Our Latest Blogs

Stressed-Out, Anxious, and Depressed on Campus – A Review of a New Guidebook for Parents on the Challenges of College for Today’s Emerging Adults

college stress

The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years A review of the new book by Janet Hibbs, PhD, MFT and Anthony Rostain, MD, MA A depressed young adult named Nick lives at home with his parents, playing video games all night and rarely venturing outside of the […]

How Parents’ Divorce Impacts Children’s Mental Health

Effects of Divorce on Children's Mental Health

When parents decide to dissolve their marriage, the children can feel as if their universe has been turned upside down. So, what are the impacts of divorce on children’s mental, emotional, and physical health? While divorce is stressful to all kids, some children rebound or recover faster than others. The level of upset can vary […]

Helping Your Teen Get Back to Healthy Living after Experiencing a Sexual Assault

Helping Your Teen Get Back to Healthy Living after Experiencing a Sexual Assault

Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault. It can feel that way, though. If your teen has been through sexual assault, this is an incredibly confusing and painful time for both of you. Victims often feel alone, ashamed, and scared. They may get flashbacks or nightmares, or feel haunted by the memory of […]

Teen Mental Health & Sleep: What’s the Connection?

Teen Mental Health

Sleep and mental health go hand in hand, especially when it comes to the mental and physical well-being of teenagers. Unfortunately, not enough teens across the country are getting the sleep they need. It’s recommended that teens get nine hours of restful sleep each night, but between 60% to 70% of teenagers in the United […]

How to Take Care of Elderly Parents with Mental Illness

elder care

Most seniors don’t seek treatment or even help because they view their mental changes as a natural part of aging or partly because they are ashamed of their condition. While it’s normal for elderly people to experience some level of forgetfulness, it’s important to seek professional help if they show obvious changes in behavior or […]

How to Help Your Child with an Eating Disorder

mother child support

An eating disorder is a huge problem for anyone, but it is so much more devastating when your child develops one. It can be a prelude to tragedy, considering that every 62 minutes a person dies as a consequence of this condition. Therefore, it is essential that you provide your child with treatment and support […]

Is Social Media Detrimental to Your Teen’s Mental Health?

teens on smartphones

Parents have always been concerned about the impact of technology on their children, and this is also the case with social media. In fact, the Family Online Safety Institute claims 43% of parents believe that the harmful effects of social media outweigh its benefits. Its link to mental health issues, in particular, has sparked a number of […]

How Parenting Instincts Can Go Wrong When it Comes to Raising a Child with Anxiety

mother and anxious child

When I was 9 years old, I was playing with friends in my backyard in Minnesota.  I was having a great time until I saw a dog running towards us.  I could see his owner in the distance, but this dog was loose and headed right for us.  To me, he was scary looking. I’d […]

4 Tips for Communicating With Your Anxious Child

mother and anxious child

Any parent knows the difficulties that arise when trying to communicate with your child, but frequently these challenges are only amplified when your offspring suffers from anxiety. You want to help your children as much as you can, but you also don’t want to say the wrong thing. If you are looking for better ways […]

Reduce Teen Anxiety in 35 Minutes: The Benefits of the Family Meal

family meal preparation

The teenage years can be a tumultuous time for many young people.  Dealing with growing bodies, the transition to middle or high school, and increased academic and social demands can make teens feel anxious about who they are and their ability to handle new challenges.  For most of us, anxiety is a familiar emotion that […]

What Do I Do if My Child Is Engaging in Self-Harm?

teen mental health

Learning that your child is engaging in self-harm might be one of the most frightening discoveries you can make as a parent. You would also not be alone. Across the country, the number of reported episodes of self-inflicted non-suicidal injuries among young people has seen a startling upswing in recent years. Today, data indicates that […]

Teen Depression and Anxiety: Mental Health Approaches to Calm Their Fears

depressed teen in hoody

Roughly 45 million American adults are living with mental illness every year. But adults aren’t the only ones dealing with these issues. Teens also grapple with illness such as anxiety and depression, and these conditions can make life even more difficult for individuals going through a transitional period of life. Depression The National Institute of […]

