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I was recently interviewed by Elizabeth Hardison for the article, “Pennsylvania set up a tip line for school threats. Instead, students overwhelmingly called with mental health concerns.” When I was asked if I was surprised by the high level of mental health concerns being reported by students, I said I was not.

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I often hear fears about the latest online “challenge” that the kids are doing. But many times, they aren’t real or are not as reported.

Over the years, the mental health hashtags have evolved and are ever-changing. It’s difficult to keep up with all of the mental health hashtags as they are sometimes blocked on Instagram or other social media platforms, but when certain hashtags become blocked, others come to life to replace them.

One of my roles is working with youth in local schools. I check in with the at-risk students and try to encourage, support, and guide them. I also help to identify unhealthy digital relationships.

Working in a middle school, I often speak to youth who report being “bullied.” School counselors spend time looking at the scenarios and helping youth understand the difference between being rude, mean, and bullying.

Sometimes I’m asked about legal issues related to technology. There can be many struggles with technology, social media, and crime. I’ve posted a new resources about legal issues and technology.

I enjoy watching young people grow up and find their path; it’s wonderful seeing all of the good things that they accomplish. I’ve always liked recognizing youth that are trying to make the world a better place by their actions.

Standing in front of an audience was never a career goal for me. I had no intention to do public speaking. My last year of college, I took a mandatory public speaking course over the summer when I knew there would be only a few students in my class. So, when I was first asked to do an assembly for middle school students, I was petrified. I instantly put them to sleep.

With every new challenge we take on in life, there is an expectation set before the venture begins. Elementary, middle, and high schools have a handbook to follow. There are expectations about attendance, academics, and behaviors.

I’m sure many of us are telling our kids not to send nudes, but are we telling them not to request them equally?

Over the past two days, news stories of the “Momo Challenge” have been rapidly spreading through the media. This has led to much misinformation, unclear understanding and concerned parents, professionals and teachers as well as frightened children. 

Here is a great article about a new live streaming app, YouNow.

I’m often asked how people hide pictures on their devices. Here is a link to a nice article that will tell you about 7 ways to hide pictures on a device. Be sure to read the “Bonus” one at the end that describes how you can hide your pictures on IOS 8 that is built right into the operating system.

First, a little information about my background: I’ve been working with teens and tweens since the early ‘90s. I first started my career working direct care at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. There, I learned much about a wide range of mental illness and the resulting behaviors. I then worked in residential settings treating teens struggling with mental health, trauma and behavioral concerns. Within these facilities, there was very limited access to the internet and cell phones were not permitted. Even in their home and community, their access was limited. IM messaging was used on computers and texting on flip phones, but very few people were accessing the World Wide Web.

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