Eliane Glaser mentioned in this podcast can be found here.

Episode 13 “Emotional Toolbox”

All kids know that when they have a cut or a bruise they can go to the nurse for a band aid located in a first aid kit. But what about when they are feeling down, sad, anxious, or depressed? Is there a first aid kid to handle this? Is there an emotional toolbox available to them help through their struggle? All humans should have their own emotional toolbox and we should she be teaching children from a young age how to fill this toolbox up with all of the tools they will need to handle life’s struggles. What are some of those tools? Join us for today’s episode as we discuss just this.

Episode 12: “Pet Benefits”

Pet’s have been apart of the family unit for roughly 11,000 years with obvious and known accounts of how pets can increase happiness and the disposition of all family members. In addition to these accounts, research has been performed asking if owning a pet can have a positive affect on children’s mental health and overall being, and today on Episode 12 we discuss some of these results. Among the numerous benefits cited, there are some caveats and I discuss them as well, but the overwhelming majority of studies suggest owning a pet can be beneficial to children’s overall wellness and mental state. Enjoy!

Episode 11: “Discipline Dont’s”

Disciplining children is one of the most researched and sought out topics by parents looking for better ways to teach right from wrong. Over the course of time, parents are now less inclined to use physical punishment on their children, but yelling has remained a routine method of discipline in the household today. Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new policy outlining the dangers both physical and mental these types of adversive discipline techniques can have on children. In today’s episode I talk about this new policy and outline some alternative discipline strategies that can be used for both short term behavior and long term mental benefit. Enjoy!