How to Provide a Positive Home Environment for Your Teen with Anxiety

How to Parent a Teenager with Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18.1% of the population each year. They’re the most common mental health disorders of children and adolescents, affecting young people at different times throughout development. Though anxiety is prevalent among the teenage population, there […]

5 Tips for Parenting a Child Struggling with Developmental Trauma

Developmental Trauma Disorder

A common parenting philosophy is to reward or punish children based on their behavior. This strategy has proven to be effective so often that it has become the natural approach to raising children for many. However, if you have a young adult child struggling with developmental trauma you might find this strategy ineffective or maybe […]

Failure to Launch Part 5: Before You Write the Eviction Letter – Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Transition to Independent Living for Your Young Adult

Failure to Launch

For the past few weeks, social media and the major news networks have been buzzing with a story about a New York couple who successfully sued to have their 30-year-old son evicted from their home. News outlets from Good Morning America to The New York Times are calling it a “real- life case of Failure […]

Celebrating All the Moms Who Take Care of Family Mental Health on Mother’s Day

Anyone know what day of the year sees more phone traffic than any other? That’s right, Mother’s Day, which this year falls on May 13 in the United States. Calls on that day can rise by as much as 37%, as dutiful sons and daughters across the country get on the phone to convey something […]

4 Benefits of Mastering Inner Peace of Mind Through Meditation

In an age where everything is nearly instantaneous – food, movies, communication, etc. – you would think more time would be left to find an inner peace that so many are searching for. Unfortunately, for most, this tranquility is harder to find than ever, with more and more Americans reporting higher levels of stress than […]

5 Ways You Can Help Your Addict Child

When I was little, my mom used to make my siblings and I put on jackets whenever she felt cold, even if we weren’t cold at all. She didn’t want us to get sick, so, even though we lived in Southern California and it was barely ever chilly, she always made sure we were protected […]

Some Advice for Parents of Depressed Teens

When I was a teenager suffering from major depression, my parents tried their best to support me, yet ended up doing all the wrong things. This isn’t something they can be blamed for — understanding another person, even those closest to us, is difficult enough even when mental health issues don’t come into play. When […]

6 Things I Learned from Having a Daughter with Bipolar Disorder

My daughter is bipolar

My daughter is 14 years old, and was diagnosed for bipolar disorder with psychotic features when she was 11. The last three years have been the most difficult times I’ve experienced in my life. I grew up with a bipolar father, but with him the disease was on the periphery for me. With my daughter […]

When Your Young Adult with “Failure to Launch” Won’t Get Help: Survival Tips for Parents Who Aren’t Done Parenting

Failure to Launch Syndrome

Failure to Launch Part 4 – In a blog post from 2016 I wrote about a serious problem in our culture, which I call “failure to launch” (FTL) I use this term in a non-judgmental way to describe the frustration and concern parents and other family members feel when a young person seems unable to move […]

Transitioning from College to the Workplace with ADHD

Joining the workforce is a challenge for anyone. For someone with ADHD, it can seem like an uphill climb with no end in sight. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. It is important for parents and caregivers to prepare the student for the transition into real life before college ends. A critical study […]

How to Help Your Teen Through Depression When Being Bullied At School

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a month-long observance to encourage communities nationwide to unite and raise awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities, and education. In recognition of this event, www.rtor.org has engaged psychologist Todd Griffin, Director of TG Psychology in Penrith, Australia to write a guest blog on bullying and depression in teens. […]

Failure to Launch Part 3: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Chances are if you landed on this webpage, you are concerned about a young adult who still lives at home and does not seem to be moving forward in life.  Maybe that person is you, or maybe it’s a son or daughter, or someone in your extended family.  That young person may have been diagnosed […]

How Kids with Anxiety Can Make a Smooth Transition to a New School

For kids, moving from one school to the next without any training or warning is tougher than adults remember. Because of fast moving technological advances and new teaching styles, it’s almost impossible for students to stay current in learning curves and social trends. Things like the common core are giving both children and young teens […]

Where Has The Time Gone? Sending Your Young Adult Off To College

I saw a college bound young adult in my practice last week who described needing to create emotional distance between him and his parents in order to make the experience of leaving more manageable and palpable. He effortfully tried to create tension, but his parents would either apologize, try to be supportive or attentive toward […]

