Archive for Mental Health

Anxiety and Depression in Adopted Children – Thurs. April 7

Anxiety and Depression Webinar: Thursday, April 7 8PM CentralREGISTER NOW

Studies show that the rate of anxiety and depression in adopted children is more than double that of the general population.

Depression, while usually associated with lethargy in adults, often looks like anger in kids. Anxiety typically sounds fearful in adults, but looks more like avoidance, annoyance or off-the-wall behavior in children.
Specific topics will include:

  • The incidence of depression and anxiety in our adopted or foster children
  • The role of early trauma and how it can play out over time
  • What depression and/or anxiety looks like at different ages and stages
  • How to help kids develop more coping tools
  • When to consider professional help

Our featured experts:

Learn more and click here to register now

Register for Snowflake

What is Snowflake?
Evanston 6th-8th grade students have been living it up at Snowflake since it was first held in our community, in 2001. The event aims to teach attendees important life skills such as decision making, communication, and problem solving, in the coolest and most interactive ways possible.

Snowflake engages middle school, high school, and Northwestern students, as well as adults from the community, in order to create a fun and meaningful experience for all involved.

Featured Presentations

  • CircEsteem
    Since 2001, CircEsteem has been able to unite youth from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and help build self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts. Students will be able to learn and practice 4 different circus acts: the gym-wheel, tight-wire, plate spinning and juggling!
  • Snow Jam
    Students will participate with their small groups in a variety of teambuilding activities. These interactive and competitive activities will help students learn teamwork, cooperation, effective communication, problem solving, and encouragement while having lots of fun in the process!

When and Where?
The event will be take place on Friday, February 5, 2016 at Nichols Middle School. Snowflake will be held at Nichols Middle School 800 Greenleaf St. Evanston, IL 60202

Snacks and dinner will be provided free of cost. Transportation to the event will be provided by District 65. Buses will pick up students from each school and bring them to Nichols. Registration will take place between 3:35-4:00 pm in the Nichols cafeteria. No cell phones will be allowed at the event. Please arrange transportation prior to event.

Who Should Attend?
6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who attend Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools. Snowflake is FREE to attend!! Students will participate in both large and small group sessions.

No late registrations will be accepted. Please return the registration form (Snowflake 2016 Brochure) by Wednesday, January 20. See the website for more information:


Yellow Brick Home Healthcare Services

Yellowbrick, an Evanston mental health facility for young adults, will launch a home healthcare services program next month.

The core competence program will offer at-home consultation for young adults suffering from mental illness to teach them independent living skills.

Occupational therapists will go to the young adult’s home to teach them meal planning, grocery shopping, budgeting, organizing, how to apply for jobs and similar skills. Services will be offered to those age 17 to 30 living within 10 miles of Yellowbrick’s Evanston location.

“Young adults who have returned from being hospitalized for a mental health issue — such as for a suicide attempt, depression, or a psychotic episode — often can’t take care of their basic needs, such as taking a shower, doing their laundry or buying groceries,” said Dr. Jesse Viner, CEO and chief medical officer at Yellowbrick. “This program is designed to be a bridge between returning from the hospital and resuming a regular life.”

Viner says teaching these young adults basic life-skills reduces expensive hospital stays and prevents relapse. “The goal of the Core Competence Home Healthcare program is to reduce the suffering, impairment and cost of major psychiatric episodes and residual mental illness,” he said.

Yellowbrick says its program will be the first private, psychiatric home health care service offered on Chicago’s North Shore, and the company hopes to expand services throughout the Chicago area in the future.

Prospective clients will have an initial assessment by a Yellowbrick occupational therapist and psychiatrist for $500. Ongoing home visits will cost $125 to $200 per hour.

Managing Adolescent Stress and Anxiety – Mon. Dec. 7

ETHS AnxietyDear Parents and Guardians,

I am pleased to invite you to the first Welcome Center Parent Education Program of the 2015-16 school year, “Managing Adolescent Stress and Anxiety,” on Monday, December 7, 2015, at 7:00pm in the ETHS Welcome Center, Room E112.

The event will feature Danielle Black, Ph.D., David Hauser, Ph.D., and Brittney Bolden, MSMFT, three expert clinicians from The Family Institute at Northwestern University who specialize in treating teen stress and anxiety. They will each give a short presentation, and then lead a group discussion and Q&A.

The Welcome Center staff surveyed parents during parent-teacher conference sign-up about topics relevant to your student’s academic, social, and emotional needs. Teen stress/anxiety had the highest rate of interest, so this is where our parent education efforts will begin.

Taya Kinzie, Associate Principal of Student Services, and I will also be present to answer questions about services offered through ETHS to students coping with stress and anxiety.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the event will be videotaped and posted on the Welcome Center Parent Programswebpage for later viewing. In the meantime, I encourage you to join me on December 7 for this informative and lively evening — it’s a great opportunity to meet other ETHS parents. I hope to see you there!

