Anyone visiting the lower school campus of The Forbush School at Glyndon last Wednesday would have been forgiven for thinking they were seeing a typical summer camp field day. Nearly 80 excited kids wearing t-shirts of different team colors (thanks to a Care for Kids grant), along with as many adult staff members wearing matching team colors, were engaged in cooperative team building activities. But looking closer, the visitor would have realized that this wasn’t summer camp. It was Sheppard Pratt Health System's original, and largest, day school for students with emotional disabilities and autism spectrum disorders enjoying “SURVIVOR: Forbush.”

survivor_forbush.pngWhat appeared to be a 3-legged relay, sack race, or egg walk were actually opportunities for serious learning. Many of these students had never before been able to participate in such things as field days, recess games, jokes at the lunch table, or group science projects because of their emotional and social challenges. At The Forbush School at Glyndon, vital skills—like handling challenges without getting upset, working together to problem-solve, using positive thinking, and supporting schoolmates—are practiced all day long. The...

It’s almost that time of year: the air will be a little crisper, the leaves will start changing color, and you’ll be getting your elementary-aged kids back into their school routine. There will be buses to catch and homework to do, and a totally new classroom on top of it all. 

kids_2.jpegStructuring your child’s schedule and preparing them for the change are essential for their success as the school year begins. Achieving this routine is no small feat after several months of no work and all play. How do you go about the transition for your children in elementary school?

We’ve included some tips for parents on this process below. We also spoke to an elementary school teacher in the Baltimore area who provided some insight into preparing your child for the back-to-school change.

Get involved and set an example. Always be as engaged as you can in your child’s school activities and classroom environment. Demonstrating an interest in their studies will motivate them to be interested in their own work, and feel like there’s value in what they’re learning. Beyond asking them questions about what they did in class that day, show them the ways you use the skills they’re learning in the...

college_BTS_blog_post.jpegOh, August. You are still very much a summer month, yet your arrival reminds us that break is coming to a close. Whether you’ve spent these past few months on a beach towel or in an office, there is a shared awareness that school is upon us. This summer, I had the privilege to intern at Sheppard Pratt Health System before my final semester at my university. As I sit in the cubicle I will depart from a few weeks from now, I write this post to offer four tips to fellow college students on how to prepare for the return of the academic year.

  1. Find a fall schedule that fits your current needs. Most registration periods for fall courses began in the middle to end of spring semester. Maybe at that time you were in the heat of finals, and as a result, you chose courses to ease, or fit with, the fired-up mentality you had. If you found yourself working at an equally strong pace during summer, or browsing Netflix at your leisure for example, you might need to make appropriate adjustments to your fall schedule. Jumping from a carefree mindset to a whirlwind of courses may be a startling jolt to one person, or a beneficial wake-up call to another. Similarly, a lengthy course load might cause...

Time flies. My son Bryce is starting high school. It is hard to believe since I still remember the first day of kindergarten so vividly. He is now 14 years old and a freshman in high school. I am proud and nervous at the same time. High school sounds so grown up. I am excited for Bryce, and he is excited as well, but he is also anxious about what to expect now that he is a freshman. 

back_to_school_blog_4.jpegHigh school brings added pressure, more difficult classes, increased social demands, concerns about the future, and increased responsibilities. These changes can be scary for anyone, but even more so for a child like Bryce – a child with mental illness such as ADHD, depression, or anxiety, or a developmental or learning disorder like autism.  

Bryce struggles in school, and even with supports, school does not come easily for him. As a parent, I want my children to be happy and feel confident. Bryce attends The Frost School, a non-public therapeutic day school that is part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System. He has been at Frost since 4th grade. Staying at the same school somewhat eases his transition to high school, but there are still larger classes, new teachers, increased expectations, and unknown...

From 2000 to 2014, the Latino population in the United States accounted for more than half (54%) of total population growth, and more than 17% of the total population. But for such a significant portion of the population, Latino communities are underserved when it comes to mental health.

latino_blog_2.jpegAccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 16.3% of Latino adults in the U.S. are living with mental illness. But only 5.5% of Latino men and 9.2% of Latino women with a mental health condition use mental health services. Many Latino individuals face systemic barriers to treatment, including cultural, linguistic, and financial roadblocks. Here are a few of the central issues:

Discomfort with the American healthcare system. Some Latinos have an inherent distrust of the American medical system and prefer to rely on traditional and home remedies. This distrust, coupled with a pervading desire for privacy, lack of information about mental illness, and rising healthcare costs, keeps people from seeking medical care in all but dire emergencies. One study found that 45% of Latinos in Colorado use home remedies to avoid the high costs associated with medical care.

Language barriers. Latino...

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