Recognizing a Mental Health Problem in a Child or Teen: 10 Signs I Needed Help

girl in field

As a child, I showed quite a few signs of mental illness. But I didn’t get the help I needed until I decided to take things into my own hands at the age of 26. I grew tired of feeling anxious all the time and wanted a solution to the problem. In 2015, I received […]

How to Address Mental Health Issues In The Family With Your Children

woman and child

Today’s post comes to us from Caroline who is a health and tech blogger. She discusses the importance of having open and honest communication with your children about the mental illness of a family member. Thank you, Caroline, for sharing with us at www.rtor.org. –Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor   How to Address Mental Health Issues In […]

Failure to Launch Part 2: Setting Expectations for Young Adults at Home

young woman

Last year I wrote an article about young adult anxiety which quickly became one of our most popular posts on rtor.org. The article, Failure To Launch:  9 Tips for Managing Anxiety in Dependent Adult Children, is based on a podcast by Yale anxiety expert, Dr. Eli Lebowitz. Since it first appeared in 2016, many people […]

Mental Health and Social Media: 5 Tips for Parents of Teenagers

teens on smartphones

  Social media is rapidly changing the way we communicate. From staying in touch with everyone you’ve ever met on Facebook to sharing your opinions on Twitter and photographs of your life on Instagram, how people connect to each other is much different from how it was even five years ago. With younger generations growing up […]

What Parents Need to Know about Psychotherapy

boy in therapy

Today’s post comes to us from Certified CBT Psychotherapist and Family-Endorsed Provider, Elise Munoz, LCSW-R. Her article answers the many questions parents might have about getting their child started in therapy. Thank you, Elise, for sharing your knowledge with us at www.rtor.org. — Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor   If your child or teenager is struggling with emotional, […]

Families, the Holidays & Mental Health: A Place at the Table for Everyone

Holiday meals with my family usually include an empty setting at the table. That place is not there to honor someone who has passed away or a member of the military who is stationed overseas and couldn’t make it home for the holidays. It is reserved for a family member, my brother, who comes to […]

‘Tis the Season to be Stressed: 5 Tips for Happier Holidays with the Family


Today’s special blog post for the holidays was co-written by Randi Silverman, CEO of the Youth Mental Health Project (YMHP) and Wendy Ward, Executive Director YMHP.  Randi is the co-writer and producer of the multi-award winning film No Letting Go.  Wendy has extensive corporate experience in advertising, marketing and human connections, and in the last […]

Families Helping Families: A Place to Turn for Mental Health Help and Support


  Have you ever faced a mental health crisis with someone in your family: a child who refuses to go to school because of intense anxiety; a teen who uses drugs and has started showing signs of a thought disorder; a sibling, spouse or parent who is severely depressed and no longer has the will […]

Strong Thinking Skills and Self-Care Saved My Dad from Mental Illness


One of my most treasured keepsakes from my father is a letter he wrote me from the hospital. I was six or seven, and in his letter of just a few sweet sentences he told me that he would be away for a while and that it was up to me, his oldest son, to […]

The Anna Karenina Fallacy: 8 Things in “No Letting Go” That Happen to Families with Childhood Mental Illness

no letting go poster

In one of the most famous opening lines in literature, Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina begins: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” If that were true, families dealing with childhood mental illness would fall into the “happy” category, because so many of their experiences are alike. I […]

Understanding & Identifying OCD in the Classroom

OCD in the classroom

Today’s blog post comes to us from one of our Family-Endorsed Providers, Carla Kenney, LMHC. She writes on the importance of both educators and family members noticing the possible signs of OCD in children. Thank you, Carla, for sharing your expertise with us at rtor.org. —Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor Children say and do unusual things on occasion, or […]

No Letting Go: A Family’s Grief and Hope When Mental Illness Strikes

no letting go poster

  Thirty minutes into the family mental health drama No Letting Go 14-year old Tim (Noah Silverman) tosses aside his homework and shouts at his mother, “You don’t get it. I don’t need to go to school anymore.” He has been in therapy since he was ten and seems to have paralyzing anxiety that prevents […]

