Thursday, September 26, 2019

GPS hosts programs on youth depression and suicide

On August 28, the Glenbard Parent Series – Navigating Healthy Families hosted Jonathan Singer in a program titled the Signs and Symptoms of Youth Depression for Parent and School Staff. Rachel Tsen, youth program director for NAMI DuPage, shared the following takeaway: "One life lost is one too many. Suicide prevention is truly a team effort: from the individual, family, school, and community working together. It involves communication, education, resources and support, and sometimes grief.

Dr. Jonathan Singer with Rachel Tsen
Research shows that talking about suicide actually helps and even decreases the stress of a student with suicidal thoughts.

  • ACT (Good acronym for anyone, from student to parent):
  • Acknowledge - validate rather than dismiss their thoughts and feelings.
  • Care - listen without judgment 
  • Tell/Treatment - offer to accompany them to get help or suggest a step they can take. 

NAMI DuPage gives in-school mental health awareness education through Ending the Silence, in which they share recovery stories of hope. It is presentations like Dr. Singer's that makes NAMI DuPage proud to be a community partner to the Glenbard Parent Series.”

On Sept. 18, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Dr. Jonathan Singer at a program titled, the Signs and
Erica Nelson and Jonathan Singer
Symptoms of Youth Suicide. Community member Erica Nelson shared the following takeaway: "Parents are the key for our children to be able to honestly talk about their struggles – with their friends, at school, or with us ... their parents. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and Dr. Singer reinforced the critical importance of communities, schools and local agencies to be partners and support positive mental health conversation as he shared tips for all. Communities must see awareness, education, and conversation as a way to support a healthy community. We are in this together."

Dr. Jonathan Singer is a licensed clinical social worker, an Associate Professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago, and the President of the American Association of Suicidology. Dr. Singer’s research interests, numerous publications, and media appearances focus on interventions for today’s suicidal and cyber-bullied youth. He has given over 100 national and international presentations on suicide prevention tools, and is the author of “Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Post-intervention.”

Resources for Dr. Singer and Youth Depression and Suicide

Watch five-minute Take Five video messages from Singer on suicide – one for students and one for parents – HERE.

To view a 30-minute video of Singer's Sept.18 GPS program, click HERE.

Dr. Singer's Podcast:  The Social Work Podcast HERE

Summary of the Dr. Singer's August 28 presentation HERE

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ross Flowers on Positive Psychology For Peak Performance at Back to School Parent and Athlete Night

Glenbard Parent Series hosts first of many speakers this week.

On August 19 and 20, the Glenbard Parent Series and our assistant principals for athletics are hosting sports psychologist, All American athlete, and author Ross Flowers. Monday, August 19, Flowers spoke at events at Glenbard North and Glenbard East. He also gave presentations to families at the Back-to-School Athlete Nights on Tuesday, August 20 at 6 p.m. at Glenbard South and at 6:30 p.m. at Glenbard West.

Glenbard North Assistant Principal for Athletics Matt Bowser; Glenbard North parent Frank Gulik;
and sports psychologist, All American athlete, and author Ross Flowers
Glenbard North parent Frank Gulik shared the following takeaway from last night’s program, “I especially appreciated Dr. Flower’s remarks on motivation and training. The average person’s motivation lasts only 15 days and so the student athlete must consistently reevaluate his or her progress towards their goal and make the necessary changes to keep their motivation toward their goals fresh and relevant (process goals vs. outcome goals).

In regards to training, just showing up to practice and going through the motions of mindless repetitions will not be as effective as deliberate training, which requires focused attention with a specific goal of improving performance.

Finally, the audience was reminded that participating in sports can help build essential life skills such as effective listening, sound articulation of thought, self-discipline and emotional management.”

Dr. Ross Flowers is an experienced psychologist, international sport and performance psychologist, executive coach, author and speaker. He is a partner in Giles Consulting Group and served as the director of sports performance psychology for the Los Angeles Clippers, mental health clinician for the Los Angeles Rams, senior sport psychologist for the United States Olympic Committee, and sport psychology consultant for UCLA track & field.  The author of, Introducing Your Child to Sports: An Expert’s Answers to Parents’ Questions about Raising a Healthy, Balanced, Happy Athlete, Dr. Ross Flowers offers his unique 360 degree perspective – as a noted sport psychologist, former elite athlete and coach, and father of young athletes himself – to answer the 70 most-asked questions of concerned parents contemplating their child’s participation in sports.


