The Delaware Prevention Coalition is presenting the 10th Annual Teen Summit this summer. Join other teens August 5, 2017 for this free event at the Chase Center on Wilmington’s Riverfront. The Teen Summit will feature workshops, celebrity panels, food, and giveaways!
*This project is funded by the Substance Abuse Block Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration via the Delaware Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services
One in five children and youth experience a mental health challenge. Mental health is an important part of children’s health and well-being. Mental health problems can affect a child’s ability to succeed in school, at work, and in the community, but mental illness in children can be hard for families to identify. Even when you know the signs, it can be hard to separate normal childhood behavior from a mental health problem. Children cannot always explain their needs due to age, developmental stage, or vocabulary.
Some general symptoms that indicate a child may have a mental health need include:
• Changes in mood, behavior, or personality; including severe mood swings
• Difficulty concentrating that interferes with school or other activities
• Feeling sad, withdrawn, or irritable for long periods of time
• Intense emotions including fears or worries that affect functioning
• Physical symptoms (unexplained weight changes, sleeping problems, headaches and stomachaches)
• Decline in grades and school performance
• Changes in social interactions
• Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
• Physically harming self or others, or making plans to do so
• Substance use or abuse
Getting help for children when these behaviors first appear can prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem. There are prevention programs throughout Delaware that help children and families add new skills to their toolbox to address early signs and symptoms.
Talk to your child’s doctor or a mental health provider if you are concerned your child may have a mental illness. Only a licensed professional can diagnose mental illness. Check with your insurance or Medicaid provider to find outpatient mental health treatment providers in your area. If your child is uninsured, or is a Medicaid recipient who needs more than outpatient treatment, contact DPBHS Access at 1-800-722-7710.
If you would like to read more about identifying behavioral health concerns in children and adolescents, the following resources may be helpful:
• National Alliance on Mental Illness – Know the Warning Signs
• Mayo Clinic – Mental Illness in Children
• National Institute of Mental Health – Treatment of Children with Mental Illness Fact Sheet
Our Medical Director, Richard Margolis MD, helps us make sense of new information in psychiatry, addiction, and behavioral health. This post is part of an ongoing series to increase awareness and improve understanding of the effects of the opioid epidemic on families in Delaware. This post focuses on efforts by the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation to provide oversight of opioid prescription.
On 1/27/17 the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation (DPR) sent an email notification to all Delaware-licensed prescribers about important new regulations for the safe prescribing of opiates. The new regulations went into effect on April 1, 2017.
The new regulations
• establish basic standards for prescribing opiates safely
• give new requirements on prescribing opiates for acute episodes as well as for chronic, long term pain management
Two Information fact sheets were included:
Delaware Prescription Opioid Guidelines for Patients
Delaware Prescription Opioid Guidelines for Health Care Providers
Both fact sheets include the following information:
• 228 people in Delaware died of drug-related deaths in 2015. Many of those deaths were related to prescription drugs.
• Almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014.
• As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction.
The fact sheet for patients answers the following:
• What are opioids?
• What are the dangers of opioids?
• What are the alternatives for pain management?
• How do I take opioids?
• How should I store and dispose of my medications?
The facts sheet for prescribers requires prescribers to document treatment agreements with patients and explains components of informed consent for opioid medication:
• The drug’s potential for addiction, abuse and misuse.
• The risks of life-threatening respiratory depression associated with the drug.
• Potential for fatal overdose as a result of accidental exposure, especially children.
• Neonatal opioid withdrawal symptoms.
• Potential for fatal overdose when interacting with alcohol.
• Other potentially fatal drug interactions, such as with benzodiazepines.
We at the DPBHS appreciate the efforts of the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation to establish basic standards for prescribing opiates safely and creating new requirements for prescribing opioids for pain management. Please share this information with families, especially those who have a history of substance use or who are prescribed opioid medication.
How did we come to call our blog the Bounce Back Bulletin – Cultivating Change for Resilient Communities? We wanted the title to reflect our vision of Resilient Children and Families Living in Supportive Communities.
The selection process included people who manage and provide our services (staff) and people who utilize our services (youth and families). Our creative staff submitted catchy title ideas that connected to our overall mission and vision! Next, our family-run organization, Champions for Children’s Mental Health, and the youth coordinator for the federally funded CORE program identified family members and youth to review the submissions and select a title.
The fantastic team of young people and caregivers liked several entries, so they had trouble narrowing it down to just one! As a result, they combined elements from three entries to create the chosen title. We were thankful to have youth and family voice in our decision-making process. As a result, the blog title is as meaningful to those who use our services as to us.
For us, the title conveys the strength children and families possess and their ability to develop resilience that helps them bounce back from adversity. As a division, we help families hone their skills and strengthen that resilience through our prevention, early intervention, and treatment supports and services. When children and families have access to the help they need, when they need it, their ability to bounce back improves. Our focus is to help youth and families enhance their personal competency and skill to make changes, promote success, and develop resilience. As agents of change, we help families navigate the system and provide support as they make informed decisions about care. Our prevention team also does this on a community level, helping community-based organizations develop capacity to promote change and resilience.
Strong communities are more resilient – our goal is to nurture youth, families, and communities as they grow in skill, competency, and confidence. We hope you see this message in the name of our blog, and it helps remind all of us that youth, families, and communities are important assets. By supporting and strengthening them, we all come out stronger and better.
Written on: June 12th, 2017 in Community
Welcome to the Bounce Back Bulletin, the official blog of the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services (DPBHS). This first post kicks off our blogging adventure, an effort to share information with a wider audience and make news about children’s behavioral health more accessible. We seek to reach families, partners, providers, and stakeholders by moving our previously published newsletter to this blog format.
For those of you who may not be familiar with our work, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Division. DPBHS is one of four divisions within the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families (Delaware Children’s Department). We serve Delaware families through prevention and early intervention programs that promote safe and healthy children, nurture families and communities, support social and academic success, and improve early identification of needs. We also serve eligible families of children and youth (through age 17) with behavioral health treatment needs. We work with a network of providers and partner agencies to provide an array of programs, supports, and services throughout Delaware. By leveraging state and federal resources, we have been able to bring new programming and evidence-based practices to Delaware in expand access and improve quality.
Children and youth today face many challenges and helping them navigate childhood and adolescence can be tricky. In addition to sharing information about our work and programs, we will use this forum to help families and communities learn more about ways to promote emotional well-being for children. We will share both local and national information and work to help you make sense of what it all means.
We hope you will join us on this new blogging journey; I am looking forward to seeing where it leads us.
Visit again soon!
Director, Division of Prevention & Behavioral Health Services