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Sometimes change happens an hour at a time

Today's Hints

Message from Nancy Phillips, M.S.Ed., CAADC, CFPP:

As Coordinator for the Illinois Family Resource Center (IFRC), I want to offer help and support to families as you go through the new normal lifestyle occurring as a result of the coronavirus. As a family member, many of you are dealing with concerns of substance use disorder and mental health concerns of a person you love as well as a new way to address life. There will be resources posted to assist you through this time and hopefully motivation to stand your best in a tough time. The page will also assist in supporting you who are addressing your own recovery journey. With that in mind, I wish the best for all families. Watch for “Hints” as we begin this process.


May 28, 2020

Self-Care

sunset-5033708_1920.jpgAddiction is often called a family disease. If you have a family member who has a substance use disorder (SUD’s), or addiction, you may be experiencing your own chaos and unhealthy living. The sense of personal responsibility family often feels for the family member with SUD’s, can lead to feelings of being victimized and angry. It impacts the physical, emotional and spiritual life of the family. If this describes what you are experiencing, remember it is important to give yourself some self-care. It is appropriate and deserving for you to take care of yourself no matter how the recovery journey for your loved one is going. There are a variety of resources to assist you in that effort. Some examples are:

- Access family treatment services for yourself and family;

- Find support in self-help groups such as Al-Anon, Celebrate Recovery;

- Address your spiritual needs.

Give some of the suggestions a try and see how much better you may feel and how much better you handle the stressors. For more information regarding taking care of yourself in the chaos of a loved ones addiction, visit the Teens & Young Adults page, Recognizing Substance Use Disorders and the Families & Friends page, Recognizing Substance Use Disorders. Take care of yourself!!!


May 26, 2020

Be In The Know

brain_cell.jpgBe in the know as a parent and teen. Protect your teens developing brain. The brain science (research) tells us that prevention is especially important for young people. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a series of You Tube videos to assist in understanding the issues related to the brain development of teens. Check out the series and learn how to help protect teen brains. Learn the difference between an adult brain and an adolescent brain. Acquire information about the biggest risks that young people face, especially in the isolation time we are experiencing with COVID-19. AND learn how to promote healthy living for your teens. Parents, take a few minutes and visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eikCOpF4au8. Teens, understand what you can do to take care of your brain. Visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpfnDijz2d8&feature=youtu.be.





May 23, 2020

Feeding Your Family

farmers-market-1329008_1280.jpgAre you having problems getting to the grocery store? Is the lack of a sitter slowing your lunch shopping down? Great news today for many of you stressed to get out for your groceries. Governor JB Pritzker announced an Illinois state plan to permit more than 1.8 million Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase food from participating grocery retailers online. Access will be provided automatically beginning June 2, 2020 to all existing Link card holders. Customers will not need to call or visit an office.

The online implementation plan gives SNAP customers the ability to enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to order groceries online. All SNAP recipients with Link cards in Illinois will be able to participate. Walmart and Amazon have agreed to accept online orders in Illinois once the program begins. Be safe and consider this an important part of your social distancing. For more information regarding social distancing strategies and safety issues to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic, browse through the Today’s Hints listings here on the Illinois Family Resource Center website. Be Safe.





May 20, 2020

Keeping First Responders Safe.

emergency-room-3323451_1920.jpgAs reports indicate, substance use emergency calls for first responders has increased as isolation, social distancing and economic issues has evolved. In response the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recognized the tremendous work of the brave first responders and law enforcement officers who are expected take action when they encounter individuals who have overdosed. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread, SAMHSA has received reports that some first responders and law enforcement officers have been reluctant to administer naloxone due to fear of potentially contracting the coronavirus. SAMHSA recognizes the concerns about COVID-19 exposure and has developed recommendations for first responder safety. Importantly, SAMHSA recognizes that not all naloxone products are available in some areas and they recommend the use of PPE regardless of the form of naloxone used. The COVID-19 pandemic brings important considerations and one that must not be forgotten is the concern of substance use disorder and drug overdose. We must not forget that individuals with substance use disorder still need help. To access the recommendations for first responders and law enforcement, visit: file:///E:/guidance-law-enforcement-first-responders-administering-naloxone.pdf. Thank you to those of you protecting us and providing for our safety. If you would like more information regarding naloxone, visit the Illinois Family Resource Center website page Teens & Young Adults: Lifestyle Chat. BE SAFE.