Video of Dr. Flower's presentation at Glenbard (GPS YouTube) CLICK HERE

Dr. Flower’s presentation slides for “Positive Psychology For Peak Performance”
  --  in PDF format CLICK HERE
  --  in PPTX format CLICK HERE

Web site for Giles Consulting Group CLICK HERE

Dr. Flowers book Introducing Your Child to Sports, An Expert’s Answers to Parents’ Questions About Raising a Healthy, Balance, Happy Athlete   CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

GPS shares information to the community as the school year concludes

We are sharing with you a great summer opportunity for students, and our 2010-2020 GPS Summer Reading List.

Also below find a Take 5 GPS video for students (a new series on our GPS YouTube channel) and a public service announcement about vaping recorded by Glenbard Realty leaders. 

Don't forget to check our web site as we add our new speakers for the upcoming 2019-2020 program year.

Have a restful summer see and thank you for your strong support of GPS!  

GPS Summer Reading List
In anticipation of our upcoming 2019-2020 speaker line-up, GPS is sharing its annual Summer Reading List.  Each year, our nationally renowned program brings award-winning authors to help us help young people succeed in the classroom and in life.

Join us on Thursday, September 5, 7:00 pm  at Glenbard West for our Community Read:  Killers of the Flower Moon with author David Grann

On Tuesday, June 11, the DuPage County Health Department /Prevention Leadership Team will host the third annual Teen PhilanthroParty at the College of DuPage Student Resource Center (Room 2000) from 10:45am – 1:30pm. The PhilanthroParty is a party with a purpose, where students can learn how to create positive change.  This year’s theme is mental wellness. Teens will get a chance to interact with therapy dogs, hear from a local teen activist,, create positive messages that will be distributed in our area and have an opportunity to win White Sox and Chicago Blackhawks Convention tickets! Visit to register. Summer Reality/the Teen Board to the Health Dept meets weekly during the summer.(the Tuesday after the kick off PhilanthroParty) and all DuPage County high school students are welcome to join. For information contact  or 630 942-7668.

Have You Heard our PSA on Vaping?
Reality Illinois/ the Teen Board to the DuPage County Health Department student leaders recently recorded a public service announcement regarding vaping at the WGN  in Chicago. Pictured here from front to back are Matt Hoerster and Steven Ball from Glenbard West and Gabbie Spontak from Glenbard East. Both PSAs can now be heard running on Spotify.
Juuls Vaping PSA:
 Hook you for life Vaping PSA:

GPS Teen Talk Video .Share this five minute video on social media with your teen.
As you may already know, we have a new GPS thread- for students . Below is a link to a 5 minute video for teens and one for their parents showcasing our most recent GPS presenter Dr Jill Walsh titled, The Good, the Bad and the Confusing: The Teen Social Media Landscape. We plan to do more of the same going forward. Thank you for your assistance to get the word out regarding this resource. Thank you for your continued support. Best regards, Gilda

Check out our new GPS Teen Talk Video Series below!
Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh: What Teens Need to Know About Social
Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh for adults.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Introducing GPS Teen Talk Video Series: Take 5

Delaney Ruston MD (who returns to GPS next year to premier her new documentary Thrive in October 2019) director of the documentary Screenagers (GPS May 2017) shares  this thought: 
"There is no question in my mind that, on average, the most challenging years to parent around screen time is in middle school. It can take a caregiver on a brutal emotional rollercoaster ride". 

All parents (and their students) are encouraged to check out a new GPS resource Take 5 - for students -mentioned recently in the Glenbard News.  Below is a link to a 5 minute video for teens and one for their parents showcasing our most recent GPS presenter Dr Jill Walsh titled, The Good, the Bad and the Confusing: The Teen Social Media Landscape. 

Check out our new GPS Teen Talk Video Series below!

Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh: What Teens Need to Know About Social Media.

Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh for adults.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dr. Jill Walsh speaks on Teen Social Media

On May 2, Glenbard Parent Series hosted Jill Walsh in a program titled The Good, the Bad and The Confusing: The Teen Social Media Landscape. Glenbard West parent Jack Dugan shared the following takeaway: “Our kids’ so-called addiction to digital technology is similar to our need as teens to connect socially with our peers. To foster mindful technology, work to “scaffold skills” incrementally. Talk about it. Ask three main questions: What works really well for you? What's hard for you? and Where can I be helpful? Have an action plan/fire drill so kids know what to do when the inevitable bad situation arises. Multi-tasking does impact the quality of work. Use technology in small spurts (20 minutes is ideal), as opposed to big chunks, with a maximum of 90 minutes on, followed by 60 minutes off. It's OK to set limits, we need to walk the walk, drop the power struggle and work together for balance.”

Check out our new GPS Teen Talk Video Series. Click here for a Take 5 Video with Walsh: What Teens Need to Know About Social Media.

Click here for a Take 5 Video with Walsh for adults.

Dr. Jill Walsh's web site, click here

Digital Aged web site click here, founded by Dr. Jill Walsh

Friday, April 5, 2019

GPS event on April 4 featured panel discussion: Stories of Hope from Addiction to Recovery

At a GPS April 4 DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin and Tim Ryan, former addict, joined addiction neuroscientist Dr. Judith Grisel to shed compelling light on the brain science behind addiction, creating even more urgency among attendees to become educated and vigilant.

Tim Ryan, Dr. Judith Grisel, GW parent Malia Hoffman and
State's Attorney Robert Berlin

Glenbard West parent Malia Hoffman parent  shared this takeaway:

Among today’s drugs, opioids get a lot of attention because of associated mortality (98 deaths last year in DuPage County) new concern about the synthetic fentanyl, and crime rates, but alcohol and marijuana are NOT innocent by-standers. All classes of drugs are extremely threatening to the brain because they attach to the brain’s receptors, altering its structure, sometimes permanently and even after a single or limited use.  Dr. Grisel discussed that the brain’s automation response to drug stimulus is to DO EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE to counter-balance the drug’s chemical effects-substances used with the intent to relax actually result in anxiety and insomnia, and substances used to create arousal and “a high” actually result in depression and lethargy.  Not only are drug users not getting the results they seek, but with continued use, tolerance levels increase, driving the user toward ever higher doses.  Our county is trying to make a push for treatment over jail offenders - all seen by the same judge, with the objective of getting treatment, getting the case dismissed, and their records expunged. .  There is a 30% recidivism rate for those that are sent to jail, but only 8% that are sent to treatment.  Reach out with concerns, help is available.

Takeaway from Sam Reif, Licensed Professional Counselor, Reif Behavioral Solutions LLC:

- DuPage Co. is trying to make a push for treatment over jail.  There is a 30% recidivism rate for those that are sent to jail, but only 8% that are sent to treatment.  This affects us all, because it costs $30,000 a year to incarcerate someone, and obviously much less to treat someone (particularly because the expectation is that they are in and out of treatment in a much shorter period of time).  I am filling in the detail that he didn't give there... ;)
- The primary drug problem in DuPage Co. are opioids.  70% of offenders in our drug courts are addicted to opiods.  In addition, most burglaries, thefts and robberies, often have an associated addiction issue that serves as the motive.
- We have a program for first time offenders called FOCUS in which offenders are all seen by the same judge, with the objective of getting treatment, getting the case dismissed, and their records expunged.  There are currently 500 FOCUS cases.
- In DuPage Co. we had 98 heroin deaths last year, and 550 narcan saves.  65% of these deaths were fentany or fentany/heroin combinations.  You never know what street drugs might be laced with fentanyl.  It has been found in many places.
- DUI's were down 38% last year which was great news, and DUI's in the 16-21 age group is very low.  Kids are getting the message to not drive while under the influence.

For more information see below or go to for area resources showcased that night.


DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team web site:

Man In Reccovery web site: Tim Ryan's email:

Northwestern Medicine Behavioral Health web site:

Rosecrance web site: Matt Quinn's emal:

Robert Crown Center for Health web site:  email:

Professor Judith Grisel presentation slides from this event (GPS 4/4/9) HERE

NPR interview with Judith Grisel (2/12/19) HERE

Family Action Network YouTube: Judith Grisel, Ph.D.: "Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction" (02/25/19)

Positive Alternatives Podcast (4/5/19) Doug Petit of Parents and Teens Together interviews Tim Ryan

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Katie Hurley speaks on raising happy, healthy happy kids

Glenbard Parent Series hosted psychotherapist Katie Hurley for talks based on her books “The Happy Kid Handbook: Joyful Teens in Stressful Times “and “No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls” on Wednesday, March 13.

Katie Hurley on left with Rachel Reichert
Hammerschmidt School parent Rachel Reichert shared this takeaway:

Ms Hurley discussed the challenges our children and teens face day to day, including an out of control emphasis on performance, over-scheduled days, insufficient free play, and not enough sleep— leading to stressed out and anxious kids and parents and an alarming downward trend in empathy.  Key in combating stress and anxiety: increase quality time with family, teach kids to “flip it” by reframing their thoughts with a focus on the positive, resist the urge as parents to be “fixers,”  teach relaxation skills, model kindness, praise their effort not a specific grades, normalize failure, and do share your own mistakes  Her message was all about helping kids build skills, not resumes.


YouTube Video of Katie Hurley's Raising Joyful Children in Stressful times (GPS 3/13/19) HERE

Presentation Slides from Katie Hurley’s Raising Joyful Children in Stressful times (GPS 3/13/19) HERE

Katie Hurley's web site HERE


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Qasim Rashid speaks on Using the Power of Dialogue to Overcome Racism, Intolerance and Violence

On March 6, the Glenbard Parent Series, in partnership with One Community, hosted author and Glenbard South alum Qasim Rashid in a program titled Talk to Me: Changing the Narrative on Race, Religion and Education.

Qasim Rashid is a writer, practicing attorney, former visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Islamic Studies program, & current Truman National Security Fellow.

He regularly publishes in multiple platform including on TIME, The Independent, and Washington Post. His work has additionally appeared in Politico, NBC, USA Today, The Daily Beast, and National Public Radio, among various other national and international outlets.

He is the former Chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of America, served as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Virginia State Prison system, and offered pro bono legal assistance to victims of domestic and sexual violence through the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Qasim is an alum of Glenbard South High School Class of 2000.

Michele Hedden Glen Crest parent
with Qasim Rasid
Glen Crest parent Michelle Heddon shared the following takeaway

"Qasim Rashid's talk was very relevant for where we are as a nation today, we need to be aware and educated on the economic injustice that takes place on a daily basis. He challenged us to be more involved in our local politics, and understand the issues that our leaders are fighting for. He urged us to take action, to listen, to rise above hatred and bigotry, and to vote out people who are not doing what is right for our communities. The discussions start in the home with our children. If we are raising our kids to have more compassion for others, let them see us acting compassionately toward others- no matter their socioeconomic status. We can help make our communities a welcoming, better place to live for all."

Video of this event with Qasim Rasid on March 6 HERE
Web site for Qasim Rashid HERE
Huffington Post articles by Qasim Rashid HERE
TIME magazine articles by Qasim Rashid HERE

Saturday, February 23, 2019

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) DuPage shares Self-Care in the Winter
*Self-Care in the Winter*
Though we are hoping to have Spring right around the corner, Winter is still here. Self-care is always important, but especially during the months of Winter which tend to be darker, colder, and often keep us inside. Here are some ideas of how to make it through the remaining weeks we have of Winter- and look forward to Spring!

Be Kind To Yourself
Self-care and self-love are always important to keep in mind when faced with depression. Be easy on yourself and try to let go of small things that stress you out or bring you down. Do something nice for yourself whether it’s a nice warm bath, facials, manicure/pedicure, exercise or even just taking a nap.