How-Not-To Parent Lessons from Homer Simpson: 10 Episodes of The Simpsons I Wish I’d Watched Before I Became a Father

home simpson and donut

  A few weeks ago while my wife was sorting through memorabilia from our early parenting years she found a picture my son, the budding artist, drew of his beloved father.               That’s right, it’s a drawing of “Ass of the Century” Homer Simpson, AKA Jay Boll in “disgise”, […]

The Dos and Don’ts of Helping a Family Member in Psychosis 

Man Helping a Family Member in Psychosis

  Have you noticed a family member beginning to act strangely? Does he seem to think that someone is trying to hurt him when there was no apparent danger? Or maybe he has started following a complex belief system that you can’t quite understand? It could be that your loved one is experiencing psychosis. Psychosis […]

Robin Williams Still Remembered and a Father’s Grief Takes a Trip to India

Maybe the worst thing about suicide is its finality. It is the one mistake that allows no second chances. When Robin Williams took his life in August of 2014 an entire nation grieved.  Our grief was of a partly selfish nature as we realized that there would be no new Robin Williams characters to move […]

Adoption and It’s Unique Emotional Challenges

family hug

  Here at rtor.org we are dedicated to helping families and that includes the many different ways people make up a family. A large variety of families exist outside of the typical nuclear family consisting of a father, a mother and their biological children; this includes families formed by adoption. It’s estimated that about 5 million people […]

Failure To Launch:  9 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety in Dependent Adult Children

how to cope with grown child with mental illness

  This week I call your attention to the problem of “Failure to Launch” (FTL) in young adults. I’m not referring to the awful 2006 movie Failure to Launch starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. In the Hollywood version of FTL a handsome, fun-loving yacht salesman who lives with his parents at age 35 has […]

Welcome to The Family Side: A New Blog on Mental Health Recovery

family and friends sitting at a dining table

Dear Readers, Welcome to my new blog, The Family Side. For the past year and a half I have been blogging on www.rtor.org under the title of Eunoia: Thoughts on Healthy Thinking.  In my first post of May 2, 2014 I described my purpose for the blog: “to bring you news about best practices, research […]

Family Wellness Holiday Shopping Guide

  Your purchase of any items on this list from amazon.com help support the costs of running rtor.org, a free service of Laurel House, Inc., 501 (C)(3), non-profit organization. Another Holiday Season is fast approaching and many of us are struggling to come up with gifts to give our family members. This year, give the gift […]

Avoid Family Fights this Holiday Season by Using Myers-Briggs Personality Types

avoid family fights with myers briggs

  The holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxation, good food and family fun, right? Well that isn’t always the case. Google searches for “family fights” and related search terms always increase right around Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays. Expectations and stress can be high around the holidays and if you or a loved […]

Back to School: 5 Tips for Kids With Mental Health Concerns

kids getting on a school bus

  It’s late August.  Interstate 95 in the Northeast is actually moving during morning and evening rush hours as workers ditch the daily commute for one last vacation of summer.  Meanwhile, the stores are full of parents and their children shopping for new clothes and school supplies.  Labor Day is late this year, but in […]

Mental Health Diagnosis: Getting It Right the First Time

therapy session

  Treatment of a mental health disorder begins with an assessment and a diagnosis.  Unfortunately, there are no foolproof tests for mental illness. A CAT scan might alert doctors to a neurological problem that allows them to rule out schizophrenia.  But schizophrenia itself will not turn up in a CAT scan, blood test, x-ray, or […]

Family Vacations: 12 Tips for Travelling with a Child or Teen With a Mental Health Disorder

family vacation

  Vacations are supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation in the company of those we love.  So why does “vacation” appear as a stress-inducing event on the Life Change Index Scale, otherwise known as “The Stress Test?”  As much as we cherish the memories of family vacations past, the actual experience of going […]

Why “Family-Endorsed” – Families Helping Families Find Expert Mental Health Resources

Family recommended mental health providers

There are many mental health websites for families. So why did we at www.rtor.org create a new one? The answer is our Directory of Family-Endorsed Providers. The Directory is a listing of mental health providers that have been recommended by a family member of someone who has used their services and vetted by rtor.org’s Advisory Board of […]