May 18, 2020

When Will This Be Over?

grover_.pngParents, if you are honest, you may be struggling by now. You have spent two months juggling your parenting job as your children have been home and you became a “teacher,” along with the other stressors. The uppermost question in the minds of many kids and grownups is, “When will the coronavirus crisis end?” The answer to that question has become a mystery as time passes. To continue support for your efforts, the National Public Radio (NPR) Life Kit team and Sesame Street characters have responded with two NPR Life Kits to help you and your children continue this journey. Take a visit to Sesame Street and the parenting Life Kit, When Will This Be Over? Sesame Workshop's Tips For Parenting During A Pandemic. To support your children, help them view Grover in their Life Kit, Sesame Street's Grover On Coping During Coronavirus: Just For Kids. For additional resources that address life issues from a child’s perspective, visit the Sesame Street Communities website at: sesamestreetcommunities.org. Remember, it is okay to ask for support when you need it and BE SAFE.

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/853142325/when-will-this-be-over-sesame-workshops-tips-for-parenting-during-a-pandemic.

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852941811/sesame-streets-grover-on-coping-during-coronavirus-just-for-kids?utm_source=npr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20200515&utm_term=4578807&utm_campaign=life-kit&utm_id=48602322&orgid=.



May 15, 2020

Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

il_794xN2344034743_tpsx.jpgAre you looking for something to do this weekend? With some areas planning to allow more movement (with the recommendation of wearing a mask) consider using your weekend as a time to prepare for your safety of a mask. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. There are many patterns and suggestions for constructing a mask. CDC recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus. This may help people who possibly have the virus and do not know from transmitting to others.  Cloth face coverings created from common household items and made at home at low cost can be used. That includes using a bandana, a sock and fabrics of many fun designs. There are many patterns provided on the internet. Take a look and find one that may work for you. Challenge yourself to be creative and reduce your risk as you slowly enter back into the world. REMEMBER: Follow socks-306802_1280.pngthe guidelines of social distancing and be aware of how and when to use a mask.

For approved mask patterns from CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions.pdf.



 May 14, 2020

Know the Risks of Marijuana

"Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6." (SAMHSA)

Know the risks of marijuana use before you use. That is the challenge from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in regard to the use of marijuana. Marijuana use comes with real risks that can impact a person’s health and life. Marijuana use in the U.S. is growing. Take the SAMHSA challenge and see how much you really know about the effects and risks of marijuana! You might be surprised. Let’s test your marijuana IQ. Check out Families and Friends: Recognizing Substance Use Disorders.


May 12, 2020

Calling All Artists

art.jpgThe National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is launching a new mental health art gallery on their website. What a good way to help pass the time of social distancing. To collect submissions, they are announcing the Artivism: Create to Advocate Youth Art Contest being hosted this month with partners at Magellan Healthcare's MY LIFE, Youth MOVE National and Youth POWER! They invite you to create and share something that expresses what mental health and wellness means to you or what you think others should know about mental health. The new national art gallery page will showcase submissions from the contest as well as those shared with us after it is over.

Create: Make a drawing, painting, graphic art, photography, poetry, music or short video - under 1 minute.

Share: Submit your creation by email to [Please enable javascript.] by May 31st. Be sure to include your name, city, state and age in your email and post your creation on social media platforms with the hashtags #MH4Youth, #BeThe1To and #EveryDayInMay.

