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Testimonials

"I just want to say thank you for the support provided by Headway. We have had our new full time staff, Liz, for a week and many positive outcomes are being felt building wide."

-Shannon McParland, Principal, Sioux Trail Elementary

Headway Minutes

Headway Minute

July 31, 2013

Headway to provide in-school therapy in Anoka-Hennepin District Schools

Starting this fall, Headway school-based therapists will be serving children and adolescents at schools in the Anoka-Hennepin County School District. Much like our contracts with other districts, Anoka-Hennepin has hired Headway to develop and run a school-based mental health program that will go well beyond the prevention and intervention services the district has provided in the past.

The district awarded a contract in late June for Headway to provide 14 full-time clinicians who have either masters or doctoral degrees and are licensed as independent clinical social workers, psychologists, professional clinical counselors or marriage & family therapists. Headway staff will work in a collaborative model with school staff to maximize the positive coordination of support for struggling students. Headway staff will provide services over the summer as well.

While this is a new service for the school district, it is an established service model for Headway as we have been providing school based mental health services since 2008. With the addition of Anoka Hennepin, Headway will now serve 37 schools in five school districts around the metro area.

We are excited to begin this partnership, and based on our experience in the other Districts we serve, we are certain that these services will improve outcomes for students in Anoka-Hennepin schools.

Dr. Jinger Gustafson, associate superintendent for the District's middle schools and head of the Student Services Department agrees: "Since we are able to offer specific mental health services through our school-based mental health model, we can reach out to even more students who may be experiencing academic, behavior, and social struggles," she says. "We are able to align our support services to meet the specific needs of our students and families which is a key factor in student achievement."

Our onsite presence means families no longer have to arrange for clinical mental health services outside of school, nor rearrange work schedules and/or take time off to bring the child to the appointment. Often when outside services are the only offering, many parents are simply unable to follow through, especially if they don't have health insurance coverage or have coverage with high cost-sharing.

In the new school-based model, the students' insurance will pay for the cost of therapy, but if they are uninsured or underinsured district funds will cover it. Dr. Nita Kumar, mental health consultant for the school district explains: "A child who is medically in need of mental health services will be able to get them. If a high co-pay or deductible is standing in the way, the child will still get help because of the flexibility built into this program."

For more information about or contacts for our school-based programs, or for Headway school based therapy locations, please visit our website.

Who is Headway

We are a diverse team of more than 100 therapists, psychiatrists, case workers, and medical and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in emotional distress transform their lives. We are here for your friends, neighbors, and family members in need. We are here for you.

If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, depression, divorce, parenting trouble, domestic violence, sexual abuse, anger management or any emotional health-related issue, contact us at 763-746-2411

Help us transform lives

We are here for people who most desperately need us - even if they can't afford our services.

In 2012 we provided free or reduced-rate services totaling more than $125,000. Generous donations from people like you make this possible. Your donation today will help make a difference in the life of someone who turns to us for help.

Visit Headway.org to help

Sincerely,

Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

June 4, 2013

New Headway Herald Reveals Our Expertise and Passion

When you take a look at our Spring/Summer Headway Herald, a bi-annual newsletter we launched last fall, you may see a theme emerge. While only a snapshot of the services and programs we provide around the Twin Cities, it illustrates a great deal about our understanding of, focus on and caring for the people and communities we serve.

Take, for example, the story about the little boy who drew a picture of his in-school therapist, portraying her as someone who is "serious about helping him" and protects him from the "landmines" of every day life. Or the vast number of prepared topics our experts will speak about to any group - for no charge - from play therapy to juvenile forensics to depression. The Herald also highlights the intensive focus and willingness to connect the dots our Children's Mental Health Targeted Case Managers need to help children and their parents access the government and community resources and services they need to succeed in school and life.

As you read the Herald you'll see there is no greater reward for Headway employees than finding new and better ways to help people find hope, healing and a path to success.

Please take a moment to look the latest Headway Herald.

Who is Headway

We are a diverse team of more than 100 therapists, psychiatrists, case workers, and medical and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in emotional distress transform their lives. We are here for your friends, neighbors, and family members in need. We are here for you.

If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, depression, divorce, parenting trouble, domestic violence, sexual abuse, anger management or any emotional health-related issue, contact us at 763-746-2411

Help us transform lives

We are here for people who most desperately need us - even if they can't afford our services.

