How To Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder

During this time of year, many people experience what has been termed “The Winter Blues.” Some people may undergo mood changes based on cooler temperatures and less daylight. While others may have a deeper condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months; sapping your energy and making you feel moody. – Courtesy of The Mayo Clinic

The National Institute of Health offers some tips to help with Seasonal Depression

Lift Your Mood

These “self-care” tips might help with seasonal depression. See a mental health professional if sadness doesn’t go away or interferes with your daily life:

  • Go to a movie, take a walk, go ice-skating or do other activities you normally enjoy.
  • Get out in the sunlight or brightly lit spaces, especially early in the day.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Eat nutritious foods, and avoid overloading on carbohydrates like cookies and candies.
  • Be patient. You won’t suddenly “snap out of” depression. Your mood will improve gradually.
  • If you have thoughts of suicide, get help right away. Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For ongoing mental health support contact Hillcrest Children and Family Center at 202-232-6100.

Hillcrest would like to thank Bobby Gailes host of “Taking It To The Streets” for interviewing our Sr. Clinical & Program Administrator,  Dr. O’Tillia Hunter.  Taking It To the Streets is aired on WHUR 96.3 FM on The Steve Harvey Morning Show.


The Season Of Giving

As we approach the end of the year, we hope you include Hillcrest Children and Family Center on your gift list.

Donate Now

Hillcrest serves approximately 1500 clients a month. Your financial support will help us to continue to have a positive impact in the lives of DC residents in the following ways.

Mental Health Services – Hillcrest Center uses a person centered approach to help our clients. We offer Anger Management Groups, Grief and Loss Groups, Community Support Programs for Adults and Youth, Individual and Family Therapy for Children, Teens and Adults, Truancy and Parenting Education Groups.

Severe Mental Illness – Hillcrest helps to prevent long term psychiatric hospitalization through Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Community Based Intervention (CBI for Youth) which is available 24/7.

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment– Hillcrest provides Addiction Prevention and Recovery Support, Individual and Family Substance Counseling and Substance Abuse Services for adults and youth.

Wellness Programs – Hillcrest trains youth peers to take charge of their mental health through the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). The peers teach fellow youth to utilize the principles of WRAP to manage their mental health.

Help Hillcrest during the Season of Giving with your contribution today.

Donate Now

Your gift will go a long way towards helping Hillcrest clients Do Better, Feel Better, Stay Better!


Thank You Angel Sponsors

Hillcrest Center is pleased to recognize our Angel Tree Sponsors.Thank you for providing toys for the youth in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program.

Alexandria Harz

Brittany Lacey

Candice Besmen

Desire’ Husbands

Emma Kwegyir-Afful

George Josiah

Gwen Ewing

Harmony Miscisn

Jackie Shivers

Ja’Quella Duncan

Maureen Murray

Teresa Sidewater

Tiana Hawkins

Tiffany Jordan

 


Thank you to our Community Partners

Hillcrest Children and Family Center recently concluded our second annual WRAP For Me on-line auction. We would like to thank our community partners that donated items for this special event.

Thank you for your donation to our fundraiser! We appreciate you being a member of our community.

                         

 

                                                 

 

 


Once Upon A Gown

Believe it or not, prom season is right around the corner. Are you ready? Some young people residing in the Washington Metropolitan area do not have the resources to attend this special occasion. Thanks to Once Upon A Gown these youth now have an opportunity to acquire beautiful clothes and participate in this traditional event. The Once Upon A Gown initiative is designed to support students in preparation for prom and special occasions by collecting and distributing gently used and new formal attire. This includes gowns, shoes, accessories, and now tuxedos. This is a free event taking place on Saturday, March 17 at Seat Pleasant Activity Center located at 5720 Addison Road, Capitol Heights MD 20743. Once Upon A Gown will occur from 11 am to 4 pm.  To register for this event visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/once-upon-a-gown-registration-40101641088

For more information contact Ms. Alesha Wilson, the founder at pgpromproject@gmail.com.


