GOOD NEWS

Like to take photographs? Enjoy painting and drawing? SAMHSA just released this news:

SAMHSA Announces Art of Recovery Project, Highlighting Role of Artistic Creativity in Mental Health and Substance Use RecoveryToday, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is launching the 2024 Art of Recovery project. This initiative highlights the impact of art on mental health and substance use recovery, showcasing how creative expression can serve as a pathway to solace, healing, and empowerment. The project solicits submissions, including artwork and a brief description of the artist’s inspiration, from artists with lived or living recovery experience.“We invite people with lived experience to submit photographs, paintings, drawings, or mixed media artwork that is meaningful to them and their journey,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “While the process of creation has long been recognized as a therapeutic tool, it can also serve to inspire others. The Art of Recovery project works to raise the voices of people with lived experience and illustrate the possibilities in recovery, hope, and healing.”Submissions are open May 7 to June 28, with categories for youth 13-17 and adults 18+. Artists may submit in two categories: painting, drawing or mixed media, and photography.
If you have trouble reaching the site copy/paste the underlined heading onto google. Go for it.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Tips and Resources for Mental Health Awareness Month (May is mental health month. Remember you are not alone. Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer )

By: Anita Everett, M.D. DFAPA, Director of the Center for Mental Health Servic

It’s May, so just checking in… “How is everybody doing?”

In case you missed it, Sesame Street’s lovable Elmo posed that very question on social media earlier this year – and the responses came flooding in. From relationship problems to financial troubles, and feelings of exhaustion, angst, loneliness, and disconnection, people shared their struggles. At last count, Elmo’s post had garnered more than 217 million views, 15,000 reposts, 165,000 likes, and 45,000 responses on one social media platform alone. What this helps reveal is that many of us are NOT okay – and it’s important to acknowledge and address that, and make sure people know that help is available. SAMHSA has several supports and resources that can help.

(Remember SAMHSA stands for SUBSTANCE ABUSE MENTAL HEALTH ADMINISTARATION. If you google them you will get the latest updates. Join a group on line or in your community who is dealing with same issues as you.)

Info For You

If you are in high school, college or just taking random courses you may want to know about Association of Recovery in Higher Education. As you know addiction usually runs in families. But you do not have to be an addiction victim. You can be boss of your life. ARHE knows how to help those who have lived with a parent suffering with addiction and young people who may be suffering with addiction. Even better you’ll meet fellow students who have the same problems as you. Get in touch with ARHE. Email your questions to info@collegiaterecovery.org or visit their site at https://collegiaterecovery.org/ Be good to yourself. Take action.

Love Bombed?

Dating? Right from the first you are bombarded with compliments, gifts etc. Beware – it may be the beginning of TAR (Toxic Abusive Relationship) What better way to get you into a controlling relationship! Visit https://tarnetwork.org/ and also www.intherooms.com

Be good to yourself.

Are You In An Abusive Relationship?

Yes, it can happen when you are dating! You think it’s romantic, part of dating – when it doesn’t seem right – the shouting, the threat of hitting or even hitting, the not caring about your needs. Feel confused? Go to www.intherooms.com/home – you’ll get the answers you need to your questions. Be good to yourself. Take care of yourself.

YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR HISTORY 

– That’s what Dr. Michael D. Yapko, a clinical psychologist says. And it makes a lot of  sense. After all you and only you  determine your future. Have problems with depression, getting ahead in school, worried about the drinking/drugs in your family? Change that worry to action to help you. Listen to   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVgQ_tgWMyU&t=19s . It will change your life.

Let’s Talk About This Again

Topic: GO FOR IT
We have discussed before how an ambition without a plan is only a wish. Well, it’s a new year. Many of us make resolutions. So pick just three or two that are most important to you and make a plan how those goals can become realities. Not doing well in school? Why? Is there a counselor or a friend who can help you figure out why? Might you have a learning disability? Can’t concentrate at home? Start figuring it out. Want better friends? Start thinking where you can meet them. Alateen is a great place. Worried if you might have addiction problems? That is a bigee. Go to Alcoholics Anonymous, or In The Rooms on line. Speak of your fears.  You can do it. Make a plan.

Those of you who follow this web site regularly know that each holiday season I talk about taking care of yourself, of being good to yourself, to be prepared if you have to deal with alcoholism/drugs in your home.

The holiday season is always an excuse for drinking and drugging. But then people who suffer from addiction will always find an excuse to satisfy their cravings. If you are in a home where the addictive habits really burst forth during the holidays there are several preparations you and your siblings can do. 

  1. Make a list of relatives and friends whom you feel comfortable visiting. Phone them and ask if in an emergency you could stay with them.  
  2. Always let your parents know where you are spending the night. Don’t just tell them but also write the name, address and phone number down and safety pin the paper on your bed. If your parents have email send it to them as well. 
  3. If you have no place to go have the phone numbers of your local Alcoholics Anonymous, Alateen and other addiction help centers available in case you need to talk to someone.  
  4. If all else fails be prepared to phone 911.  
  5. Depending on your relationships with your mother and father, the holidays are sometimes a good time to discuss what worries you about your parents’ habits. It is important to talk to your parents in a positive and non-insulting way. For example instead of saying, “I hate it when –“ you might say, “I really worry when you —, or “My feelings hurt when you —“.   

Lets try and be grateful for the good things we do have. It may also be a good time if you are affiliated with a church or synagogue to talk to your clergyman about your personal concerns. Make some plans of your own where you can let off some steam. Is there a pool near your home? Bowling Alley? A gym? You get the idea. Get some activities going.  May you find the strength within you to make your wishes come true.  You are stronger, sharper and wiser than you realize. Believe in yourself. 

DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU

    1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No:  Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right.  Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not.  Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you.  If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away. 

    2. Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure:  Pay attention to who you are hanging out with.  If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends.  You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs.  You don’t have to go along to get along. 

   3. Make Connections With Your Parents or Other Adults:  As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important.  The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable. If your family has a drug/drinking problem seek out others who have a healthy life style. They’ll answer your questions. Join the scouts, a religious group, a sports group to find the people you can respect.

   4. Enjoy Life and Do What You Love –  Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs:  Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs.  Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life.  Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse.  Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job.  Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life. 

   5. Follow the Family Rules About Alcohol and Drugs:  As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important.  Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between your and your parents.  Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful. (If your parents suffer from severe addiction talk to Al-Anon or Alateen or a counselor with whom you feel comfortable – Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer, author of For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs) 

    6. Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs:  You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet.  Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated.  Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs.  And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family. 

   7. Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example:  Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say!  You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed? 

  8.  Plan Ahead:  As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead.  You need to protect yourself and be smart.  Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use.  Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them.  And, do the same for your friends. 

  9.  Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control:  Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety.  Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same. 

    10.Get Help!:  If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs,, get help. Don’t wait.  You are not alone.