Is Your Child Emotionally Ready for Preschool?

Remember how you felt on those August days, as the summer was ending and the new school year was fast approaching? Not much has changed!

Most children express some degree of nervousness as they enter a new school setting for the first time. That can be especially true for very young children who are starting preschool and may be away from home for the first time. But for many kids, starting school can be very anxious time—even more so than usual. In addition to the emotional strain that comes with increased anxiety, studies show children who report higher levels of anxiety might also be more likely to struggle in their school work.

 

Help Your Child Start School Happy and Healthy

The team of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants at Unison Health have some tips to help your child face the new school year with a healthier, happier outlook.

1. Talk to your child about going to school. For many children, the anxiety about starting preschool is simply a fear of the unknown. While many young kids are excited about the idea of starting school, others might experience separation anxiety. Talk to your child about what they can expect from their teachers, and give them the idea that they’ll be making a lot of new friends. In addition, help them understand that there will be rules they will be expected to follow as well as expectations about how they’ll behave.
2. Take your child to their new school before school starts. This is an opportunity for your child to meet their teacher, see the environment and possibly meet other kids. Letting them see their new surroundings will help them picture it in their minds as the big day approaches—and that can often help them face school with a better attitude.
3. Develop a morning and bedtime routine. Children are more likely to adapt to a new setting if it becomes part of an overall routine. Start by not only establishing a consistent bedtime, but also wake them up at the same time every morning. You can also minimize morning conflict by preparing your child’s clothes and giving him or her their bath (if appropriate) the night before. Also, if you’re not already, be sure to provide your child with nutritional meals and snacks and beverages—this is not just a good idea in general, but it will also help prepare them for the kind of food they’ll be getting at their preschool (hopefully).
4. Review each day of school and prepare them for the next day. By talking to your child about their day, you’ll have a chance to reinforce the new normal in their mind. Listen closely for any opportunity to praise their successes. This gets them looking forward to repeating good behavior the next day. Similarly, be ready to validate any concerns they might have and talk with them about ways they can problem solve on their own.

Unison Health Offers Early Childhood Mental Health Therapy and Intervention

Sometimes a child’s anxiety can go far beyond the standard back-to-school jitters. If your child’s behavior is causing you serious concern—if they cannot be calmed or if their anxiety lasts long into the school year—he or she may need extra help from a professional who understands a child’s behavioral needs. Unison Health offers Early Childhood Mental Health Therapy and Intervention for children ages 0-5 living in Lucas, Sandusky and Seneca counties. More information about this program is available on our Integrated Child and Family Services page or by calling 419.693.0631.

 

 

 

If you’re a parent, you know the feeling of dread when your child is having a temper tantrum. Whether you’re in a store or restaurant, or you’re at home in the middle of a long, hectic day, there’s not much worse than realizing your little one has lost all control. When a child loses control, keeping your control becomes more important than ever.

 

