FOCUS: Do’s and Don’ts for Parents: Supporting Your Child Through Mental Health Challenges

FOCUS: Do’s and Don’ts for Parents: Supporting Your Child Through Mental Health Challenges

Join LEAD Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 21st from 7:00-8:00 pm for our latest installment in our FOCUS speaker series, For Our Children and US.  The event will be held at 5036 Amberson Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. The event will be held at the home of a LEAD Pittsburgh board member, and will very much have a “salon” discussion feel. This is a free event, but please RSVP here.This discussion will be geared towards parents supporting their children through mental health challenges as well as parents who have an interest in or questions about children’s mental wellness. Continue reading

FOCUS: Yin Yoga + Radical Mental Health

FOCUS: Yin Yoga + Radical Mental Health

On March19th, FOCUS event attendees met at Yoga U Pgh in Oakland for a new “twist” on mental health discussions.  The event was led by Vivian Lee Croft and Alyssa Cypher.  Vivian, who specializes in yin yoga, kicked things off with chair yoga.  Chair yoga is a great form of exercise for all groups- those new to yoga, students, older folks, anyone who sits for prolonged periods—as a way to connect breath to body throughout the day.  Any type of connected movement and breathing throughout the day is great for physical health to get your joints moving and blood pumping, as well as re-centering your mind.  Mindful breathing was critical in yin yoga, which is much slower than other styles of yoga. Mindful breathing can be a way to positively impact mental health outside of the yoga studio as well, if one finds themselves in a situation where they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. One rather cathartic exercise used was to inhale, then forcefully exhale while physically “brushing off” one’s arms to shake away negative thoughts or experiences.After we were stretched and centered, Alyssa began her portion of radical mental health, focused on self-care and self-preservation.  Her exercise began with a quick writing exercise of jotting down everything that is bothering you, and then ripping the paper to shreds.  This process takes back some of the power these negative things have over us.  The next writing activity was jotting down ways that we engage in self-care.  On a regular basis, this may include things like washing your face or making time for exercise and healthy meals.  On a more critical mental health level, this can include times when you are too stressed to complete regular tasks, and may need to prioritize or ask for help.  Alyssa left us with one final demand in our quest for self-care: treat yourself!  As long as it is within your means, allow yourself to indulge and enjoy your life! Continue reading

The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Space: FOCUS Takeaways

The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Space: FOCUS Takeaways

In the latest FOCUS event, our speaker, Shanon Williams of Selfcare Housekeeping, discussed how she maintains an organized life, both physically and mentally, while coping with mental health challenges. Shanon’s business revolves around helping her clients realize that their “messes” may be stemming from something deeper than just being messy, and that in taking care of their environment, they can also take care of themselves.

Shanon has found that those who are suffering from depression often neglect basic tasks such as cleaning and hygiene. When your mind is cluttered, your house can become cluttered, and vice versa. Visible indicators of such issues include not only obvious messes, but also constantly losing keys, forgetting to pay bills on time, or just general underperformance. Shanon recommends setting goals for how you would like your environment to look, then move toward making those goals a reality in your space. Improving organizational skills also helps. She suggests using organizational tools such as plastic bins or accordion folders to keep things visible and accessible.

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Upcoming 12/12 FOCUS Event: “We’ve Been There”

Upcoming 12/12 FOCUS Event: “We’ve Been There”

Please join LEAD Pittsburgh and JFCS along with a Panel featuring young people with lived experience with mental health challenges at our next FOCUS event on 12/12.

Audience Q & A will follow the Panel presentation, then there will be time to mix and mingle and continue the conversation afterwards. Topics we’ll discuss include stigma, knowing the signs, talking with therapists, and much more.  Please join us! 

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Announcing the Focus Speaker Series in Partnership with JFCS

Announcing the Focus Speaker Series in Partnership with JFCS

LEAD Pittsburgh, in partnership with Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), is pleased to announce a new speaker series–FOCUS (For Our Children and US). The series will address topics relevant to parents and caring adults focusing on both children’s mental health and that of the adults in their lives.

Please join us for out inaugural event, which will be held on Monday, October 22 from 7pm to 8pm at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Squirrel Hill. Our discussion will focus on the link between our physical space and emotional well-being and how to scan both for ways to improve self-care and mental health for ourselves and our families.

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