Shine: Creations will be displayed on the national mental health art gallery page and some will be selected to show during the Mental Health 4 YOUth – Virtual Youth Fest on May 21st. www.Bit.ly/mylifeyouthfest




May 11, 2020

Smoking Cessation Training

The National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco and Cancer Control, UCSF's Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) and SAMHSA National Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Recovery (CTFR), along with the American Lung Association are offering a webinar on May 14 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. ET for Transforming Your Tobacco Cessation Practice with Telehealth. The webinar is led by a varied panel of tobacco cessation and telehealth care management experts and the webinar will explore ways to integrate best practices for telehealth services into your tobacco cessation efforts. The group will also release a complimentary resource guide to support behavioral health providers in the use of telehealth for providing tobacco cessation services.

For further information, go to the Provider web page. Add this information to your tool box of skills during this pandemic. BE SAFE.


May 5, 2020

The Mind Matters Series

mind-matters-teachers-guide-cover-optimized.jpgProviders, parents and community leaders, don’t miss the new Mind Matters Series for teen education. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has launched a redesigned series of booklets geared towards educating middle school students about substance use. As substance abuse providers and community leaders, this is great information to have in your “tool box.” Visit today's posting on the Provider page. 





May 4, 2020

Check Your Self-care During the Pandemic

take_it_easy_post_its.jpgAre you managing your social distancing, quarantine and/or isolation in a healthy manner? Have you taken the time for self-care as well as those of your family? We are now into the second month of the COVID-19 crisis. The majority of us are staying at home. Some of you may work from home, some of you are spending your time being the “teacher” for your children and others of you are just trying to manage each day’s stress, anxiety and for some, your recovery.

When the pandemic began, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published their guide, Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health, to help us all begin a plan for self-care and care of our families throughout this period. It is time to revisit the tips for social distancing, quarantine and/or isolation during an infectious disease outbreak. As we begin to move forward and guidelines loosen for stay-at-home rules, SAMHSA offers some tips for how to manage the mixed emotions and feelings you may experience. Remember, there is a variety of support provided virtually during pandemic. These resources include self-help meetings, hot/warmlines and professional resources for substance use disorder (SUDs), families of people with SUDs, mental health issues as well as other crisis related issues. BE SAFE.      

Visit:

  • https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Taking-Care-of-Your-Behavioral-Health-Tips-for-Social-Distancing-Quarantine-and-Isolation-During-an-Infectious-Disease-Outbreak/PEP20-01-01-007?referer=from_search_result
  • https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/virtual-recovery-resources.pdf




April 30, 2020

Get to Know the 3 C's.

friends-3042751_1920.jpgVisit the Family & Friends page: Recognizing Substance Use Disorders to learn about family support when substance use disorder is present in the family. The 3 C's are a great beginning to learn how families feel. Take a look and begin a journey if family recovery. 




Stay Safe While in Isolation

April 2020

tears-4551435_1920_1.jpgIs a partner using the COVID-19 crisis as a scare tactic to keep control of you?

Are you at risk of abuse by a partner who is using alcohol or another substance?

Are you frightened for you and your children’s physical safety?

You are not alone! As the data from the pandemic evolves, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has published some guidelines for staying safe in a potential risky environment. They state, “Avoiding public spaces and working remotely can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many survivors, staying home may not be the safest option. We know that any external factors that add stress and financial strain can negatively impact survivors and create circumstances where their safety is further compromised.”

hiding-1209131_1920.jpgAs a result, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has published guidelines for staying safe while having limited access to help. Recognizing that you may not be able to complete these hints now, take a look and implement those resources that you can. BE SAFE. The key topics the National Domestic Violence Hotline offers detailed suggestions for are:

  • Create a safety plan;
  • Practice self-care;
  • Reach out for help.

If you or someone you care about is in a risky situation, read the information on the link below:




April 28, 2020

Scavenger Challenge

photographer-3965479_1920.jpgScavenger hunts are not just “kids play.” They challenge a stressed brain to work on successful answers. They can become a fun challenge with family or friends through virtual contact/contest. A neighborhood challenge – obeying social distancing guidelines, wearing protective masks and in groups of 10 or less, may help relieve anxiety and stress as well as boredom.