Get Your Check Up From The Neck Up

Do you know your mental health score? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 in 5 adults are diagnosed with a mental illness. Hillcrest Children and Family Center is an advocate for good mental health. We created the #abetterselfie social media campaign to promote behavioral health awareness and remove stigma for health seeking individuals. We also encourage the use of What’s My M3 which allows you to do a personal assessment of your mental health. This test screens for Depression, an Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and PTSD.

 So get your checkup form the neck up. For supportive information about your mental health score and other mental health services call 202-232-6100.

To learn more and take this brief test, click here.

m3

 


Cards For Causes

Hillcrest Center is participating in Picaboo’s Card For Causes program this holiday season. Picaboo has partners with more than 150 local nonprofit organizations every year to create custom holiday cards. You can design your own photo holiday cards and support Hillcrest Center at the same time. When you order cards through our program, 50% of your purchase will be donated to the Hillcrest Children and Family Center. This is a great opportunity for you to help create awareness for mental health and substance use disorder. Visit https://www.picaboo.com/cards-for-causes/hillcrest-children-and-family-center/ to get your holiday cards today!

 

 holiday card pic

 

 

 

 

 

 


Foster Care is Community – Everyone Can Be a Champion

The following article is reposted from the White House “Champion for Change” web site. To visit the original article, please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/05/20/foster-care-community-everyone-can-be-champion

Hillcrest Center also offers services to foster children and families. To find out more, please contact us.


 

Nicole Dobbins is being honored as a Champion of Change for Foster Youth

The great Muhammad Ali said, “Champions aren´t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”

Reflecting on becoming an advocate for children and families, I’m reminded of my childhood. Growing up was chaotic, filled with instability, abuse, poverty, and a parent with long-term substance abuse challenges. I longed for a healthy family. I hoped my family would get the help they needed and life would become less stressful.

In elementary school I grew aware of the importance of education and I knew I didn’t want to grow up and struggle the way my mother did. Having never finished high school, she stressed the importance of education, but for me it didn’t feel attainable. Even when I was young, I was aware of my family circumstances and the cost of college felt insurmountable.

In 5th grade my elementary school principal changed this belief. In an assembly, she told my graduating class that all of us could make it to college if we did just three things: got “C” letter grades or better, didn’t do drugs, and didn’t get pregnant. She also said she would help us pay for it through a scholarship fund. My world shifted; I now had hope for a better future.

With this, I made it to college, but not before abruptly exiting the foster care system. I “aged-out” of foster care just one day after graduating from high school. My saving grace was that I was already accepted to Oregon State University. I had three months of summer to survive before I had stable housing in the dorms.

In college, I felt lost and alone. Various people helped me along the way, but there was something missing. I was navigating a challenging transition to adulthood, which included managing and healing from past trauma. I masked my emotions on the outside well, but secretly contemplated suicide often. I seriously lacked a support system.

In my junior year, a case-worker I came to know after foster care encouraged me to apply for an internship. It was one of the first times I felt someone believed in me. I interned and later worked for FosterClub, an amazing organization. It was an opportunity that gave me purpose in life. Discovering other young people who had experienced similar circumstances gave me passion to create change. I learned how to build what was missing, my supportive network.

The following year I became the director of the internship, and was responsible for training former foster youth to become young leaders, using their experiences to improve the lives of our peers.

All children need champions. Because of instability in care, my peers often lack an anchor. They lack consistent people in their lives to guide them, hold them accountable and love them beyond their mistakes. From a young age, my desire was to change my family’s trajectory. Today, my vision is clear: I have a dream that no more young people will “age-out” of foster care without committed people who love and support them in their transition to adulthood. With more than 100,000 children waiting to be adopted and nearly 23,000 youth who age-out of foster care annually, often to poor outcomes, we have work to do.

Maybe you can’t adopt or foster, but what about mentoring, volunteering, or even making donations to your local community organizations? There are so many opportunities to become champions for children in foster care.

Nicole is the Executive Director of Voice for Adoption. She is a graduate of Oregon State University.