In 2012 we provided free or reduced-rate services totaling more than $125,000. Generous donations from people like you make this possible. Your donation today will help make a difference in the life of someone who turns to us for help.

Visit Headway.org to help

Join our Golf Tournament!

Monday, June 24th, The Wilds Golf Course, Prior Lake, MN.

Sign up for our Golf Tournament today! It's not too late to enjoy a day of summer fun at our annual Transforming Lives Open on June 24 - an open scramble format for all levels.

Go to headway.org/golf_2013 for more information or to register online.

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

April 8, 2013

Group Therapy - A valuable tool for many

Group therapy can be intimidating for those of us who have never experienced it, but it is an important primary or supportive method toward healing in many areas of life.

Our new general therapy group for adults at our Golden Valley location is the perfect way to illustrate this. This particular group is designed for existing Headway clients currently involved in individual therapy, family members of current clients, and for new clients who would benefit from group therapy.

Why choose a general adult therapy group?

For people have difficulty relating to others, a group therapy situation encourages honest, safe, social interaction and an opportunity for participants to learn many valuable things about themselves. Working on relationships directly with other group members allows them to learn about and understand the issues that interfere with their outside relationships, carries over to make them better. Members will discover how to have more rewarding relationships with significant people in their life now and those they have yet to meet.

What kind of clients benefit most significantly from group therapy?

Below is a list of issues that can be effectively addressed and improved through group therapy:

  • Interpersonal problems
    • Loneliness
    • Shyness
    • Social withdrawal
    • Excessive competitiveness
    • Aggressiveness
    • Abrasiveness
    • Argumentativeness
    • Suspiciousness
    • Problems with authority
    • Narcissism
    • Difficulty with empathy
    • Difficulty accepting criticism
    • Continuous need for admiration
    • Feelings of being unlovable
    • Fear of being assertive
    • Dependency within relationship
  • Impulsivity and the need to act immediately on feelings
  • Highly intellectualizing problems and perceptions of others

In certain cases group therapy is not the best option for addressing these issues - this is why proper assessment and an individual treatment plan are needed to ensure the right therapy option for each individual.

If you find yourself struggling, or know someone who is struggling with any of the issues listed above, we have many resources available, including our new group, to help you move forward. Call our intake professionals 763-746-2411 to schedule an appointment. Remember- reaching out is the first step toward a brighter today.

Headway Blog

For information and thoughts about timely emotional health issues check out Headway's blog. Our latest blog is focused on adolescent suicide awareness and prevention. headway.org/blog

Who is Headway

We are a diverse team of more than 100 therapists, psychiatrists, case workers, and medical and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in emotional distress transform their lives. We are here for your friends, neighbors, and family members in need. We are here for you.

If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, depression, divorce, parenting trouble, domestic violence, sexual abuse, anger management or any emotional health-related issue, contact us at 763-746-2411

Help us transform lives

We are here for people who most desperately need us - even if they can't afford our services.

In 2012 we provided free or reduced-rate services totaling more than $125,000. Generous donations from people like you make this possible. Your donation today will help make a difference in the life of someone who turns to us for help.

Visit Headway.org to help

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

February 26, 2013

New App Helps Teens With Challenging Life Issues

At Headway, we work directly with over 5,000 youth and parents each year who face painful and disruptive life challenges. These youth and families realize that professional help is the best option for them. But we know that reaching out for help can be very difficult for anyone who is suffering.

That's why we were pleased to learn about TeenSphere, a new mobile application that can help teens and their parents understand the difficult and serious issues they face every day - from the privacy of their mobile devices. This interactive application is an early intervention tool, a way to reach, reassure, educate and guide adolescents who may have, or know someone experiencing, difficult issues. While it is designed for teenagers, it is also a great resource for parents, teachers, or others who interact with teens.

Available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, TeenSphere provides accurate, concise answers to challenging questions about emotional, behavioral, relationship, and substance abuse issues. It also contains relevant videos, helpful tools, symptom checklists and resources for teens when they are unable or unwilling to turn to an adult for answers. TeenSphere covers a wide range of critical topics, including: Feelings; Bullying; Self-harm; Eating Disorders; Relationships; Stress; Self-Esteem; Drugs/Alcohol; and LGBT.

Throughout Minnesota, and nearly everywhere, teens and their parents are experiencing difficult, emotionally challenging life situations. For the majority of these teens, supportive adult role models, positive loving families, friends, and access to educational resources are all they need to make it through adolescents, becoming healthy young adults. For some of these teens, tools like TeenSphere could be one of the supports they need to get through their struggles.