RtoR Mental Health Awareness Month: Preventing Caregiver Burnout

mom with kid

Being the primary caregiver for a family member with a mental health disorder is hard. People in caregiver roles often experience burnout symptoms like extreme sadness, guilt, worry and disinterest in previously enjoyable activities. Taking care of your own mental health can keep the stress of care-giving manageable.     Remember this is not your […]

RtoR Mental Health Awareness Month: Stopping the Stigma on Postpartum Depression

baby holding finger

  Those involved in Mental Health Awareness Month have done a lot to break the stigma that exists about people living with mental health disorders. Yet, one disorder is the target of extensive social shaming and victim blaming: Postpartum Depression. The cause of Postpartum Depression is not entirely clear; the research points to a combination of […]

Teen Suicide: What One Mother Is Doing to Stop It from Happening to Someone Else’s Kid

woman in orange on floor

  For the last twenty minutes I have been struggling with the question of how to open this post on teenage suicide.  It seems that there is just no easy way start. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States (7th for males).  Chances […]

Five Mental Health Resolutions for Families Affected by Mental Illness

fire works

  Most New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement: lose weight, quit smoking, be more organized and exercise – all great goals for the coming year. But when it comes to mental health, your own gains can also be of benefit to others. In the spirit of improved living for everybody in the New Year, here are […]

Tis The Season: The Mental Health Benefits of Holiday Giving

holiday presents

Hanukkah started more than a week ago.  Kwanzaa is another two days away, the Prophet’s Birthday is even further off, today is Christmas Eve and I still have five more gifts to buy and three more charitable donations to make before I complete my holiday giving list (not to mention a blog post to write […]

When Parents Reach Their Limits: Recruiting Parent Supporters to Help Manage Children’s Mental Health Issues in the Home

mom and teen fight

As the holidays approach and cold weather sets in, my mind drifts back to an amazing gift my wife and I received from a friend in the middle of last summer.  I’ll call it the gift of parenting support. That may not sound like much, but to my wife and me, struggling to raise a […]

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Family Coping Strategies at the Laurel House Family Seminar Series

oxygen mask

Last Thursday, families, friends and agency staff met at Laurel House to hear Licensed Clinical Social Worker Stephanie Raia speak on Family Coping Strategies in the fourth and final installment of the Family Seminar Series. Stephanie opened her talk with two great quotes: the Serenity Prayer, which many of us associate with Alcoholics Anonymous, and […]

Managing the Negative Emotions of a Mental Health Crisis in the Family: A View from Both Sides of the Firing Line

sad man hands over eyes

Last week I was speaking with a colleague in mental health about a recent psychiatric crisis with a member of my family.  We both agreed that in such situations, it’s important for families to have a trusted professional (or team of professionals) to turn to for help. My colleague stated that the crisis clinician’s job […]

Supportive Parenting for Childhood Anxiety: Working Together Helps Relieve the Stress of a Difficult Situation

Two weeks ago my wife and I attended a talk by Dr. Eli Lebowitz of the Yale Child Study Center, as part of Laurel House’s Family Seminar Series.  Dr. Lebowitz is an expert on childhood and adolescent anxiety, and co-founder of the Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) program. One of the most powerful […]

Yale Expert on Childhood and Adolescent Anxiety to Speak at Laurel House on Thursday: Eli Lebowitz, PhD, Next Up in Laurel House’s Family Seminar Series

This Thursday night in Stamford, CT, our affiliate organization Laurel House is hosting a talk on childhood and adolescent anxiety by Eli Lebowitz, PhD, of the Yale Child Study Center.  Dr. Lebowitz is co-author of the book “Treating Childhood and Adolescent Anxiety: A Guide for Caregivers” and originator of the Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions […]

Avoiding the ‘Protection Trap’ in Children with Anxiety: Guidance and Support for Parents Raising Kids with Anxiety Disorders

Night Time Anxiety

A new study at Arizona State University shows that parents of children with anxiety disorders often fall into a “protection trap” that can perpetuate the problem: Parents of Anxious Children Can Avoid the ‘Protection Trap’ Parents may fall into the protection trap in three ways: responding to a scared child’s fears and worries with positive attention […]