Marcus Campbell, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent/Principal

Helping Parents to Raise Upstanders – Mon. March 30

UpstandersOakton Elementary School & Response presents

Helping Parents to Raise Upstanders
(A person who stands up for their peers when they see bullying happen.)

Monday, March 30, 2015
Oakton Elementary School Auditorium
436 Ridge Avenue, Evanston

Bullying has become an increasingly hot topic among youth, parents, and our community at-large. There are so many elements that parents and guardians need to be aware of to help their children through bullying and conflict at school. Response staff will detail how to identify the difference between conflict and bullying behavior, how to empower your child to resolve conflict or be an upstander to bullying. We will also facilitate a community conversation around how to foster empathy among all students and provide parents with the tools to have discussion around these topics at home.

All District 65 families are welcome to attend. Appropriate for all school-aged children. Childcare and Spanish translation will be provided. Attached is a flyer about the event in English and Spanish.

D65/PTA Council Parent Forum – Social Emotional Learning – Tues. March 24

D65/PTA Council Parent Forum – Social Emotional Learning
Tues. March 24, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Joyce Bartz, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services, social workers and psychologists from around the district will discuss social emotional learning. Learn just what that means in District 65 and the services and programming available to students.

Nichols Middle School Library
800 Greenleaf Street
Evanston, IL 60201

The Mask You Live In – Mon. Feb. 9

maskOn Monday, February 9, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 & Evanston Township High School District 202 and the Family Action Network (FAN) present the Chicago premiere of “The Mask You Live In,” with a follow-up Q&A with Director/Producer/Writer Jennifer Siebel Newsom (Miss Representation”).

“The Mask You Live In”
Monday, February 9, 7:00 p.m.
New Trier High School, Winnetka Campus
Gaffney Auditorium
385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka

“The Mask You Live In” follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. In the film, experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.

The film is suitable for teens 16+. There are some scenes dealing with strong topics that may not be suitable for younger viewers.


Depression, Too, is a Thing with Feathers – Thurs. Oct. 23

FANFamily Action Network (FAN) welcomes back Andrew Solomon, Ph.D., one of the most inspirational and effective speakers in its 32-year history. His topic this time is depression, based on the content of his 2001 international bestselling memoir The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction that year and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. A tour de force exploration of depression as viewed by science, philosophy, psychology, and literature, Dr. Solomon artfully weaves a deeply moving personal narrative of his own profound struggles with the disease throughout the book.

The title of this presentation is a riff on the title of an Emily Dickinson poem – “Hope, Too, is a Thing with Feathers” – and it is Dr. Solomon’s intent to illuminate how the experience of depression, suffering and loneliness is the source of penetrating insight, and of hope. Depression, described as a “living death,” has yielded to him the grace of true intimacy. His poetic, compassionate, thorough “atlas” of the disease has no counterpart. Dr. Solomon will examine how depression functions across history, across cultures, and across socioeconomic categories. He will pay special attention to the ways in which some resilient individuals manage to integrate depression into their lives, which allows them to experience various degrees of success in their lives in spite of depression’s chronic, persistent nature.

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 7:00 PM,
New Trier High School, Winnetka Campus, Gaffney Auditorium, 385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka, 60093.

FAN Lecture- Soloman Flyer


ADD/ADHD Non-Drug Solutions – Weds. Nov. 13

ADD_ADHDADD and ADHD are a prevalent and growing problem in our schools today. If you have ever felt uneasy about medicating your child for ADD/ADHD, find that medication has undesirable side effects, or just want to improve your child’s attention in a natural way, join Dr. Archana Lal-Tabak for this informative talk. Dr. Lal-Tabak has seen first-hand the bias of doctors and school districts toward medicating children versus working with kids and their parents toward a non-drug solution. You will learn about diet and supplements that support healthy attention levels, mind-body techniques to enhance learning, the impact of sleep habits and electromagnetic radiation, and more.

With Archana Lal-Tabak, M.D., Dr. of  Integrative Medicine, Psychiatry, Homeopathy & Nutrition

Space is limited so please make a reservation (847) 864-1600. Cost is $15, payable upon sign up.

November 13th, 7:00PM-8:15 PM
Walsh Natural Health, 2116 ½ Central St., Evanston (847) 864-1600

Masterminds & Wingmen – Fri. Sept. 20


Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World, by Rosalind Wiseman

September 20th, 7:00 pm
New Trier HS/ Gaffney Auditorium
385 Winnetka Ave.

Family Action Network (FAN) presents Rosalind Wiseman author of Queen Bees and Wanna Bees and Masterminds and Wingmen.

BONUS EVENT: Our Boys: Masterminds and Wingmen Discussion Group

Evanston-area parents are invited to attend a follow-up discussion group on how the issues raised in Rosalind Wiseman’s new book, Masterminds and Wingmen, relate to Evanston’s preadolescent boys, sponsored by Washington School in partnership with the Evanston Public Library. This is the first of four events of Washington School’s Parent Education Series. Coming in November “Our Girls”; February “Talking About Sensitive Topic”; and March “Social Media”.

