July 2019
Summer’s here! Empowering Minds hopes that you are enjoying the sunshine, remembering to put on sunscreen, and having fun. In this month’s newsletter, you’ll find photos from Empowering Minds at NAMIWalks, information about 4 th of July Events and other summer events in Maryland, an article on Dealing with Mental Health Issues During the Summer, summer tips for the family, agency updates, and more.
In June, Empowering Minds joined the National Alliance on Mental Illness in raising awareness around mental illness and fighting stigma! Learn more here .
July 4th Events
Baltimore City
Spirit of Mount Washington Independence Parade
Springwell Senior Living, 2211 West Rogers Avenue, Baltimore
July 4 from 10 AM to 8 PM

Ports America Chesapeake 4th of July Celebration
Inner Harbor
July 4 from 7 to 10 PM (Rain date July 5)

Visionary Pets on Parade
Visionary Art Museum
July 4 at 9 AM (Registration starts at 8:30 AM)

Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival
Middle Branch Park, 3301 Waterview Avenue
July 4 from 1 to 10 PM (Fireworks at 9:30 PM)

Baltimore County
Baltimore County Independence Day Extravaganza
Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville
July 3 from 5 to 10 PM (Performance starts at 8 PM)

Towson 4th of July Parade
Towsontown Boulevard, Towson
July 4 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Fullerton Fireworks
Fullerton Park, Fullerton Avenue, Nottingham
July 4 at 9:15 PM

Towson Fireworks
Loch Raven Technical Academy, 8101 LaSalle Road, Towson
July 4 at 9:30 PM (Rain date July 5)

Anne Arundel County
Edgewater July 4th Festivities
American Legion Post 226, 830 Mayo Rd., Edgewater
July 4 at 9:30 PM

Shady Side Fourth of July Parade
Shady Side
July 4 at 10 AM

46th Annual Fourth of July Parade
Severna Park
July 4 at 10 AM

Glen Burnie Improvement Association Fireworks Show
Sawmill Creek Park
July 3 at dusk (Rain date July 5)

Annapolis Independence Parade
Downtown Annapolis
July 4 at 6:30 PM

Naval Academy Concert Band Patriotic Performance
Susan Campbell Park in Annapolis
July 4 at 8 PM

Annapolis Fireworks Show
Annapolis Harbor
July 4 at 9:15 PM

Harford County
Havre de Grace Carnival
From June 28 to July 3

Havre de Grace Parade
July 3 at 2 PM

Havre de Grace Fireworks
July 3 at 9:30 PM

Bel Air Flag Raising Ceremony
July 4 at 6:45 AM

Bel Air Family Celebrations
Shamrock Park
July 4 from 9 AM to 12 PM

Bel Air Parade
July 4 at 6 PM

Bel Air Fireworks
July 4 at 9:30 PM 
Summer's Can't-Miss Events
by Laura Farmer

County Fairs
July through September 2019
County Fairs bring everyone out to play - even the livestock. Good old-fashioned fun can be found throughout the state.

World Heritage Fair at West Shore Park
July 20, 2019 11 AM to 6 PM
Eat delicious foods, watch performances on the main stage, and enjoy many artists, creative and nonprofit vendors, and local businesses! There will also be a kids zone with games and activities.

Artscape, Baltimore
July 19-21, 2019
As America’s largest free arts festival, bringing more than 350,000 people together, Artscape has become an integral part of the fabric of Baltimore. Walk streets alive with art, theater, food, and – of course – amazing music. Stay tuned for the lineup, but previous years have included performances from Wyclef Jean, Gogol Bordello, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Al Green, and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.

Read about more summer events here !
Empowering Minds is proud to partner with ShareBaby

Our partnership includes monthly diaper distributions for EMRC clients with children between the ages of 0 - 5 years old.  In addition, EMRC is currently accepting "ShareBaby Coat Requests" for children ages 0 - 5 years old and requests for Boy or Girl newborn bundles.

Newborn bundles include:
1 pack of size 1 diapers
1 pack of size 2 diapers
1 0-3 month onesie
1 0-3 month outfit (top & bottom)
1 3-6 month onesie
1 3-6 month outfit (top & bottom)
1 6-12 month onesie,
1 6-12 month outfit (top & bottom)

 If you are in need of diapers, a coat or newborn bundle for a child between 0 - 5 years old, please contact your  Direct Service Coordinator  to submit your request and provide the sex of the baby and size needed between 0 - 24 months or 2t - 5t. If you have any questions, please contact the Baltimore City office.
Dealing with Mental Health Issues During the Summer
Contributed by EmpowHER writer Rheyanne Weaver

For children, teens, and college students, summertime is associated with freedom from school and positive  emotions . However, summer can also be a time where certain mental health issues need to be tended to even more than usual. Experts share information on what mental health problems can be present more often during summer and how to prevent certain issues.

Peter Zafirides, a psychiatrist in Ohio, said he has noticed a common mental health issue for children, teens, and students during the summer. Many evaluate whether they should still take their medication for  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  (ADHD).

“Stimulants are often prescribed during the school year, but depending on the severity of the underlying ADHD, the summers may provide for some time off the medications,” Zafirides said. “But it may not always be smooth-going. The combination of unmedicated ADHD symptoms, along with the less structured days of summer can be very problematic for kids and their parents. Beyond the attention symptoms that worsen, kids can experience mood changes, including  anxiety  and irritability.”