Stop Your Child from Hitting, Kicking or Biting 

Unison Health’s team of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants, dedicated to understanding and treating the specific behavioral health needs of children, have a few tips designed to help calm your child down without escalating the situation. If your child is having behavioral issues, here are some things that you can do to help calm your child down:
1. Get down to your child’s level. Bringing yourself to eye level with your child creates a sense of closeness, and it demonstrates to your child that you are actively listening. Standing over the child will likely evoke a fear response and     could lead to even more crying and screaming. No one wants that!
2. Make direct eye contact with your child. Direct eye contact also lets the child see that you are listening and fully engaged. If the child can see that you are really trying to understand their problem, there’s a better chance they will calm down long enough to tell you.
3. Use a calm voice. When a child is in the midst of a temper tantrum, his or her mind is in chaos. Yelling will only add to the turmoil, while speaking in a soothing manner can go a long way toward assuring the child that everything is going to be OK.
4. If the child is hitting or biting, redirect them to use their words. Toddlers often resort to aggression when they are experiencing frustration or anger. They may either lack the vocabulary to express themselves, or they may be past the point of exercising control. As you employ the first three tips, make a point of helping them talk through their problem to the best of their ability. In the process, you can help them discover a better way to communicate — and at the same time reinforce the idea that hitting, kicking or biting is not acceptable.
5. Praise your child for appropriate behavior. On calmer days, when they get through an entire shopping trip without having a meltdown, be sure and let your children know how proud you are of them. The good feeling they get from your kind words will stick with them throughout the day, and over time they will remember that positive experience and look for ways to make it happen again.
6. Identify things that calm your child down. Most kids have something — a stuffed animal, toy or blanket — they carry with them for security. Encouraging children to use these items in times of crisis can help them discover a new way to defuse a difficult situation in their mind.
7. Be consistent and simple with directions. Sometimes children lose their cool when they’re feeling overwhelmed. If a task seems too complicated, anxiety may set in. Keep your instructions clear, perhaps even breaking them down into a series of smaller tasks.
No matter what your approach to child-rearing is, there’s a good chance your child will lose his or her cool at some point. It’s just what kids do. And while it can be embarrassing, getting angry when a child has a tantrum isn’t a long-term solution. Keeping these tips in mind might seem like a lot to be aware of during a very trying time, but the results — a safer, happier family — will be worth it.

 

Unison Health: Experts in Children’s Behavioral Issues

If your child appears to be having behavioral health concerns that are outside typical toddler issues, Unison Health can help prevent them from interfering with their future success. Unison Health offers Early Childhood Mental Health Therapy and Intervention for children ages 0-5 living in Lucas, Sandusky and Seneca counties. More information about this program is available on our Integrated Child and Family Services page or by calling 419.693.0631.

Anyone who’s ever lived with an addiction understands the pain of withdrawal — and no one understands that pain better than people addicted to opioids such as heroin, OxyContin or Percocet. The fever, aches, vomiting and diarrhea that opioid withdrawal triggers can be so overwhelming, many people will return to using. In addition, withdrawal can be dangerous and even life-threatening in many circumstances.

While withdrawal is part of the process of detoxification (the process by which substances are eliminated from the body) the symptoms of withdrawal can often be managed through medically assisted detox.

The Dangers of Quitting Substances Cold Turkey — Including Opiates

Detox used to be strictly “cold turkey” — a user was simply cut off from substances and left to go through withdrawal on their own. This approach, though, failed to consider that there are both physiological and psychological components to recovery from substance abuse disorders. Abruptly quitting drugs can lead to serious health risks, and quitting opiates without supervision can worsen the symptoms of withdrawal and often leads to relapse.

In addition, kicking heroin or other opioids alone won’t address the psychological issues that are part of an addiction. Beyond the very serious potential for relapse, many people dealing with substance abuse disorders are also struggling with undiagnosed mental health issues. By partnering with trained medical professionals in the recovery process, a person can better understand the underlying psychological factors that led to an addiction — and help them cope more effectively going forward.

It’s all part of an approach known as medically assisted detoxification, and it offers a more comfortable, and often more effective, path through withdrawal and on to recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: What to Expect

In Unison Health’s approach to medication-assisted detoxification, an individual enters the facility and goes through a thorough diagnostic assessment, enabling the staff to understand the exact nature of the addiction. Within the first 24 hours, you are placed on medications specifically tailored to your condition. These medications will help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and make the journey to recovery as comfortable as possible. The use of these medications is closely monitored while you work with the doctor to determine an individualized course of treatment.

Over time, you are gradually weaned off the medications that lessen the symptoms of withdrawal, as the substances will likely have been eliminated from your body. From there, it’s important to have a plan for recovery that extends beyond the detox facility. In addition to medications, Unison Health’s approach includes group and individual therapy to address psychological issues. At Unison Health, a licensed, trained staff is on hand to ensure that you are prepared for life beyond the first stages of recovery. That course of treatment takes place in four phases:

Phase I – Pre-assessment (1-4 weeks): The Unison Health team completes a thorough diagnostic assessment and identifies your unique clinical needs.

