By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW
We shouldn’t have to choose.
I can’t say this enough. To put off having personal lives and families out of fear that we’ll lose our jobs or our place in the workforce is shameful and demeaning. It is mind-boggling to see countless examples of people who have suffered for making that choice. In many ways, our society has not yet evolved beyond this division of priorities.
The Kelly Mental Health family is growing. And the evidence of this growth comes not only with the addition of new team members who have courageously taken the reins towards helping our community, but in the growth of families, relationships, and partnerships among our team.
I could tell that when Amanda, our Office Administrator, approached me a few months ago to very tentatively announce her pregnancy, she was worried. She worried about what we would do, how we would cope without her there, how I would react given that she’d only been there a few months, and she expressed perhaps even a sense of guilt about having to take time off.
I had to laugh, because she didn’t know.
By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW, TITC-CT
A young woman inspired a lot of discussion here at KMH because there truly was no straightforward answer to her question. We thought that it might help to share our views for other parents who are experiencing the same issues.
She explained that her 4-year-old daughter had been acting strangely whenever it was time to visit her dad at her grandfather’s house. This was out of character for her normally affectionate young daughter, but mom felt unsure about what to do since her daughter was not yet verbal enough to explain what was going on.
From the behaviours she was seeing, I agreed that she should be concerned and that she would be best to do a little more observation. Here’s what to watch for.
If a child exhibits fear around someone, meltdowns that are anxiety-based, disrupted sleep patterns, or clingy behaviour with trusted caregivers, do not ignore it.
By Elizabeth Perzan, MSW, RSW
25% of Canadian children are bullied. That’s 1 in 4, and it only accounts for what has been reported.
We all know that the frequency is much higher.
Children that are bullied are more likely to feel sad, alone, and helpless. They often lose interest in their favourite activities, avoid school, and experience disruptions to their sleeping and eating patterns.
It is frustrating and worrisome to witness your child going through these issues while feeling powerless to help them. Many parents blame themselves, get angry at their child for not fighting back, rage against the school system and the perpetrator for causing so much heartache, and experience depressive symptoms (e.g., feelings of worthlessness, irritability, disturbed sleep, heightened anxiety and irritation) as a result.
Is your child being bullied? Here's how you can help.
By Kristen Sohlman, HBA, RP
The holiday season can bring about more family responsibilities, and along with it, additional feelings of stress. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with holiday expectations, advertisements, and being a busy time of year. Unfortunately, the holiday season can bring about unhealthy stress management behaviour like overindulging in eating or drinking which makes one feel worse. In order to feel better this holiday season, there are better and healthier ways to make holiday stress more manageable.
By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW
You give up a lot of control when you become a parent.
Everything becomes a potential danger, from the edge of a coffee table to an unattended bath tub, to other kids who influence your child to think differently.
It's funny how you develop tunnel vision for them. How you can zero in on them in a room full of people, and not really see the other people anymore. Just them.
I haven't been a mom that long in the big picture, but I think that tunnel vision for them never really changes.
I imagine finding his smiling face among a sea of other graduates someday. Effortlessly hearing that sometimes-shy, sometimes obnoxious, sometimes know-it-all voice that seems to get deeper and wiser every time I see him.
And I imagine what it would feel like to desperately wonder for days at a time whether or not he's okay. No news, no word, no last-minute text to give me justification to be mad at him for being careless instead of terrified that I'll never see him smile again.
Today in Thunder Bay, a family had to say goodbye to their son in one of the worst ways imaginable.
Ask someone, anyone, to listen. It helps.
Check here periodically for updates from Kelly Mental Health staff.
Check out kellymagazine.ca for recent mental health articles and blog posts.
This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide personal support as an alternative to psychotherapy services. Please note that replies are viewable by the public, and we may take a few days to respond. If you require immediate assistance, please call us during business hours.