Pathways Blog

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JUN
28
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Pathways Celebrates Carteret’s LGBTQ Pride Day

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By Anna Pepe, Clinical Supervisor The borough of Carteret and Mayor Daniel Reiman proclaimed this past Saturday, June 23, 2018 as LGBTQ PRIDE Day. GSA stands for Gender & Sexuality Alliance and is a student led club run by the Pathways School Based Youth Services Program at Carteret High School. A Pride flag raising event took place to acknowledge the importance of the GSA and the LGBTQ community in Carteret. Mayor Reiman spoke of the importance of LGBTQ rights and invited GSA members to raise the Pride flag located at the Memorial Municipal Building. The event consisted of a performance by the Varsity Vocals group of CHS as well as Rich Hennessy, a New York based performing artist from Carteret, who was excited to return and give back to the community and support the GSA. Two GSA members spoke at the flag raising ceremony. A Carteret High School (CHS) student and...
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488 Hits
JUN
05
0

Feeding Students' Minds & Bodies

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By Jeanne Neuwirth, LCSW, Clinician and Club Advisor Pathways’ Breakfast Club celebrated a great year with a fruit smoothie party this past week! This group of students meets once per week before school to have breakfast and share dynamic discussions on relationships, body image, stress, coping skills, nutrition, and more. This year, the group consisted of about 12-15 girls who engaged in therapeutic activities to accompany each topic, and they really got into these creative projects: Gratitude journals: the girls elaborately decorated plain journals to take home and write things for which they are grateful each day, and the power of an attitude of gratitude was discussed. Glitter relaxation jars: made as a relaxation tool, to accompany a lesson about coping with anxiety. Kindness/peace rocks: we painted rocks and wrote kind messages on them, to keep or give to others, and girls reflected on the power of kind words. Vision boards:...
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504 Hits
MAY
22
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Breaking the Silence

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By Anna Pepe, Clinical Supervisor - Pathways On April 27th, Pathways Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at Carteret High School participated in GLSEN’s Day of Silence. Over eighty students participated by taking a vow of silence to show their support for the LGBTQ community and to raise awareness of the silencing effects of harassment and bullying of LGBTQ youth. The goal of this event is to bring attention to those that have been forced into silence due to bullying and harassment. Students shared that this event led to visibility of the issue in their classes throughout the day. All participants wore a yellow badge for the day on which they noted their reason for participation. Here are some examples of what students indicated as reasons for their participation in the Day of Silence: “As a part of the LGBT+ community, I feel that bringing awareness to the harassment faced by the...
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555 Hits
MAY
17
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Pathways’ SADD Club Demystifies Mental Health Questions

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by Jeanne Neuwirth, LCSW, Pathways Clinician and SADD Club Advisor With giant foam dice in one hand and a bucket full of toys in the other, members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club crisscrossed the Carteret High School cafeteria throughout all lunch periods challenging students to roll the dice and then answer the questions written on them for a chance to win a prize. The activity was for Mental Health Awareness Month, and so queries ranged from the simple, “What are two healthy ways to cope when you are very upset?” to the more challenging “Myth or Fact?” questions. Informative table tents were placed on every table for students to review while they waited their turn; these described the Warning Signs of Suicide, Ways to Cope With Negative Feelings, and How to Help a Friend Who is Struggling with MH Issues. When students were stumped by a question, their peers...
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600 Hits
APR
25
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Pathways is Recipient of 2018 Ambassador Award

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On Thursday, April 19, 2018, the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health Stigma presented 10 Ambassador Awards to “School Based Professionals” whose work best exemplifies how they encourage understanding and acceptance of adults and children whose lives are affected by mental illness. Pathways, Wellspring Prevention’s Carteret School-Based Youth Services program was one of the awardees. Lauren Balkan, Program Director, accepted the award on behalf of Pathways. Carteret High School principal David Salvatore who nominated the Pathways program and Ezra Helfand, Wellspring’s Executive Director and CEO, joined Ms. Balkan at the festivities. Sylvia Axelrod, MA, Stigma Council Chair noted, “Congratulations to the school based professionals and programs that are being recognized this year by the Governor's Council on Mental Health Stigma. Each one of our Ambassador Award honorees has demonstrated outstanding contributions to providing education about mental health that reduces stigma and misunderstanding about mental illness. The Importance of their work in...
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447 Hits
APR
13
0