Wednesday, October 2, 7 pm
Washington Elementary School
914 Ashland Ave., Evanston

For Adoptive Parents in Evanston

Can We Talk? When Kids Start Asking About Adoption – Thursday, July 18, 2013, 7 p.m.
Can we talk It can happen when you least expect it – your child asks you a question about adoption and you don’t know how to answer it. Join us for a webinar featuring author and adoptive parent Pat Irwin Johnston, who will discuss common questions kids start asking and when; how and when to share the tough stuff; and answering your child’s questions with limited information. Register

Is It An Adoption Thing? – Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 7 p.m. 
webinarDo you struggle to determine whether your child’s behavior is adoption related or just kid’s stuff? In this webinar, led by Dr. Gregory Peck, founder and director of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, you’ll learn to identify common challenging behaviors adopted children may exhibit. Dr. Keck will also discuss practical suggestions to help with real life situations and effective and ineffective parenting techniques. Register

Parenting Workshop at The Cradle: When Your Open Adoption is Not What You ExpectedSaturday, September 28, 2013, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.parenting workshop
As time goes on, open adoption relationships can change – for many reasons. But your commitment to your child to carry on this relationship remains. Join Adoption Therapist Judy Stigger and panelists as they discuss how to manage feelings when changes occur; tools to strengthen and rebuild relationships; and strategies to respond to birth relatives when behaviors are not in your child’s best interest. Register

Discipline in the Theraplay Spirit – Feb. 19

Parent Connections, a service provided by Evanston Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE) is a monthly meeting for parents of children with special needs in Evanston/Skokie District 65 and ETHS District 202.

The topic will be “Discipline in the Theraplay Spirit”.

You know how it feels when your patience is running low, your frustration is running high and your kid is running everywhere? We’ve all had bad days when we’ve used up everything in our bag of tricks and nothing seems to calm the craziness. Managing your child’s difficult behavior can be overwhelming, especially when it is a constant battle. Often when children aren’t behaving well on the outside, they aren’t feeling well on the inside. If time-outs and other traditional discipline methods don’t seem to be working, you might want to try another approach. Come to this interesting discussion and learn to manage your child’s behavior the Theraplay way. The discussion will be facilitated by Dafna Lender, MSW, LCSW, and Clinical Director of the Theraplay Institute.

This month’s meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 19th from 7:00-9:00pm at the Evanston Public Library Main Branch (1703 Orrington), Room 108.

Please contact Cari Levin at CASE to register and reserve your copy of the presentation materials: (847)556-8676 or

Mental Illness: Family to Family Education Program

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Cook County North Suburban Chapter, will offer the Family-to-Family Education Program, a 12-week course for families of adult loved ones dealing with serious mental illness. The program begins February 16 and runs through May 4, from 9:00 to 11:30 am at the Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave and is free. Learn about the major mental illnesses, symptoms, medications, side effects, services available, and communication and coping strategies and gain understanding and support from families coping with mental illness. Call NAMI at 847-716-2252 to register.

Bullying Prevention Discussion – Jan. 31

Join Carrie Goldman Segall and Rina Campbell for an open discussion on bullying prevention in Evanston schools on January 31st at 7:30 pm at Curt’s Cafe.

We are inviting families, teachers & school administrators to join in as we discuss the following topics:

  • What is bullying & cyberbullying? Distinguish between normal social conflict and
  • bullying, and the fluidity of roles.
  • Warning signs if your child is being bullied (or is doing the bullying).
  • What we can do to support our children- at home and in our schools.
  • The role of empathy and emotional intelligence in reducing bullying actions.
  • How to recognize and manage sibling bullying.
  • Long-term effects of bullying on the brain.
  • Steps to take with the school if your child is being bullied.
  • Teaching kids the difference between tattling and reporting.
  • The value of restorative actions over punitive actions in dealing with bullying behavior.





Life Skills Program for Middle School Students

Snowflake!  is an annual event sponsored by the Evanston/Skokie District 65 and PEER Services. All District 65 6-8th grade students are invited to attend.

Snowflake is an opportunity for middle school students to get to know other students from all over the district.  Snowflake consists of both small and large group activities aimed at developing essential life skills such as: decision-making, problem-solving, refusal skills, and effective communication.
Snowflake will take place February 8th, after school to 9:30pm at Nichols Middle School,  800 Greenleaf. Students can take a District 65 school bus from their home school to Haven directly after school.
To register: visit, look for a brochure in the mail, or contact Elana Schnall(847) 492 – 1778

Violence in Evanston and Beyond . . .

Stop the ViolenceEvanston has been struggling with violence against young people in our community and how to prevent it, and now we’ve seen the disturbing news from Sandy Hook Elementary School. We’re feeling sad, confused, angry. We don’t know what to do, how to make it stop. In October, the Mayor convened a meeting and over 400 community members came together to brainstorm ideas.

Sandy Hook reminds us that those who engage in violent acts often don’t get the help they need from the mental health community. Have a look at our Social Services page for a list of local mental health resources.