Mental Health

Why You Can't Give Up

Yesterday, our CEO had a meeting with Warner Brother's about pitching a TV show. She went in, and they told her no. Now, she's letting it push her even harder for that one yes. 

In the video, we witness Alexa cry. We witness her upset, which is not something we usually show on M.I.N.T. or even her social pages. But the message is this: everyone is going to put you down in this world. People are going to always tell you no, and it's up to you to get back up and push even harder for whatever you want your success to be. You can't give up, and you can't listen to what people think. All that matters is what you think, and how you're going to make your life the life that you want it to be. 

We started a Tumblr account for any of you who are dealing with anything and need someone to talk to: alettertoyourfriend.tumblr.com. We'll answer questions each month in a video. Steve will also be featured if you have any questions that are more in-depth and need a therapist to tune in on. 

Know you're not alone. Whatever you're dealing with, it will pass. You just have to get back up on your feet and keep doing what makes you happy.

Love, the team at Media Impact and Navigation for Teens

Why Do We Post On Social Media

I was talking to a friend about social media the other day and he had told me he was impressed that I shared a negative event in my life on one of my platforms.

Curious, I asked why. He told me that he is feeling so discouraged about his own life by looking at all the positive posts and how great other people’s lives are going. He shared with me his anxiety and fears that he will never catch up with other “friends” he has online and what they have accomplished, where they went, or the sheer number of friends.

I guess I should have been nicer but I stated: Remember, this is what they want you to know. He smiled and we changed the subject. This brought up a question on social media that I thought would be beneficial for our discussions on MINT: why do we post on social media? As a therapist, I came to the only conclusion I thought made sense: self-esteem.

While all of you reading this blog have stuff going on in your life that can be difficult to deal with, most of us, including me, will choose to hold that in and share different positive or perceived positive stuff in our lives in order to get likes, admirations, support, or even jealousy of others.  Is this what we really wanted social media to be?

If you think about it, the community we built around our platforms was really meant to support us and help us if we are struggling. This is not to say that we should only post negative (that is another problem in within itself) but we need to learn to reach out also. It is sad that we have decided to make our social media enterprises a bragfest.

What do you guys think? Would love to get feedback on this blog, how you use social media, how it affects others, etc. Comment directly to me at stevebissonlmhc@gmail.com

Substance Use

Fair warning, this is a raw blog on my part. I hesitated to write this blog but I figured I need to put out there a very silent and deadly killer and its effect.

Background: 2 weeks ago, I lost a client to a possible overdose. I had worked with him over three years and he had been in recovery during this time  I worked with him through  some relapses. He had worked hard to change his life after many  traumatic and devastating losses in his life. He had turned to opiates and opioids at times, to the point he had become addicted before the age of 18. Sure, he had had injuries, but the doctors over prescribed, as he was very charming and convincing with his doctors.

His father, concerned, had contacted my client’s doctor to let him know of his concerns in regards to his prescriptions. The doctor, at the time, citing the confidentiality of all clients over 18, stated he could not talk to his dad. His dad, devastated, wrote a heartfelt letter explaining his concerns and his fear his son would die from opioid issues. The doctor, of course, never acknowledged receipt of the letter or anything to make the father feel recognized.

Fast forward to today: I was at a memorial service for my client with many other of his friends who were distraught. His father, of course, was devastated. The girlfriend, two weeks later, still in shock. Lots of memories were shared of how great he was and how his smile, intelligence, and humor, made everyone feel better for the moment. I was equally devastated, despite the professional distance. Why? I'm a human being who has feelings.

So the effect of substance use should be apparent based on this story but let me make sure I list them:

Family

Partner

Friends

Neighbors

Acquaintances

Colleagues

Professionals

Community

 

Yes community. We should all feel a sense of loss. It needs to be said that we are fighting a war against substance use, a war we are losing because of apathy: not my family, didn't know him, I don't know for a fact what he died from, he should have done something about it. I also see an increase willingness to experiment from younger teens. Why?