For teens who are experiencing significant issues that seriously disrupt their progress at school or home, TeenSphere can be the information bridge that might lead them and their parents to see they may need professional help

Who is Headway

We are a diverse team of more than 100 therapists, psychiatrists, case workers, and medical and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in emotional distress transform their lives. We are here for your friends, neighbors, and family members in need. We are here for you.

If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, depression, divorce, parenting trouble, domestic violence, sexual abuse, anger management or any emotional health-related issue, contact us at 763-746-2411

Help us transform lives

We are here for people who most desperately need us - even if they can't afford our services.

In 2012 we provided free or reduced-rate services totaling more than $125,000. Generous donations from people like you make this possible. Your donation today will help make a difference in the life of someone who turns to us for help.

Visit www.Headway.org to help

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

February 13, 2013

New Online Resource Targets Depression

If you or someone in your life is struggling with depression or depression-like symptoms, reach out to Headway at 763-746-2411

The pain of depression is a widespread issue that has directly or indirectly touched the lives of nearly all of us. In fact, in national surveys, more than half of adults report feeling depressed or unhappy at different times in their lives.

At Headway Emotional Health Services, we serve people facing a wide variety of challenges in their lives, many who are currently experiencing or have a history of depression. The people who make it to our offices are the lucky ones -- they have sought and found help with us. Because depression is so often accompanied by isolation and loneliness, asking for help or talking with others can be very difficult and overwhelming.

Website Offers Depression Resources

Seeking to bridge this gap Minnesota Health Scores, a health care consortium, launched a new online source that provides information, resources and tools geared to help people take the first step in identifying and addressing their depression: mnhealthscores.org depression resources

A key feature of the site is a screening tool that will provide the user with a basic assessment of the severity of their condition. This tool is a simple and positive step in the right direction, and comes with easy to understand resources and accessible treatment options - communicating that depression is a treatable condition and that life can improve by taking action.

This site is a great way to begin to understand depression, but it is not a replacement for reaching out to others - family, friends and if needed, professional care -- for help and support.

Headway Helps with Depression

Headway's devoted mental health care providers have the training and experience to offer effective personalized assessments and treatment for adults and children who are experiencing depression and the related symptoms of anxiety, loneliness and isolation.

If you or someone in your life is struggling with depression or depression-like symptoms, reach out to Headway at 763-746-2411.

This article includes information from a StarTribune Health Beat Column written by Maura Lerner

Who is Headway

We are a diverse team of more than 100 therapists, psychiatrists, case workers, and medical and administrative staff dedicated to helping people in emotional distress transform their lives. We are here for your friends, neighbors, and family members in need. We are here for you.

If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, depression, divorce, parenting trouble, domestic violence, sexual abuse, anger management or any emotional health-related issue, contact us at 763-746-2411

Help us transform lives

We are here for people who most desperately need us - even if they can't afford our services.

In 2012 we provided free or reduced-rate services totaling more than $125,000. Generous donations from people like you make this possible. Your donation today will help make a difference in the life of someone who turns to us for help.

Visit www.Headway.org to help

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

December 19. 2012

"Talking to Youth about Traumatic Events"

The killings in Connecticut and the interrelated issues of mental health treatment has become the dominant topic of conversation in every area of our lives. At work, in social settings, with friends, with strangers and within our homes, talking about a tragedy of this magnitude is difficult for everyone. Talking about it with children is especially difficult and many parents are reluctant to bring it up due to concerns that they will "make it worse" or be asked questions they do not know how to answer.

How do I talk with my kids about this?

One of the positive aspects of the internet is the ability for everyone to access quality information and guidance. As an organization that works annually with over 11,000 individuals and families seeking support for emotional health, we want to ensure that reputable resources are easily accessible to parents and others regarding communication with children. On our website, www.headway.org, we have posted information organized by the Ambit Network, a University of Minnesota mental health community resource for traumatized children and their parents, intended to help parents discuss the recent tragedy in Connecticut.

In addition to these resources, our own Dr. Hal has blogged some tips for talking with children about traumatic events.

The emotional impact of the Connecticut killings has been overwhelming for many people who had no direct connection to the violence. Adding to the emotional impact is the proximity of the event to Hanukkah and Christmas holidays. The holiday season often brings added stress and emotional challenges themselves. It is important to keep in mind that high stress and increased emotions will affect decision-making and daily activities. Prior to the Connecticut incident, Dr Hal prepared some tips for coping with holiday stress. These tips can be accessed here.


