HEALTH IS IMPORTANT, AT EVERY AGE
It takes a lot to make a healthy kid. As they grow and explore the world around them, social and peer relationships can get more complicated. Their sense of self confidence may need more boosting. They may need additional guidance on how to direct their natural curiosity, wonder and risk taking in adolescence toward a healthier direction rather than to cave into negative peer pressure and experimentation with substances like nicotine/ tobacco, drugs and alcohol, or unhealthy relationships.
As our children evolve and grow into young adults, teaching them about health behaviors and relationships is a continual process. The dialogue requires that we carve out time to have open and honest conversations. It also means we need to be more active listeners.
Finally, young adults need trusted resources that they can explore on their own to find answers. Here are some websites and resources that you can use to start having healthy and productive conversations with your children.
A great local resource is the YouthNet Program. YouthNet provides afterschool enrichment activities for students at South Orange Middle School and Maplewood Middle School, during the school year. YouthNet is also a grant recipient of funding through the SOMA Municipal Alliance.
Organizations and Resources
Family Support Organization of Essex County The Family Support Organization of Essex County offers support groups for families and caregivers of children with a variety of special needs, especially behavioral, emotional and mental health challenges. We provide a supportive environment where parents health parents learn new strategies to effect positive vhange in their families and create long lasting relationships. Our goal is to engage, educate and equip families and ensure that they have access to the resources they need to become effective advocates for their children. 60 Evergreen Place, Suite 41 East Orange, NJ 07018 (973) 395-1441. Warmline is available M-F, 9 am- 5 pm for families.
The Search Institute's Development Assets Framework Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets).
Dating Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationships
- Love Is Respect loveisrespect’s purpose is to engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships
- One Love Founded in 2010 to honor Yeardley Love, One Love works to ensure everyone understands the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.
- CDC Teen Dating Violence
Sexual Education for Youth
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention (NJ PREP), Partnership for Maternal Child Health of Northern New Jersey
- Advocates for Youth
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sexual Health
- Health Connected
- Sex, Etc., by Answer, Rutgers University
- American Sexual Health Association
- AMAZE.org AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed. Real info in fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships.
Ways to Deal with Anxiety
How to Recognize Teen Depression
Drug and Alcohol Resources for Youth
Youth Mental Health First Aid: Learn to become a certified trainer in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. Program provided by the National Council for Behavioral Health
The College Experience: Take Charge of Your Health
- "How College Health Centers Help Children Succeed"
- "Preparing for College Life: A Healthy Guide" (CDC)
- "When to Visit the Campus Health Center- A Checklist"
Youth@Work- Talking Safely Curriculum for Youth, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) The new Youth@Work—Talking Safety is a fun, free, and engaging curriculum that helps teachers and school/community-based job placement staff educate young people about the basics of job safety and health.