A creative scavenger hunt is also a great way to entertain children both inside and out. It challenges the brain’s problem-solving skills and hopefully gives a feeling of success when completed. Use your imagination, AND if stuck about how to develop a scavenger hunt, look at the resources provided below. Use your recovery tools daily as we work through this pandemic but remember, being a kid again for short moments each day is okay. Be safe.




April 27, 2020

Teens: Be Safe

girl_reaching_for_drugs.jpgWith the extended orders related to the social distancing and the stay-at-home order, domestic violence and substance use may increase. As a young person (pre-teen or teen), you may be the target of this stress. As parents become irritated due to several issues related to the current pandemic, violence and substance use may increase. These issues may be confusing to a young person. Issues such as being closed in with the rest of the family, having time on their hands due to a job loss or being bored as their outside contacts are gone, may create the risky and/or violent responses. Remember, there may be a good chance there are stockpiles of alcohol and other substances. Those already inclined to deal with stress by drinking and using are likely to indulge even more than usual. If you are living in anticipation of the next explosion, with nowhere safe to go and no one to talk to, there is help online. Through Alateen you can gain information and make a connection with other teens who have substance using parents. Remember, there are other young people the same age who are living through the same pain, experiencing the same issues. They can provide you with understanding and support to assist you in your situation. Alateen offers real hope. Help is available from Alateen.  





April 25, 2020

Planting Hope

blue-pillow-2219594_1920.jpgHappy spring. With the extended time of social distancing for Illinois, you may be looking for an activity to challenge you and your children and support your recovery journey. The National Public Radio (NPR) posted a great idea to give you a springtime weekend project that you can share with your children. (Don’t tell them but it is a great learning project too.) The project: planting a COVID Victory Garden. According to Dr. Rupa Marya, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco's medical school, planting a garden is "a way to connect to something immediate here and now and watch it grow." NPR provides a short video to help you use the five step-by-step guideline NPR provides. Take time to get your hands dirty and enjoy the results as you and your garden begins bloom.

seedling-5009286_1920.jpg




April 23, 2020

Provider Resources

child-1439468_1920.jpgAs the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) providers and other human service workers deal with the challenging issues related to providing help during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not forget the issue of isolation that social distancing does for those who are at risk of abuse and violence by those they are “isolated” with. This issue is especially important for our children who may be victims or witness abuse. To help you find resources that may support you in your pressured time, the visit the links on the Provider page. Thank you for your commitment to serving families and their children as they try to make sense of this new "normal" and move forward.



April 22, 2020

SafeLink Phone

mobile-phone-791644_1920.jpgDuring this time of the COVID-19 “stay-at-home” orders, it is important that each of you have a way to connect with family, friends and safety resources if needed. If you are paying for phone service out of a limited income during this time, you can check and see if the SafeLink phone is available for you. If you are a customer of SafeLink phone services, visit their website to see the update on their extended services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit: https://media.tracfone.com/wps/wcm/connect/phones/safelink/covid

 If you are not a customer but wish to see if you qualify for the cost free services visit: https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome

Most important, BE SAFE.





April 21, 2020

Resources to Pass the Time

crayons-879974_1920.jpgLast Friday the Illinois Governor announced that the Illinois schools will not resume this school year. With that in mind, those of you who are home schooling may be  become limited in your resources to keep your children busy in off school hours. Butler Human Services posts  activity sheets, coloring sheets and home school suggestions periodically. Today they offered two coloring sheets as resources. One set is for young children and a second one is for older children. Coloring is great fun, good for the brain and a good tool if you choose to incorporate them into your home school art class.  To access these coloring sheets visit: 



April 21, 2020

Renewing Your Mental Health

meditation-2957392_1920.jpgStaying in isolation or at best, following the “stay-at-home” recommendations, may have you ready for some relief. However, the “stay-at-home” recommendations are still in force so let’s take a look at the suggestions offered today by ACE’s Connection. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) is the body of research regarding trauma and the impact on a person’s life. The ACE’s Connection is an organization that informs its members of the up-to-date news regarding ACE’s science, trauma-informed care and resilience building news. Today the Connection posted an article by Shelli Altopp-Miller, LCSW, titled Mental Health Renewal in the Midst of COVID-19. As you are seeking ideas for managing your stress, anxiety and boredom since you are not around others as you were prior to the pandemic, take a look at the simple but workable suggestions Ms. Altopp-Miller has to offer.  

