“Are you okay? Why are you so sad? Can we talk?”
As parents, these are the moments that can break our hearts, when we see our children hurting. Join Idaho Public Television for a special discussion to learn how to have those difficult discussions with your children about their mental health. We know it can be a tough subject, but it is an important one that can truly save a life.
Raising Resilient Kids: Mental Health Matters (airing Tuesday, June 28, at 8 PM on Idaho Public Television) is a powerful hourlong special featuring some of Idaho’s top mental health experts (see list below). They will share their ideas on how to talk with kids about mental health, so parents and caregivers can be more effective in these critical conversations.
Learn what to do when your child is not okay, when to seek professional help, and how to help your kids be more resilient and hopeful, even when dealing with anxiety and stress. Hear some ideas about how to keep them healthy over the summer when school is out. Learn as a parent how you too can stay resilient, even when life is difficult. You can do this!
The panel discussion will be facilitated by Nicole Sanchez who also produced Resilient Idaho: Hope Lives Here. That award-winning documentary explores Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and shows how resilience is the antidote. It was made available nationwide to all PBS stations as Resilience: Hope Lives Here.
“We know there are young people in our communities who are really struggling. A lot of times it can be scary and hard to talk about mental health,” Sanchez says. “We want to take as much stress out of these conversations as possible. We hope to normalize these discussions and empower parents to help their children be more resilient and hopeful.”
Dennis J. Woody, PhD – Dr. Dennis Woody is the Senior Clinical Program Consultant for Optum Idaho after serving as the Clinical Director since 2013 when Optum’s care management began in Idaho. Prior to joining Optum Idaho, Dr. Woody maintained a private pediatric neuropsychology practice focused on adolescents and children with brain injury sequelae, neurobehavioral problems, learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental issues. In tandem with his private practice, Dr. Woody consulted for the State of Idaho and the Meridian/West Ada and Boise school districts. He also has practiced at St. Luke’s Hospital, the Mountain States Tumor Institute (pediatrics) and Idaho Elk’s Rehabilitation Hospital for approximately 20 years before joining Optum Idaho.
Noreen Womack, MD – Dr. Noreen Womack works in the St. Luke’s Children’s Mobile Care clinic. Her main goal is to help St. Luke’s reach children that are undergoing difficult circumstances and provide them with the quality, trauma-informed care they deserve. Dr. Womack graduated from medical school as Alpha Omega Alpha from University Texas Medical Center and completed her pediatric residency at Duke University Medical Center. She has served as the early childhood champion for the Idaho chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for two decades, with special interest in adverse childhood experiences, resilience, and early literacy.
Keith Orchard, LCSW – From a wide range of positions, Keith Orchard has anchored his professional services to supporting the families, organizations, and systems that care for our community’s children. A licensed clinical social worker, Orchard serves as the Mental Health Coordinator for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools. He was formerly an environmental educator in the Peace Corps, wilderness therapy guide, senior clinician at Idaho Youth Ranch, clinical supervisor of the Family Advocate Program at the Marine Corps Base in Hawai’i, and a classroom teacher in Redmond, Washington.
Amber Leyba-Castle – In 2015, Amber Leyba-Castle began working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the Wood River Valley, Idaho. Together with local high school staff, NAMI-WRV staff, and the board of directors, she founded a peer support group called the “Bluebirds.” She started this group because she wanted to change the culture of her school and strive to be the person that she needed during a time of adversity. Leyba-Castle is now the NAMI Idaho Young & Well coordinator, and has a personal story to share, along with the ability to represent how NAMI’s signature programs can directly impact rural areas, youth, and college-aged Idahoans. She is currently working towards a social work degree at Idaho State University in Pocatello.
Gretchen Gudmundsen, PhD – Dr. Gretchen Gudmundsen oversees diagnostic assessment and therapeutic intervention for the St. Luke’s Children’s Day Treatment Center. She provides psychological evaluation and consultation to assist in diagnosis and intervention planning with children and adolescents with psychiatric conditions. Dr. Gudmundsen works with a broad range of youth with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges, and has expertise in behavioral assessment and intervention with adolescents dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, and suicidal and self-harming tendencies.
Nicole Sanchez, Host – Award-winning journalist Nicole Sanchez is a television host, reporter, and producer. She is passionate about telling stories that connect with people and help to improve their lives. Sanchez is the producer, writer, and narrator for Resilience: Hope Lives Here. This documentary produced by Idaho Public Television has aired on more than 150 television stations across the country and recently received several honors including a regional Emmy nomination and Edward R. Murrow Award. Sanchez is also the host of the Idaho News 6 award program “Shine a Light” and is a host and reporter for the newsmagazine show CityStream, which airs on the Seattle Channel. Nicole is honored to serve as the President of the NW Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which produces the regional Emmys in Seattle.
In addition to the hourlong broadcast special, these five short videos for Raising Resilient Kids will be available on our Resilient Kids website: idahoptv.org/resilientkids
Raising Resilient Kids: How to Talk about Mental Health
“What’s wrong? Are you OK?” We know it can be tough to talk about mental health with children, but it is incredibly important. In this short video, you can learn how to feel more confident having this discussion with your child about their struggles. Also learn the signs and symptoms of suicide and how you can support a child who needs help.
Raising Resilient Kids: How to Promote Hope & Resilience
We all want our kids to be resilient, but what exactly does that mean and how do we help them achieve that goal? In this short video, learn how to walk your child through adversity and why it’s not healthy to protect them from all problems and stress — otherwise they won’t have the opportunity to learn resilience. Learn how you can help them move forward after hardships in a healthy way.
Raising Resilient Kids: How to Help Kids with Big Feelings
“Calm down!” It might be something your parents yelled at you when you were upset. Or it might be something you recently said to your child. And it probably didn’t work out so well. In this short video, learn some better ways to help children regulate their emotions. This is a powerful tool that can help them not only be more resilient, but also be more successful in life and in their relationships.
Raising Resilient Kids: Help for Parents & Caregivers
Are you stressed out? Feel like you’re having a hard time taking care of your family? It might be that you need to find some intentional moments to also make sure you are taking care of yourself. You’ve heard it said every time you fly — put on the oxygen mask first and then assist others. That same advice applies to self-care. In this short video, learn how taking even just a few minutes for a break is not selfish, it’s actually really important. It can help you become a better parent.
Raising Resilient Kids: Staying Healthy over Summer
School’s out for summer! Most kids love to hear that, but it can cause some serious anxiety for parents. Now what do I do with them?! In this short video, learn some practical tips to keep kids healthy and active over the summer. No, you don’t have to throw out the gaming system, but limits are important. And learn why having a schedule can actually reduce anxiety in children and families.
Production of Raising Resilient Kids: Mental Health Matters was supported by grant NH75OT000105 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Idaho Resilience Project. Its contents are solely the responsibility of Idaho Public Television and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or CDC. Additional funding has been provided by the Friends of Idaho Public Television Endowment.