Phase II – Intensive Outpatient (6 weeks): In group settings, you focus on understanding the basics of addiction, mental health and recovery.

Phase III – Extended Care (12 weeks): Your support group meets to address the day-to-day issues that can get in the way of recovery — and discover strategies to cope with them.

Phase IV – Ongoing Maintenance (approximately 13 months): We expect that you will have achieved total abstinence and will have established a routine within the recovery community. We also offer one-on-one counseling on an ongoing basis.

Don’t Go Through Opioid Withdrawal Alone!

If you or someone you love is fighting an addiction to heroin, OxyContin, Percocet, fentanyl or other opiates, you know it’s an uphill battle for survival. But you’re not alone. Unison Health’s approach to medication-assisted treatment can help you level the field — and find a clearer path to recovery.

 Whether we’re talking about heroin or prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin or Percocet, it’s time for us to change the way we think about opioid addiction. People from all walks of life, and all throughout the Toledo area, have fallen victim to this disease. Men, women and adolescents. Black, white and brown. Rich, poor and middle class. Opioid addiction knows no boundaries, and it takes no prisoners.

As we change the way we think about opioid addiction, we must also look for treatments that are tailored to each individual’s unique condition. That’s where the Unison Health sub-acute detox unit comes in. Located at 1212 Cherry St. in Toledo, Ohio, this 16-bed facility offers a safe place to detox under the care of dedicated medical professionals. In sub-acute detox, receives 24-hour, medically monitored care that is tailored to help them detoxify based on their individual condition. This differs from acute detox, in which the patient is hospitalized throughout the initial detoxification process.

Comprehensive Care for Opioid Addiction and Other Substance Abuse Disorders

When a patient enters into a sub-acute detoxification treatment program, they first undergo a full diagnostic assessment, which takes into account both their physical and psychological state. As many people are using drugs to self-medicate other psychological issues, our trained staff takes great care to go in-depth with every patient, learning everything we can to address the underlying issues that might stand in the way of true recovery. In addition, the patient is placed on the medications necessary to ease the initial symptoms of opioid withdrawal, which can be extremely painful as well as potentially dangerous. This medically assisted withdrawal has been proven effective in reducing the symptoms and cravings that generally occur as a user rids his or her body of opiates such as OxyContin, fentanyl, Percocet or heroin. Our licensed, trained professionals apply that same level of care to any form of substance abuse disorder.

A Customized Approach to Conquering Substance Abuse Disorders

Each person’s addiction is unique, so the approach to recovery must be unique as well. Once the patient has gone through the initial intake and the first few days of detox, an individualized course of treatment is established, which will include cognitive behavioral group therapy and one-on-one sessions. This personal interaction with other people coping with opioid addiction helps give patients the insights needed to better understand their own substance abuse disorder. After the first few days, we encourage the patient to take part in group and individual therapy — we find this is essential in helping people make the transition into a sober lifestyle. Along the way, we also work with each person develop their own unique strategies for recovery.

Professionals Trained in Opioid Recovery, Committed to Caring

Throughout this crucial period of recovery, patients are monitored 24/7 by a dedicated staff of licensed professionals. This team, specifically trained in the treatment of opioid detox, can provide comfort and care through the early days of recovery, when symptoms and cravings for opiates are often at their worst.

Quitting opiates like heroin is a painful, terrifying experience. It’s been compared to the worst case of the flu imaginable. The body is wracked with pain and steeped in fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can be incapacitating, and the afflicted person is consumed with a craving for more narcotics. Understanding both the ravages of addiction and the horrors of withdrawal should be essential to preventing future abuse, yet still the opioid epidemic continues to spread, and the Toledo area has not been spared. The goal of Unison Health is to ensure that the journey through the opiate withdrawal process is as comfortable as possible.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to opioids, Unison Health’s Sub-Acute Detox Unit, located at 1212 Cherry St. in Toledo, can offer a treatment plan that places them back on the path to hope. To begin this journey, contact Unison Health at 419.693.0631.