We wish you and yours a happy, healthy New Year filled with peace.

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

November 1, 2012

"Discovering Headway"
New Video Tells Our Story

Last spring Headway conducted its annual client satisfaction survey. The feedback was outstanding and humbling.

  • 94% are happy or extremely happy with services they have received at Headway
  • 93% agree or strongly agree that Headway is helping them make progress in the area that brought them to us
  • 92% would recommend Headway to a friend or co-worker

What is the secret of our success?


We are proud to debut "Discovering Headway" a video that embodies the spirit of Headway Emotional Health Services.

Composed of employee interviews, the video shares the spirit and attitude of who we are and why we do what we do.

The video was created to share what we learned this past summer and fall in a process intended to give us a better picture of the "soul of Headway."

Aptly called the Discovery Project, in-depth, peer interviews of nearly 50 staff revealed five core themes about Headway - passion for what we do, a spirit of innovation, organizational support for learning, connectedness to each other and the community, and focus on the people we serve. The interview process identified these themes as central to the services we provide and the organization wide commitment to supporting our clients.

For more information on the Discovery Project click here

Camera...Action! The outcomes of the project were so clear and powerful, we decided the best way to share the Discovery story was to show it through the very people who make Headway what it is -- our employees -- and the concept for the video was born.

Discovering Headway: Passion. Focus. Innovation. Learning. Connectedness.

Stay Tuned! A great deal of wonderful video footage remains from our filming. We will be sharing the stories and messages in the coming weeks in other videos that will highlight other facets of this varied and talented organization. In the meantime, we hope you will take a few minutes to hear from our staff "Discovering Headway" - we promise you will be inspired.

Ready...set...donate! Give to the Max Day

Headway is participating in Give to the Max Day on Nov. 15. Please consider joining our supporters in making a tax deductible gift to support Headway Emotional Health Services. Your contribution will make it possible for us to provide support and services to anyone seeking our help, regardless of their life situation or ability to pay. Our goal is to raise $5,000 on November 15!

What is Give to the Max Day? It's a day when thousands of Minnesota nonprofits will come together to raise millions of dollars in just 24 hours. Be a part of it -- we'll send you an e-mail reminder as the date approaches! The Twins are in! (See what the Minnesota Twins say about GTTMD)

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

July 30, 2012

2011 Annual Report

Last year, 2011, was a year of change and growth for Headway. Not only did our services expand to reach thousands more people in the Twin Cities, we changed our name after 41 years to better represent what we have become and where we are headed.

We are pleased to announce our 2011 Annual Report is now available on our website, www.headway.org. It highlights our growth, shows our financial performance, and shares some impressive facts about the impact of the work we do in and around the Twin Cities metro. The report also includes some firsthand stories and observations about the ways we make a difference - the small and large victories -- every day.

We encourage you to take a moment to look at our report- we think you will find it an interesting and inspirational read because, much like the mission of Headway itself, it is about the people we serve and how well we serve them.

Inside the 2011 Annual Report,

you will find.....

.....interesting 2011 facts, including:

  • We provided $300,000 worth of free and reduced services to area individuals and families
  • We provided 30,000 hours of mental health services to families across the metro
  • Our services reached 13,847 individuals and families throughout the Twin Cities

.... inspirational 2011 stories, including:

"In a voicemail from the mother of a very difficult, often violent client of mine, she explained that recently her daughter had started to get upset, yelling and climbing a tree. But then something changed and the little girl said, "I want to try calming down like (my therapist) taught me." She started 'blowing out her birthday candles' like I had showed her to calm herself. Her mother said she settled right down, got in the car and was fine after that. I cried (just a little bit) with joy when I heard this message."

-Headway Therapist

"My client's mother grabbed my hand, pulled me into her and gave me a hug. She stated how happy she was her daughter has been coming to me as she was getting her 'old' daughter back."

- Headway In-school Therapist

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

May 31, 2012

Students Benefit from Emotional Health Services in School

Memorial Day weekend marks that time of year when school winds down for students in grades K-12. During the 2011-12 school year, Headway Emotional Health Services provided critical support to over a thousand students in more than 35 schools in the Twin Cities area.