Carteret Middle School Students Treated to Attitudes in Reverse Presentation

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By Lisa Lussier, Clinician I On March 27th, approximately 150 8th grade students at Carteret Middle School were treated to a special presentation on mental health education and awareness, by Tricia Baker from Attitudes in Reverse (AIR.) This presentation was made possible through a grant from the State of New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. Attitudes in Reverse’s mission is to create a community of understanding, kindness and empathy through mental health education and awareness. The goal of suicide prevention and education so that no one is misjudged or criticize, because of a biological-based brain illness was the prevailing message of the presentation. The Baker family founded Attitudes in Reverse after the devastating loss of their son Kenny, who bravely battled depression and anxiety and the stigma of this illness. In May 2009, Kenny ended his pain and ended his life. Sadly the discrimination continued after Kenny’s death and from this discrimination...
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574 Hits
APR
02
0

Speaker Shares Moving Personal Story to Help Others Find a Path to Mental Wellness

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By Jeanne Neuwirth, LCSW, Pathways Clinician and SADD Club Advisor Kristen Harootunian was a regular 9 year old girl in the eyes of her peers and a high achieving “A” student in the eyes of her teachers. The truth however, she shared, was that she was struggling with undiagnosed depression and anxiety. Harootunian, from Minding Your Mind, was recently invited to Carteret High School as a guest of the school’s Pathways program to share her personal story. Minding Your Mind works to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, and to get the word out that mental health disorders are treatable and treatment is available. While her home, and indeed her life, looked typical on outside, inside, Kristen was a caregiver to her mother who had alcoholism, anorexia, and suicidal ideation. Her father was often out of town on business and her brothers were busy with sports, and so she...
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1730 Hits
MAR
31
0

Dads Bounce into their Children’s Lives

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Written by Lauren Balkan, LCSW There is a great deal of research that supports that children who have an involved father or a supportive involved father figure, are more likely to be emotionally secure, have better academic outcomes and more positive social connections. Pathways has been running fatherhood events for the past several years to give fathers and father figures support in getting more involved in their child’s life. We offer fun, interactive bonding experiences that allow father/father figures to have some focused time alone with their child or children. The activities have been offered to youth in the district starting in third grade and going through high school. On March 29th, Pathways took 70 Carteret residents to the Bounce Factory in Warren, NJ. The youth who attended the trip were in third through sixth grade and were accompanied by their father or father figure. Children and adults participated in four...
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561 Hits
MAR
20
0

Carteret High School Students March for Parkland, Florida

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On Wednesday, March 14th, students across the country organized mass walkouts to demand safer schools. Students marked the National Walkout Day by leaving their classrooms at 10 a.m. (local times) to make a nationwide appeal for school safety and safe access to education. Students from more than 2,800 schools and colleges signed up to participate, with walkouts scheduled throughout the U.S. and as far as Australia, The United Kingdom, and Germany. We’re proud of the fact that Carteret High School students organized a walkout to show their solidarity for those who lost their lives in our nation’s most recent tragic school shooting. Approximately 250 students walked out of Carteret High School at 10am Wednesday morning to join youth around the country in a show of peaceful protest against violence in schools. The students gathered in the school parking lot and respectfully listened while the names of all 17 people lost in...
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567 Hits
MAR
08
0

Pathways Youth Take a Trip to Count Basie Theatre

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By Lisa Lussier, Clinician I -Pathways Through a grant from the State of New Jersey Juvenile Justice System, staff at the Pathways School Based Youth Services Program, took twenty middle school students to the Count Basie Theatre, in Red Bank New Jersey. Staff and students had the pleasure of watching a performance of the Mayhem Poets. This diverse three-man show combines elements of hip hop, theatre, improv and stand up comedy, to deliver powerful and positive messages. For some of our students, this was their first theatre experience and they shared how enjoyable it was to see a live performance. A few of the students shared that they now see poetry in a whole new light, as a great way to express their feelings. One student said that he now thinks of poetry as “cool and not just a boring subject he is forced to learn about in school.” The attendances...
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504 Hits

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