Here is an overview of her suggestions. Note that each strategy has additional related links for you to explore. Try these now and pat yourself on the back for taking care of yourself.

  • Get outside and go for a walk or just sit on the porch and watch the world. OR, take a walk in the rain and laugh.
  • Write down your feelings and thoughts in your own notebook. Just go with it and don’t worry about spelling or punctuation. This stimulates your brain, especially the creative side.
  • Put on music and shake your body. No one has to see you, just let your body move.
  • Sing, loudly if you want.
  • Move your body by cycling, skating, yoga or swimming. Be a child again and try jumping the rope.
  • skipping-379267_1920.jpgPractice mindfulness by hitting the pause button and allow yourself to be “in the moment.”
  • Make something. Get your imagination going and be creative.
  • Grow something. Planting seeds and watching them grow is a refreshing feeling.
  • Make a fire and relax by the glow of the fire. Remember, you can make s’mores if you have the ingredients. YUMMY.
  • Get water in your life both as a drink and a river or lake to sit by and relax.
  • Stay connected with the people important in your life. Use your phone or computer to do face time if possible. However, the method, just connect.
  • Play a game. Be a child again. Have fun and laugh. Make a blanket fort, build castles or blow bubbles. These may be child like activities but healthy activities for adults too.

Be safe and remember these useful and inexpensive suggestions for managing your mental health.  

To learn more about the above suggestions, visit:

https://www.acesconnection.com/blog/mental-health-renewal-in-the-midst-of-covid-19.



April 20, 2020

VAPING

vaping-3630389_1280.pngTeens, check out the information on the Teens & Young Adults: What is Your Drug Fact IQ? page to learn the latest information regarding VAPING. Be safe.

 




April 16, 2020

Caring for Each Other

plush-figure-2474337_1920.jpgCaring for our children has been the role of Sesame Street for many years. The majority of parents with young children grew up with the help of the Sesame Street characters. Your child’s friends on Sesame Street are once again here to support you and your children throughout the COVID-19 health crisis. Remember your children thrive with structure in their lives, and they learn best through play—even in our “new normal” times. The Sesame Street website is filled with ideas you can use to trigger lively learning and offers your children comfort. It also focuses on some support for you as a caregiver. As the Sesame Street friends work through their concerns and build their resiliency, your child can work along with them. Visit https://www.sesamestreet.org/caring each day and enjoy the new ideas and supports for you and your child during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Be sure to visit the Sesame Street in Communities website , for related videos, printables and learning-at-home resources for your family! (Visite Sesame Street en las Comunidades para recursos en español.) https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/



April 15, 2020

Resources Page 

hand-3108158_1920.jpgVisit the Resources page of the website. This page provides links to a variety of resources to build a healthy life.


April 15, 2020

Supporting Resiliency During the COVID-19 Challenges

To learn more about helping your children build resiliency through the pandemic go to the Family & Friends section, page Let's Talk. Support your family and children with an understanding of protective factors and the strategies to implement them. 




April 14, 2020

Education at Your Fingertips

lilly-pond-805207_1920_1.jpgJoin the University of Illinois Extension's Energy & Environmental Stewardship Team for weekly sessions on environmental topics. The webinars will both provide new information on natural resources and help you learn how to make small changes in your lifestyle to have a positive impact on the environment. What a great resource for your home school efforts, especially with the older students. Take a look at the topics ranging from lawn care, native plants, and managing home waste to understanding coyote behavior and atmospheric optics. Link on to lots of new information for your time at home. There is always new learning challenges.

