Boosting Teen Mental Health: The Connection Between Self-Esteem, Social Media, and Body Image

Posted by MST Services

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How you view yourself, your qualities, and your capabilities — in other words, your self-esteem — plays a major role in your mental health. This is true for people of all ages, including teenagers. A healthy level of self-esteem can set a teenager up for success as it can empower them to set boundaries, bounce back from challenges, and make positive choices.   

Unfortunately, many teenagers struggle with low self-esteem. Adolescence can be challenging, and hormonal shifts, physical changes, and social challenges, coupled with new responsibilities and peer pressure, can affect a teenager's self-perception.  

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, which offers us the opportunity to reflect on the connection between self-esteem and mental health, as well as how to build self-esteem in teenagers.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Families

How the MST Model Engages and Motivates Clients in Family-Based Therapy

Posted by MST Services

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The outcome of any form of counseling depends on how well the therapist is able to engage the client and their caregivers in sessions.  The same can be said for family therapy interventions. If the therapist isn’t able to engage family members, it can impact how well interventions will be implemented that positively affect the entire family.  

When it comes to family-based counseling, therapists measure client engagement in the following ways: 

  • Attending the sessions regularly

  • Sharing openly during the sessions

  • Being willing to discuss difficult topics 

  • Participating in exercises and activities during the session 

  • Completing therapy homework between sessions 

  • Attempting to integrate insights into their day-to-day life 

 

When a therapist is able to engage clients, they are likely to achieve better outcomes more quickly, not only for the client but the entire family.  

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) works to address known barriers to client and caregiver engagement and utilize the strategies below, though this is not an exhaustive list.  

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Evidence-Based Programs, Family, Caregivers, Families, Motivational Interviewing

Teen Mental Health: The Importance of Resilience in Teens

Posted by MST Services

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Resilience is a skill that can be learned at any age. Building resilience can help us cope in the aftermath of tragedy and trauma, and it can help us maintain mental health. With World Teen Mental Wellness Day in mind, let’s consider how we can help the teens in our lives develop resilience. 

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, MST Success Stories

The Need for Juvenile Justice Reform + 5 States Who Are Paving the Way

Posted by MST Services

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The juvenile justice system exists to help young people take responsibility for their behavior and become productive members of society. A local or state judge determines which law, if any, was broken when a minor is brought before a juvenile court and then issues an appropriate response.

A young person processed through the juvenile justice system may be assigned probation, placement in foster care or with an extended family member, community service, or confinement in a juvenile correction facility. 

However, cases processed through the juvenile court system often have worse outcomes, including adult criminal behavior, than those assigned to diversion programs. As such, it is apparent that juvenile justice system reform efforts are needed to give youth the tools to make healthy choices, improve behavior, and work toward a successful future.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, MST Success Stories

Does Inflation Impact the Child Welfare System?

Posted by MST Services

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In 2016, The United States Department of Health and Human Services defined affordable childcare costs as 7% of a household’s income. According to a 2020 survey by Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA), married couples in the median income bracket spent over 10% of their income on childcare while single parents with similar income spent 35%. 

More recent data from CCAoA found that childcare in the US now exceeds $13,000 per year for a single child. In most states, caring for two small children costs 28-100% more than annual housing costs. 

As inflation continues to rise in the US, it becomes increasingly important for parents to equip themselves with tools to handle financial hardship adequately and have the energy to manage their child’s behaviors that, left unaddressed, could lead to out-of-home child placement.  

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare

Youth Diversion Programs: 8 Benefits for At-Risk Youth and Providers

Posted by MST Services

Youth Diversion Programs

Diversion programs provide an opportunity for youth to receive support from their communities and families rather than interacting with the juvenile justice system. Diversion can be used as an alternative to arrest and prosecution or as a step along the way during the process of adjudication. This is a less punitive approach that focuses on keeping youth at home with their parents and avoiding criminal records that make adulthood difficult to navigate.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy

Keeping Children Out of Foster Care and at Home with Family

Posted by MST Services

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National Adoption Month is an annual observance in the United States that brings attention to the state of the foster care system, the need for loving families for youth in foster care, and the importance of helping teens prepare for a bright future.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare

Global Youth Mental Health Statistics Show the Need for More Accessible Services

Posted by MST Services

global mental health

Youth mental health is a growing concern for parents and policymakers around the world. Adolescence is a formative time in which personal changes and exposure to trauma can make a teen vulnerable to psychological illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, and conduct disorder.

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Topics: Mental Health

School Safety Begins with Positive Mental Health

Posted by MST Services

School Safety

School safety is a priority for parents and teachers as summer comes to an end.

While families and educators across the nation heal from the Uvalde, Texas school shooting effects, they simultaneously prepare to send youth back to the classroom after the summer break. The tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary School was the 27th school shooting in 2022 and the deadliest since the one that took place in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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Topics: School Safety, Mental Health

How Time in a Youth Correctional Facility Negatively Affects Future Health and Well-Being

Posted by MST Services

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The United States has more children in a youth correctional facility than any other country in the world. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states that about 60,000 adolescents under the age of 18 are incarcerated in juvenile jails and prisons on any given day.

Research shows that children who have spent time in facilities tend to exhibit physical and mental health concerns later in life and they are more likely to fall behind in school, which is an important component of staying out of the system.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Mental Health