Stories of Progress

Here are a few of the many powerful stories that help demonstrate the progress students have made and are making, with the support of their families, teachers, schools, and Headway staff:

Polly, a fourth-grader, was referred to the therapist at her school because she was having difficulty in class. After a few visits, Polly disclosed that she had experienced abuse. The therapist is working with her to support and guide her through therapy. Her anxiety and general fearfulness has decreased. She is making steady improvements in her behavior and social interactions at school as well as at home.

Gerald was not attending classes and was failing in school. When Headway's truancy case manager began working with Gerald, she recognized that he was suffering from depression due to the death of his parent. With the help of his Headway case manager, Gerald was able to address his feelings and learn positive coping skills around his loss. He has since graduated from high school and is enrolling in vocational school to help him with his career.

Steven, a second-grader, suffered from debilitating anxiety. He was unable to face new school assignments without emotionally melting down. Working with his school based therapist, he was able to learn relaxation strategies and coping skills. He is now able to cope with his class work, and is successful in the classroom. He feels better about himself, his teacher is pleased with his progress, and his parents are relieved that he is successful in school.

Irene, an 18-year-old student, sought help from the therapist in her school when she became pregnant. During her therapy, she made significant changes in her peer group, stopped using drugs and alcohol, and is doing much better in school. Making these important changes has set her on a new and positive path to support herself and her baby.

Parents Speak about Headway

In addition to these success stories, we also hear directly from parents of children in our programs:

"My daughter's time with Headway has been a long and successful journey. We have seen changes for the best for our daughter. She was able to receive good grades, which never happened in the past. She was able to exercise leadership by being a role model for new students that came into the Day Treatment program. In addition, we have seen more positive emotions from her along with more conversation. So we would personally like to thank you and your staff and the teachers for their part in our daughter's success!"

"The Headway therapist has been a blessing and I want my kids to continue with her during the summer and have her back next school year. My kids have developed a relationship with her and I strongly believe she has helped them make good progress."

"My Headway provider was AWESOME to work with. I would like to see them offer Parent Support groups in the future."

We Can HelpMeeting the emotional health needs of students in their schools is one of the many ways that Headway partners with organizations to positively impact lives. Headway is grateful to the students, families and school staff with whom we have worked this year.

There are few things more powerful that seeing students create and sustain positive changes in their life.

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

May 10, 2012

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. At Headway Emotional Health Services, we believe it is important to acknowledge the improvements being made in all areas of mental health services. Advances for children and adolescents are driven by people who are dedicated to providing them with skills and opportunities they need to grow into successful adults. Headway contributes to and benefits from many of these developments through our partnerships and training from researchers, educators, state-wide and national professional organizations.

Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma and its resulting impact on short and long term mental health issues is one area where research has contributed to the development of more effective and lasting interventions. Headway has been providing research-based supports and treatment to children who have experienced trauma for more than 40 years. As new protocols are developed, we incorporate them quickly into our daily work through training and continuing education.

Without treatment, exposure to trauma in childhood can have costly and lasting consequences. Studies show that 76% of children exposed to traumatic events in the first three years of life are likely to have one or more delays in their cognitive, language, or emotional development. Adults who experienced abuse, chronic neglect, caregiver mental illness, violence, or other difficult family situations in their early childhood are also more likely to have health problems, including substance abuse, depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

When working with children, a key to successful treatment is having a complete assessment of their mental health and behavioral history, from which a customized treatment plan can be developed. Properly-trained therapists, with a variety of coping and teaching techniques within their tool box, must understand a child's individual developmental needs and capabilities in order to formulate an effective treatment plan.

Research emphasizes the importance of encouraging resilience during early childhood. Positive relationships and environments that support healthy development (cognitive, emotional, physical, and social) provide the foundation children need to acquire the resources and skills they will require in order to cope with and adapt to adversity throughout their childhood and beyond.

Momentum is growing across human services disciplines to focus on the possibility of preventing mental, emotional and behavioral disorders through a variety of interventions with children, families, and communities. Studies of trauma, neurodevelopment, and resilience are pointing toward a new approach to emotional health that increases wellness and decreases disease.

We Can Help

Headway provides a variety of therapeutic and support services to children with mental health issues, as well as their families. Headway has several therapists specifically trained in working with children. In addition to our clinic-based services in Richfield and Golden Valley, our staff provides therapy services to children at more than 15 schools throughout the Twin Cities. For high school students whose mental health issues disrupt their ability to stay in their home school, Headway provides Day Treatment services that are coordinated with schooling provided by Intermediate School District 287.