Light Box Therapy
Therapeutic light boxes are come in a variety of sizes from tiny pieces that can sit on your desk or bedside table to large floor units. Their bright light mimics sunlight and can provide needed sun exposure in the winter when outdoor sunlight is scarce.
Walk In Nature
On a sunny, cold day, bundle up with a thick jacket, sweater and comfortable shoes and go for a nature walk. Embrace the small things around you like the birds chirping, the wind blowing through your hair and the leaves crunching under your feet. Take some time to absorb the warm sunlight whenever possible while walking or biking. Take frequent deep breaths and enjoy the moment you have with nature.
Spend Time with Friends
It can be hard to find the motivation to venture out to see people when you have to trek through snow and cold wind. Still, socializing will help you feel connected to the world.
Identify Indoor Hobbies
Being cooped inside all winter can feel boring at times and isolating at times. Having a list of fun indoor activities can help bring purpose back to your days. Things such as puzzles, indoor exercise, knitting, cooking, even cleaning provide a sense of immediate accomplishment, enhancing both motivation and mood. Reading books stimulates your thinking, enables you to think creatively, improves concentration, and increases vocabulary and knowledge. 
Journaling is a way to release your thoughts on to the paper without judgment. If you are having a stressful day at work or school, it’s an easy way to vent your feelings.
Make A Happy Jar
The purpose of a Happy Jar is to remind you of happy moments and thoughts when you are going through difficult times. Take some time at the end of each day to think of something that you are thankful for, or something fun that happened that day. Write it down on a slip of paper, and put it in a jar. Continue to do this, and when you are feeling down or stressed, take out the jar and read through the things you have written down. Since gratitude is one of the best ways to fight depression, this can help remind you to appreciate the happy moments in life. 
These ideas come from "Counseling Speaks" and NAMI National.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Day with Katherine Reynolds Lewis

On February 12 the Glenbard Parent Series hosted a day with investigative journalist Katherine Reynolds Lewis author of the Good News About Bad Behavior : Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever-And What To Do About It.


After observing the behavior of children early in her parenting years, educator and journalist Katherine Reynolds Lewis went on a research path of her own to discover if anything has changed since “the good old days” when parents could rely on some degree of obedience and regulation of behavior. Indeed, the terrain has changed. According to statistics, 50% of children today have a mood, behavior, or substance use disorder by the time they graduate high school, resulting in what Reynolds Lewis calls a “self-regulation crisis.” Our job as parents and guardians is to help kids learn self-regulation skills through the “3 Cs: Connection, Communication, and Capability-building. In her book entitled, The Good News about Bad Behavior,” Reynolds Lewis drills down into each of these 3 Cs to give parents and educators tangible and proven practices for helping kids function effectively and independently.

Katherine Reynolds Lewis (seated)
with Kelly Hane, D41 parent
District 41 parent Kelly Hane attended the program, Why Won't Young Kids Do What You Want? and shared this takeaway:

With a change in the times we need a new strategy for discipline. The goal is to build our children's coping skills and self-regulation skills which happens through Connection (touch, play, family meetings), Communication (empathy) and Capacity. Model and verbalize your own coping skills(deep breathing, etc.). In the heat of  battle it is important to keep our own emotions in check . Make consequences related to the child’s action, reasonable in scope, that are revealed in advance, and respectful.  We want them to learn from their mistakes-the consequences are more serious as our children age.  Connect first before you correct-lead with the positive!

Click HERE to view the video 

Click HERE for Katherine Reynolds Lewis web site

Monday, February 11, 2019

Beyond the Blues: Understanding Youth Depression with Jason Washburn

On Friday, February 8, 2019 the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Jason Washburn at a presentation titled Beyond the Blues: Understanding Youth Depression.

Jason Washburn and
Carmen Teague
Glenbard South social worker Carmen Teague shared the following takeaway:

“Rates of depression are on the rise, and it is important for parents to be observant and aware of the signs of clinical depression opposed to the normal mood swings that every teen-ager experiences. Depression presents itself differently in adolescents. Persistent irritability, hopelessness, excessive worry, fatigue, loss of interests and loss of pleasure are all signs that may be cause to seek outside help. Look for a change from usual behaviors. Teen depression isn't a weakness. Intervene as soon as possible because even one episode of debilitating depression in childhood or teen years greatly increases recurrence in adulthood as well as manifestation of physical ailments. Dr. Washburn also shared information on self-harm and suicide, both concerns worthy of our attention in today’s culture. Help is available.”