Pathways Blog

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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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  499 Hits
499 Hits
APR
13
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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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  649 Hits
649 Hits
APR
02
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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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  1841 Hits
1841 Hits
MAR
31
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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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  620 Hits
620 Hits
MAR
20
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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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  636 Hits
636 Hits
MAR
08
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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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  556 Hits
556 Hits
FEB
12
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Pathways' PALS Students Volunteer at NJ Ozanum Family Shelter

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by Jelysa Hernandez, MSW Clinician and PALS Advisor On Wednesday, January 25th, 16 CHS Pathways’ PALS community service group students took a trip to volunteer at the NJ Ozanum Family Shelter. Although the students find personal fulfillment through each volunteer event, this process was unique. PALS students prepped months beforehand to raise money for the family shelter through a bake sale, in which all goods were contributed solely by the students. Students then used the money raised to buy enough sandwich materials to make 100 sandwich bags, each included a sandwich, drink, snack, and condiments. Students participated in “Sandwich Night” after school on January 24th, a day prior to the trip to make the sandwiches and organize the bags. Once students arrived to the family shelter on the following day, they engaged with both children and adults alike in a compassionate way. Everyone extended their gratitude to the students and were...
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  663 Hits
663 Hits
DEC
04
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Pathways Hosts Celebration of Fatherhood Event

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On Saturday November 18th, Pathways hosted a Celebration of Fatherhood at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Edison, NJ. We had two primary messages for the day, “building a future together” and “every child needs a leading man”. Almost 100 youth ages 10-16 and their father or father figures attended this all day event focused on the importance of the father role and providing information and resources to enable fathers to step into this role more confidently. Most of the participants were from Carteret, NJ, Pathways’ home base, but several families came from surrounding towns. The day began with Mr. Jonathan Sims, an inspirational and motivating speaker who connected with the audience on the importance of being a champion for your child. His speech began with both father and child developing their champion stance and their champion yell. He concluded the presentation by creating a youth huddle, so the young people could...
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  1032 Hits
1032 Hits
NOV
28
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PALS Students Volunteer at NJ Veteran’s Memorial Home

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by Christopher Flores, MSW Intern On Friday October 27th, 20 Carteret high school students took a trip to volunteer at the NJ Veteran’s Memorial Home. Although students were going with the intention of serving others, each student stated that they received more than they gave. Each veteran was escorted by a student to the main hall to participate in various activities. Students brought board games, played trivia, “exercised” with the veterans using balloons and paddles, and Pathways intern, Dylan, played his guitar for the crowd. Students were encouraged to have individual conversations with anyone who wanted to talk. The reality is that among the many disorders veterans face such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression, the one unfortunate issue that can be forgotten is loneliness. According to Robert H. Pietrzak, Director at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, loneliness was the most prominent risk factor...
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  890 Hits
890 Hits
OCT
18
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3rd Annual Pathways Fatherhood Bowling Event Brings Joy to Participants

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Written by Lisa Lussier, LSW, MSW On Saturday October 7th, Pathways held their third annual Fatherhood Bowling event, at the Woodbridge Bowling Center on Main Street in Woodbridge. The event created a fun and interactive platform for middle and high school students and their fathers or a significant male in the child’s life to spend the afternoon together. This wonderful event was made possible through a grant from the New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives, as a way to celebrate the important role a father or significant male figure can play in a child’s life. Almost one hundred participants attended the event, including community members from the United States Army, the Carteret Police Department, Carteret Middle School and even the father of a Pathways employee. The entire bowling center was reserved for this event. Participants were treated to bowling, professional family pictures, food and fun. To help the good times continue,...
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  838 Hits
838 Hits

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