Along with services for children and adolescents, Headway serves adults through individual, group, and family therapy. Mental health issues affect the entire family. Offering services to all ages allows families access to support in a collaborative setting.

To learn more about the array of services Headway provides, please visit us at Headway Emotional Health Services.

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

April 10, 2012

The Only Thing Constant in Life is Change

All of us appreciate a certain amount of change in our lives. At the same time, many of us try hard to avoid it. Why? Because change tends to have a "cluster effect" meaning one change is often followed by several more. And frankly, change is stressful; frequently impacting many areas of our life.

We all know that our lives can be dramatically altered as the result of a big change. However, even small changes can have a big impact; things like losing or gaining weight, starting a new job, altering a routine, or not seeing a close friend for a long time.

Change is a normal and essential part of life, yet, ironically, when we're in the middle of it, it feels anything but normal. "Logic" tells us that if change is related to a positive event -- such as a new job, a pregnancy, moving to a desired location -- that the impact won't be as significant as a change related to a negative event. In reality, however, whether the change is positive or negative, the resulting stress can be overwhelming and very disruptive in many areas of our life. In fact, positive change sometimes is more difficult to cope with because we are not expecting any negative fallout, forgetting that even good change can be stressful.

Tips for Coping with (Positive and Negative) Change:

  • Expect/recognize that you have emotions related to the change
    Fear, anxiety, frustration, despair, anger, excitement, a sense of loss, are all emotions associated with change. Change, no matter how good it is, means loss. When something in your life changes you lose what was. So expect it.
  • Go with the flowA single change, such as where you work or what you do triggers changes in many other areas of your life. How to cope? Focus on being flexible. Being rigid in the face of change can increase the pain and difficulty of change. Think of yourself as a boat in a storm. Traveling with the waves makes for a much smoother ride.
  • Get support
    Don't go it alone. As difficult as it feels, reaching out to others is an important part of coping. While you may tell yourself it is easier to manage things alone, coping is much easier when you find the courage to reach out for support.
  • Recognize your choicesWhen change is thrust upon you, it may feel like you don't have any choices. However, there are many choices which are under your control. Being aware that you do have choices will help you feel more in control.
  • Divide it up
    Whenever possible, divide big life changes into smaller pieces. A house move, a wedding or a divorce involves several stages. When you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of a change, concentrate on -- and appreciate -- the smaller milestones you're accomplishing along the way.
  • Search for the good change brings and celebrate
    Some changes are very positive while others feel awful. Some feel like the end of the world. It is very important to celebrate the good connected to any change, even if you have to look for it.
  • Know that it will end
    All change comes to an end when the new circumstances are in place and become familiar to you. Every change, no matter how big, will eventually end and you'll return to a feeling of normality.

We can help

The good news is that with change, we grow wiser and stronger and learn to make better decisions. For those individuals who may need additional resources to cope with change, Headway has an experienced staff that can help provide the extra support and resources needed.

Having a caring and supportive place makes managing the stress that change brings easier. Find out more about Headway, and get a list of the specific program resources we offer, by visiting us at https://www.headway.org/serve/. Headway Emotional Health Services is here to help.

Sincerely,
Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

March 15, 2012 

Adolescent Mental Health

Mental health is how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood.

The issues and solutions around adolescent mental health have been the focus of Headway's communications and outreach efforts during the first quarter of this year. Dr. Hal, our Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist, recently blogged about several important adolescent topics. (Check out Dr. Hal's Blog) As the quarter comes to a close, I want to provide an overview of adolescent mental health and provide some information that may be useful in gauging how the adolescents and young adults in your life are doing.

The teenage years are a time of transition from childhood into adulthood. Teens often struggle between being dependent on their parents while having a strong desire to be independent. They may also feel overwhelmed by the emotional and physical changes they are going through.Being a teenager is hard. The stress from wanting to be liked, do well in school, get along with family and begin to make decisions about the future takes quite a toll. Whether you are a teenager, parent, Uncle, Aunt, teacher, employer or friend, you can't avoid the stress, the pressure, the drama, or the accompanying energy teenagers experience.

Worrying about your teen is normal. The rollercoaster of emotions, the physical changes, the challenges with friends seem overwhelming at times. Emotional highs and lows are real and a normal part of the lives of adolescents. Remember that teens may experiment with values, ideas, hairstyles and clothing in order to define themselves. This is normal behavior that shouldn't be terribly concerning.