The schedule of webinars is below and registration is free! Please register for each individual webinar you are interested in attending visit:




April 13, 2020

Home School Hint

grandmother-1822560_1920.jpgWe are into another week of educating our children from home. By now both you and your children are probably looking for new ways to get the learning work done. Here are a couple of suggestions to make the time more exciting and you, the parent, saner. If you have two or more students working at home, use the older child as a “mentor” or teacher. It will make both your students feel valued. Being the “teacher” builds self esteem and challenges the older child to do their best. Being the “student” and having an older sibling helping you can make you feel special, a great feeling. Good bonding time. 

Another idea is to plan a fun day. “Fun” can also include learning. Let your children plan. Set the guidelines and let them generate the ideas. They may range from having a pajama day and study animal sleep patterns or generate information about why sleep is important to health. you may  have an indoor picnic. Plan a healthy meal along with planning some games that include handling “money” or tracking the score of cards, etc.  

Laugh, encourage, have fun and LEARN. Good job parents.





April 9, 2020

Home School Hint

hand-1549399_1920.jpgWith important religious holidays upon us, our isolation if difficult. It is a time for family and faith get-togethers and this will happen less this year. A hint for a school project is to learn more about the history behind the holidays you celebrate. It is a time to use your imagination and decorate with home made items. Be creative and let your children research, share what they learned and be crafty using ideas from what they learned. To help you with your holiday creative learning efforts, visit the Homeschool Ideas website below. Enjoy your family togetherness and celebrate. Be safe and celebrate from home.  




April 8, 2020

REMINDER: Virtual Support Communities for Individuals in Recovery

webinar-3199164_1920_1.jpgThe Illinois Department of Human Services/ Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) is dedicated to all of the Illinois residents throughout the state who use the  services. With that in mind, they have developed resources to assist you through this challenging time. Social distancing for COVID-19 can be difficult, especially for those in recovery. Once again the Family Resource Center is posting these resources as a reminder to take care of yourself, and remember, taking care of yourself is also taking care of your family.

Please share this web page with friends, family, recovery providers, clients, and throughout your communities, wherever applicable.



April 7, 2020

Building Resiliency in Our Current Circumstances

resilient-4899283_1920.jpgAs we enter another week of the "stay at home" order, stress and anxiety build. This is especially true as you are separated from access to support if you experience mental health or substance use disorder issues. To address these feelings and move forward, visit Gift of Voice and print their helpful page called Emotional Resiliency Tips. As we go through this new normal, hopefully you will grow in strength and become stronger as we take care of ourselves using these suggested steps tips. Be safe.  

  • Visit: https://giftofvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Handout.Emotional-Resiliency-Tips.pdf

April 6, 2020

Home School Ideas

As we enter the second and/or third week of educating our children from home, we will be posting ideas from a variety of resources. Take a look and use  your imagination. Step into your childhood and back to your younger learning age to think about how these may fit for you. The ideas will hopefully test you to adapt and enjoy your efforts. Today the ideas are from the website www.successful-homeschooling.com. These ideas are very adaptable to working in the challenging times we are experiencing.  

  • explore-1140431_1920.jpg
  • Spring is finally sneaking in. Go outside with your learning goals. Read or sit and complete lessons while enjoying the sun and spring breezes. Take your lunch and sit outside and discuss the birds you see or the types of trees and flowers you see popping up. Allow your wiggly students the opportunity of physical activity by riding your bike around home or taking a stroll through your neighborhood. REMEMBER: Follow the guidelines of social distancing as recommended at this time of COVID-10 threats. This may be a great time to talk more about what social distancing means to your child.
  • What a great time to begin a family journal to remind you of these eventful times in future years. One way of doing this is to “publish” a family letter. You may be a family of two or ten, but this can be an enjoyable way to learn and make memories. Include “articles” about family news, community events, hobbies, favorite movies and add artwork. Share how you are feeling and how you work together to make it through. Depending on the age, give your children the responsibility for certain sections. Share some of your past experiences dealing with life challenges and let them process in their family news. This is a project to continue forward. What a good way to collect family history and share with in the future with people entering your lifeboard-game-4252248_1920.jpg
  • Family game night is always a good opportunity for family bonding, family fun and a good chance for learning. Look for board games that challenge your children’s thought processes. Let them keep score and if they struggle, give them some assistance. This is a learning time and a good time to encourage your child. Remember, turn off the television, leave phones of vibrate or turn off and have fun. Pizza is always a good suggestion too. Fix this yourself and do some teaching as you measure and cook.

