Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Archive for the Suicide Category

Published on: April 16, 2014  

The Importance of Keeping Kids Active

These days, it seems that every time you turn around there’s something about obesity in the news. We’re hearing about how obesity is continually on the rise amongst adults across the country, and even more alarming, approximately one third of children in the United States are overweight or obese.

This puts our children at risk for a number of adverse physical and emotional health outcomes including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, social stigma, low self esteem and depression. To combat this issue, we’ve been given recommendations on how to clean up kids’ diets and increase their physical activity, and the integral role parents play in that process. But when parents hear that kids should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, it can seem like a rather daunting task. It can seem even more difficult considering the pull of technology keeping us glued to our seats. Check out these suggestions for incorporating physical activity a part of your daily routine.

Walk whenever possible. Walk with your kids to school at least once a week. If you live too far away to walk, you can park a couple of blocks away and walk from there. If you live closer, walk to school more often. Start having a regular family walk after dinner or take the family dog for a walk. Try to walk to regular activities, like sports, etc., whenever possible.

Limit sedentary behavior. Limit time watching T.V., playing video games and working on the computer for two hours or less per day. Take activity breaks when watching T.V. or working on the computer. Encourage your kids to get up and walk around or do some sit-ups or jumping jacks to re-energize. Get moving in and around the house: go outside to garden, clean up the yard, rake the leaves or wash the car. Keep your kids involved in active household chores.

Keep activities fun and creative. Allow your kids to choose an after-school sports activity they like or may be interested in. Encourage your kids to engage in physical activity with their friends they can play basketball, jump rope or go for bike rides. Be sure to check out local park & recreation locations (LaceyOlympia & Tumwater) and activities.

Above all, remember to be a good model for your children. They won’t take physical activity and their health seriously if you don’t either. Join an exercise group or find one that parents and kids can participate in together. Engaging in physical activity as a family not only keeps you and your kids healthy, but it can keep family relationships strong as well.  Check out similar articles on Child Obesity and Physical Activity in Kids & Teens in our Blog Archives as well as tips on Parenting Teens in the Resources section of our website.

Please give us a call should you need some additional help in developing strategies to keep your child or teen active, 360.236.0206.  We’re here to help!

Warmest Regards,

Gyro Psychology Services



Published on: December 28, 2012  

What to do if you suspect your child is suicidal

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in older children and teens. Risk factors that increase the likelihood include of suicide in children and teens include: history of previous attempts, family history of suicide, history of depression or other mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, stressful life events, a loss, and exposure to suicidal behavior of others.

No parent wants to think their child might be suicidal but trust your instincts. If you suspect your child may be suicidal you need to take action. Talk to them and get help! Suicide is preventable.

Pay attention to your kid’s behavior and look for warning signs. Common warning signs are:

  • Change in eating/sleeping habits
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
  • Disinterest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Violent actions, rebellious behavior, and running away
  • Unusual neglect of personal appearance
  • Marked personality change
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decline in school work

When a child or teen has planned to commit suicide there will also be marked changes in behavior. They may complain of being a bad person or give verbal hints such as, “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” or, “nothing matters.” Individuals who plan to commit suicide tend to put their affairs in order by giving away belongings, cleaning up, or throwing personal things away. A common sign that caretakers often mistake as getting better is if the child or teen becomes suddenly cheerful after a period of depression. Do not take this as a sign that everything is okay, if anything it can mean the exact opposite.

If your child seems depressed it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.  Show love, concern, and support if your child is depressed. If it is difficult for your child to talk to you, offer them alternatives like other family, clergy, or counselors. Also, ask questions, even if you are hesitant to confront them about your concerns. Most importantly, do not judge them or try to “call their bluff.” Their pain is real and serious.

If you have observed any warning behavior in your child and suspect they may be at risk, GET HELP! Contact a mental health professional as soon as possible. In case of an emergency, call 911.

Suicide resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
International Association for Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Washington Suicide & Crisis Hotlines

The Crisis Clinic of Thurston and Mason Counties

Crisis Line:  360-586-2800

Youth Help Line:  360-586-2777


Warmest Regards,

Gyro Psychology Services, Inc.


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