For many adolescents, feelings come and go faster than many can believe. For some, their range of emotions narrows and they get stuck in prolonged periods of sadness. They may feel hopeless or worthless. It is during these periods when those who love teenagers get worried. They may ask themselves, "Are these signs of a mental health problem?" The answer is not a clear yes or no. Factors such as age, gender, social life, grades, decision making, and behavior all have to be considered. Many adolescents - with the help of friends, parents, faith and activities - are able to navigate their way through. However, some need additional supports and skills in order to move forward.

When do adolescents need help?

Staying mentally healthy is not always easy. This is especially true for adolescents. Signs indicating that adolescents may benefit from some professional help include:

  • Frequently feeling or acting very angry or very worried

  • Feeling grief for a long time after a loss

  • Feeling like they cannot control what their mind is thinking

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Using alcohol or drugs

  • Exhibiting obsessive behaviors such as hand washing, exercising, scratching

  • Changes in eating habits: Continuous dieting, binge eating, notable weight changes

  • Ending hobbies/activities without replacing them

  • Changing friends, losing friends, marked change in the amount of time spent with friends

  • Destroying property; hurting other people

  • Repeatedly having unresolved run-ins with various authority figures

  • Doing reckless things that could harm themselves or others

What can I do to help my adolescent?

Communicating your love for your child is the single most important thing you can do. Children decide how they feel about themselves in large part by how their parents and friends react to them. For this reason, it's important for parents to help their children feel good about themselves. It is also important to communicate your values, to set expectations and enforce limits, such as insisting on honesty, self-control and respect for others, while still allowing teenagers to have their own space.

Parents and other adults who are close to teens often find themselves noticing only the problems, and they may get into the habit of giving mostly negative feedback and being critical. While teens need honest feedback, they respond better to positive feedback. Remember to praise appropriate behavior in order to help your teen feel a sense of accomplishment and reinforce your family's values.The challenge for parents and adults is recognizing when your teen may need help from an outside person or professional.

What should I do if there is a problem?

Work on communicating with your teen. If you suspect there is a problem, ask them what is bothering them. Encourage teens to talk to someone or to ask for help if they are struggling. If you think your teen needs help, or if you need help relating to or helping your teen, there are many resources for teens and adults alike. Consider contacting a school counselor, your family doctor, your place of worship, or an organization like Headway. Whatever the emotional health issue, remember that Headway Emotional Health Services is committed to providing services that result in successful youth, strong and stable families, and healthy communities. We can help.

Please note: Material from Medline Plus (a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health), and the American Academy of Family Physicians was used in this summary.

Sincerely,

Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

February 28, 2012 

Healthy Families:
The Importance of Parent/Child Bonding

For more than a hundred years, scientists and psychologists have been studying the development and influence of the parent/child bond, the intense emotional attachment that develops between parents and their children.

The research on the subject identifies just how significantly bonding - or the lack of bonding - affects a great deal of a child's life. As the body of research grows, it confirms the benefits of healthy bonding, and identifies the challenges that result from poor bonding. Either way, a child continues to be impacted as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. A recent study, for example, found that children who do not establish a strong, positive bond with their primary caregiver(s) are more likely to be obese as teenagers.

With the knowledge of how important healthy bonding is to the long-term development of children, understanding the methods that help improve and strengthen this bond is very important.

We know that situations including unstable housing, domestic violence, chemical abuse, mental illness, or poverty, are all likely to negatively impact the ability of parents to form a quality connection with their children.

Headway's Healthy Families Program

Headway's Healthy Families home visiting program is designed to work with first-time mothers and fathers who are likely to have a difficult time developing a healthy bond with their infant. Headway is one of several organizations providing Healthy Families home visiting services throughout the Metropolitan area.

Program outcomes are measured through regular screening and assessment, and are continuously tracked through the Metro Alliance for Healthy Families.

Program outcomes are measured through regular screening and assessment, and are continuously tracked through the Metro Alliance for Healthy Families.

The results are very positive.

Among participating families:

  • 92% met the target for having a connection to a primary health provider
  • 89% were current with well-child exams
  • Immunization rates for children 24 months of age were 98% (compared to immunization rates in the seven-county Metropolitan area that range between 30-59%)

After 15 or more home visits in a 12-month period:

  • 85% of children rated within average range for cognitive and physical growth
  • 95% of children rated within average range for behavioral/emotional milestones

Finally, results from a 23-month study showed a reduction in child maltreatment:

  • The child maltreatment report rate was 9.3%, considerably below the national rate of 21.9%

How the Healthy Families Program Works

Parents participate in this program on a voluntary basis and typically are identified or referred while in the hospital for the child's birth, during a post-birth home visit by a nurse, or through contact with community resources while pregnant.