  •  Ideas adapted from: www.successful-homeschooling.com




April 6, 2020

CDC Household Checklist can be found on Families & Friends page Here's the Latest


April 3, 2020

Empowering Teens: NIDA Toolkit for Out of School Time

grandmother_teaching_granddaughter_.jpgYour teens are out of school. A time for challenge at best, especially if you are dealing with a job loss or you are an essential worker. Keeping teens focused and interested in school work when they are questioning the environment as well as they may be frightened but not sharing, A MAJOR  CHALLENGE. To assist you in supporting your teens learning during the time schools are not meeting face-to-face, the National Institute for Drug Abuse and Scholastics offers a unique toolkit for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning. This toolkit offers science-based activities and resources on drug use and addiction for educating teens during out of school time. The home setting is being used by many families during the COVID-19 crisis. The activities in this toolkit inspire learning and empower teens with the information they need to make informed decisions about drug use and their health. To help with your efforts to create a learning environment and motivating teens, 



April 2, 2020

Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)

phone-2173345_1920.jpgIllinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced they are taking steps to address the unprecedented volume of unemployment benefit claims the department has fielded as a result of COVID-19. If you are applying for unemployment in Illinois due to COVID-19, the following website offers you information and suggestions for the process. It also connects you to the online application. At this stressful time you need all the support  you can have to take care of yourself and your family. Be safe.

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/individuals/UnemploymentInsurance/Pages/default.aspx




April 1, 2020

Recovery Support

coffee-3737141_1920.jpgIn an effort to work on a healthy recovery for yourself and our family, we are providing a variety of resources for you to access. Remember, keeping your mind and body as healthy as possible is primary now as we go through this new experience. Please check out the following information:

12 Steps.org
https://www.12step.org/social/online-meeting-calendar/

Al-Anon Electronic Meetings
https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/

Alcoholics Anonymous Online Intergroup
http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

Smart Recovery
https://www.smartrecovery.org/community/calendar.php
https://www.smartrecovery.org/smart-recovery-toolbox/smart-recovery-online/

Adult Children of Alcoholics
https://adultchildren.org/quick-search/?audiobt=Click+Here

In The Rooms (Online Meetings)
https://www.intherooms.com/home/

Bridge Club Virtual Meetings
https://www.jointempest.co/bridge-club-events?tag=Virtual%20Events

Families Anonymous Virtual Meetings
https://www.familiesanonymous.org/meetings/virtual-meetings

The Temper
https://www.thetemper.com/online-recovery-meetings-groups/

My Recovery
https://www.myrecovery.com/online-meeting/

Narcotics Anonymous
https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/

Sober Grid
https://www.sobergrid.com


March 31, 2020

PBS In Home School Resources

school-3518726_1920.jpgHomeschooling? Many of you, as parents and grandparents, ever thought you would become the primary school teacher for the children in your family. However, with the development of the pandemic of the coronavirus, schools in Illinois and other states have been emptied. Students were sent home for a long spring break and in many instances, they are not going back when planned. The Illinois Governor announced today that schooling is to be done at home through April 30, 2020 and possibly beyond. Wow, you may be thinking. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You can do this with the assistance of resources that are appearing. To begin, check with the resources your own school system offers. Stay in contact with them and see what they offer online or in-home support packets.

Another helpful resource is the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Beginning this week PBS has changed their programming schedule to support learning at home. Throughout the day programs are focused on age appropriate learning. To support their programming the network has handouts, games, puzzles and other challenging learning tools for you to use if you have computer access. PBS also offers a Newletter that provides homeschooling ideas for those of us working on educating our children. To learn more about these resources, please check out the PBS website: https://pbskids.org/

Check in here for more ideas throughout the week. Be safe and support each other.