 

Apathy. We need to talk about substance use to our teens and the risks associated it. Not minimize it or ignore it. Parents know it's happening but don't want to set limits. So talk about it instead of limits. Open conversations, let others know of these struggles. It is the silence that makes our biggest accidental killer, substance misuse and abuse, the monster that no one talks about.


After all, think about the excuses to not talk about substance use. Would you do that about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes?

Q&A with Libby Vilner

Libby Vilner is one of the coolest girls around the blog. Alexa met her at a Boston fashion event last year, and they reconnected earlier this year when Libby heard about M.I.N.T., and wanted to be a part of the magic.

Libby is passionate, dedicated and driven. She runs her website, Life with Libby, while attending grad school at BC. She's into health and wellness, which makes her a fantastic addition to our team. With her own spout of domestic violence, she brings in a new perspective to teens and mental health.

Welcome to the team, Libby!

What inspired you to start your blog, Life with Libby?

When I turned 17 I signed with Modeling Agency, and doing photoshoots, fashion shows and events, they put on so much makeup on you all the time and use all of these chemicals. One day my older brother asked me if I know what was truly within those products, and made me aware of how toxic it all is. I began to slowly learn more and therefore exchange my beauty and home products to non-toxic and organic ones. I thought to myself, if I wasn’t aware of how harmful these mainstream products are, so many other probably aren’t as well! I began my blog with a focus on raising awareness about this subject, and organic living in general. Organic living for me doesn’t just end with the products we use, it continues into the people we surround ourselves with and the life that we make for ourselves. Going through a rough childhood and teenage years, I also decided to share my story on my blog in the hopes of helping others who may have gone through similar things such as parental divorce, domestic violence, moving to a new country, and more. This is why I named my blog Life With Libby, because it focuses on wellbeing and life as a whole rather than just a portion.

  Why do you want to work with M.I.N.T.?

Being a social worker, I want to work with MINT because I am looking to make a difference, even the slightest one, in people’s lives. Through sharing my own experiences and using the knowledge I have from my masters in Social Work, I hope to inspire others to take control of their lives, to seek help, or simply to feel as though they are not alone. I wish that in my high school days someone that had gone through what I was going at the time came and spoke to us, it would have given me hope, motivation, and someone to go to for help.

What do you hope to accomplish while working with us?

I hope to connect, help, and inspire teens through my story and my knowledge in the field of social work. I hope to be a resource and safe outlet for teens who need it. I hope to bring awareness to taboo subjects, to clarify societal misunderstandings, and to provide a sense of community within each school we work with.

  What's the best advice you could give to teens who are feeling down about their body image?

I would say to be more skeptical about what they see in magazines, on screen, and social media. These days everyone has access to airbrushing, photo edits, and the famous have stylists, personal trainers, cosmetic surgeries, and other tricks. Also, your body is not everything that you are, we all obtain such talents, personalities, and accomplishments, be proud of those, shine bright like the diamonds that you are! Comparison get tricky, try to focus on being better than you are today rather than better than that person is that you’re comparing yourself to. Truth is, they are probably insecure too!

    Who has been your biggest inspiration? 

My biggest inspiration has been my mother. She always has been my guidance through this life, the person that has pushed my limits, that has set my boundaries, that has trusted me even in my worst, and that has never given up on me. She is a fighter and has gone through so many obstacles in her life as well, yet she still oozes kindness, happiness, and inspiration.

We're LIVE on GoFundMe!

We're officially LIVE on GoFundMe! The next steps for M.I.N.T. are to guarantee $4,000 so that we can bring M.I.N.T. to California + Austin schools, as well as apply for official nonprofit status. Anything that can be done will tremendously help us take our project to next level.

We've also offered some prizes to those of you that get your friends to give us a donation, too! Like a shopping trip with Alexa, a personalized beauty bag from Libby, and a personal coaching session with Steve. Getting AND giving back has never been easier!

Please share this link everywhere!

We're officially LIVE on GoFundMe! 

We're officially LIVE on GoFundMe! 

Watch our video too see more from Steve and Alexa, our founders, too!

Thank you all SO much for the help and support. We can't wait to continue this journey.

Sincerest regards,

The M.I.N.T. team