Whenever possible, Headway's home visiting staff begins working with expectant mothers and fathers before the child is born, or as soon as possible within the first three months of the child's birth. Our staff receives extensive and ongoing training, and has the knowledge and resources new parents need to significantly improve the strength and quality of their bond with their child.

Through weekly home visits, parents learn to identify and monitor their infant's physical and emotional growth. Parents are encouraged to stay in the program for up to four years with home visits decreasing to monthly. In addition to all the benefits associated with a healthy bond between parent and child, support from Healthy Families results in children being adequately prepared for pre-school and kindergarten.

Healthy Families is just one of many programs provided by Headway Emotional Health Services. Each year, Headway helps more than 11,000 children, adolescents, adults, couples and families work through issues of depression, suicidal thoughts, anger management, abuse, truancy and divorce. Many of our services support strengthening the healthy bond between parents and children.

Sincerely,

Pat Dale, CEO
Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

February 13, 2012

Hear from Dr. Hal

We are happy to share with you that Headway's very own Dr. Hal Pickett has started blogging. "Dr. Hal" will write on topics such as adolescent depression and mental health, co-parenting children through divorce, tips for selecting a therapist, and how to have difficult discussions with children, partners or family members.

Dr. Hal has a knack for engaging people through communications that are clear, effective, respectful, and informative. His blog represents yet another resource for people looking for answers to any number of emotional health issues.

Dr. Hal is a Clinical Psychologist and has worked with children, adolescents, couples and families for almost two decades. Working with children with moderate to severe mental health issues is his focus and he has worked in this capacity at the University Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in private practice, and presently at Headway Emotional Health Services.

Check out Dr. Hal's blog on our website, www.headway.org/blog, or on our Facebook page. His blog also appears in several suburban editions of Patch, an online community newspaper. Find the edition for your area at www.patch.com.

Sincerely,

Pat Dale

CEO

Headway Emotional Health Services

Headway Minute

January 23rd, 2012

Psssst…. Spread the Word

One of the reasons we launched a new website last summer, www.headway.org, was to do a better job helping the public understand the services we offer and to demonstrate that an important part of our mission is to reach out to the community, particularly to those in need.

We want people to know that if they ever need emotional support services – or know someone who does – Headway is here to help.

As we work with more and more individuals and families in need, we want to say “Yes, we can help” to everyone who comes to us feeling overwhelmed, burdened, or defeated, including those without the resources to pay the cost of their care. In order to continue to say “yes”, we need to expand the number of organizations and individuals supporting our work. What can you do? You can help us spread the word about Headway.

1 tells 2 in ‘12

In 2012, we are asking our current supporters – and everyone else we know – to tell two (or more) people about Headway. In fact, we’re launching a word-of-mouth campaign to do just that. The theme? “1 tells 2 in ’12”.

What do we want people to know about Headway? Here is a sampling:

  • Headway is one of Minnesota’s premier providers of comprehensive mental health support services
  • Headway has more than 41 years experience serving the Twin Cities metropolitan community
  • We provide hope, healing, and empowerment through treatment, intervention and education
  • We are providing solutions in area schools, community settings and other organizations, creating a collaborative ripple effect of emotional health support throughout the Twin Cities
  • Eighty percent of all Twin Cities parents going through a divorce have attended our Divorce Education classes
  • Last year, Headway was selected by the Hennepin County Attorney’s office to provide Juvenile Diversion services to Hennepin County youth, ages 10 – 17, who have been arrested for low level criminal behavior

If the thousands of people that know Headway tell two people about us, we will be able to help more people in need because of our expanding circle of support.

What can you do?

  • “Like” us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/Headway.Emotional.Health.Services
  • Sign up to be on our mailing list
  • Forward our Headway Minutes to people who may be interested
  • Tell people you support Headway and why
  • Share with others that Headway needs additional supporters to meet the demand for emotional health services throughout the Twin Cities

“1 tells 2 in ’12” is an easy, personal way to help your neighbors in need and strengthen your community. Spread the word.

Sincerely,

Pat Dale

CEO

Headway Emotional Health Services

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