School can provide a consistent schedule, which can be better for children with certain mental illnesses. “The potential unstructured nature of the summer can feed in to any underlying anxiety disorders and  depression  present in these kids,” he added.
For children who have ADHD, Zafirides has tips to make summer more bearable. “Children and parents may benefit from sitting down at the beginning of the summer and talking about shared goals and expectations,” Zafirides said. “Have a plan ahead of time to regularly check in with each other and, in an open, nondefensive forum, talk about any changes in behavior or concerns about mood.”

He also has other suggestions that can apply to children and teens with any type of mental illness or mental health issues. “Get outside and enjoy the summer. Try to limit the amount of time online, watching TV, or playing video games,” Zafirides said. “Be active, get plenty of sleep and exercise. If medications will continue over the summer, make sure kids are taking them regularly. Again, summer is less structured, so compliance may not be as consistent, resulting in a worsening of a mental health condition. Always speak to your medical professional before either discontinuing or reducing the dosages of medication.”

Communication is key for healthy relationships and lives. “I think the most important aspect between parents and children in the summer months is to establish clear and respectful lines of communication without either side getting defensive or feeling they are not being heard,” Zafirides said. “An occasional small discussion may be all that is needed to avoid big problems over the summer.”

John Duffy, a clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens said in an email that depression can be more noticeable during the summer. “I have found that depression driven by loneliness often becomes more pronounced in the summer,” Duffy said. “This may be due in part to the fact that people are more obviously out, about, and social in the summertime. For many young people, summer is a far less-structured time of year than any other season.”

Anxiety issues can also come to the surface. “We often find that anxiety-based issues become apparent due in part to the lack of structure,” Duffy said. “Though most young people claim this is the time of year they most look forward to, many become listless and irritable because of a lack of structured activity.”

The solution to these issues is to provide somewhat consistent structure during the summer. “This might include participation in a sport, a play, a camp or other club, volunteer activity, or a job,” Duffy said. “Kids do better when they are part of something. They are happier, less restless, and more driven. Summer also presents a unique opportunity for young people to investigate strengths and interests, and opportunity that is less open to them during the very-structured school year.”

Adults can experience the same mental health issues as children during the summer, especially depression and anxiety. “Depressed adults are more aware, for example, of the degree to which others are socially connected during the summer, and this can serve to amplify the depression,” Duffy said. “Many adults also tell me that, though they want to be more active, limitations imposed by work and other obligations prevent them from doing so. This can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety as well.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness website suggests that some people can actually experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the summer. SAD is characterized by depressive episodes that occur during certain times of the year (typically during the winter). In the case of seasonal affective disorder that is experienced during the summer, symptoms tend to be weight loss, minimal appetite, anxiety, irritability, and  insomnia . Heat and humidity could worsen this “reverse SAD,” according to the website. Some adults with  bipolar  disorder are more likely to experience the mania part during spring and summer as well, he said.

William Oswald, the CEO and director of Summit Malibu, a behavioral and addiction treatment center in California, said in an email that all types of mental health issues can occur more often during the summer, such as  agoraphobia addictions and compulsions , as well as the more common depression and seasonal affective disorder.

“When people have a purpose, or curriculum in this case, their minds stay occupied, and boredom is not as prevalent of an issue,” Oswald said. “When they go from being extremely busy to having nothing to do, oftentimes this boredom results in mild, or in some cases severe, forms of depression. Once untreated, depression sets in, people (teens and college students especially) end up self-medicating with drugs or alcohol as a means to simply feel better. This is true of seasonal affective disorder as well—some may not want to be outside, and in turn isolate, resulting in isolative behaviors and a depressive state.”
Oswald has specific preventative tips for each age group during the summer:

Children:  “Setting play dates with other kids or sending them to a day-care program where they do outside activities can keep their minds occupied and also help with socialization. This is key to preventing isolating behaviors later on in life.”

Teens:  “Having a part-time summer job is the most important thing they can do to protect their mental health. They will learn the importance of a work ethic, earn money (which they can then spend on fun activities), and [prevent] boredom—the number one offender during summer breaks.”

College students:  “Having an internship or continuing to work on their educational goals will keep them focused and driven, preventing depression and other detrimental behaviors associated with the disorder.”

Unfortunately, these suggestions will not always work, and in that case it’s best to seek a mental health professional to keep any mental health issues from worsening.

For adults, it can be unfortunate to be stuck inside working when the weather is gorgeous (at least in some places). This can be just another trigger for depression and other mental illnesses like  substance-related disorders . “Adults need to utilize their vacation days properly so they have something to look forward to and get to experience summertime weather on days other than the weekend,” Oswald said. “Making time for outdoor activities on the weekend and starting an exercise program will keep one’s mood elevated.”

Courtesy of GoodTherapy.org
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recommendations on making summer safe for the kids. Here are some suggestions:

  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Cover up. Clothing that covers your and your child’s skin helps protect against UV rays.
  • Check yourself and your children for ticks and learn how to remove them.

Read more summer tips here !
Harford County Group
Baltimore City Groups
Mondays 6-7 PM 
Women's Group, Teen's Group, and Youth Group

Tuesdays 6-7 PM
Men's Group

Anne Arundel County Groups

Empowering Minds Resource Center is proud to announce there is currently  NO WAIT LIST at the agency. We work hard everyday to ensure referrals are quickly processed and clients are engaged by our staff and partnered therapists immediately. We are ready, willing and able to accept new clients TODAY.  

Empowering Minds Resource Center has no waitlist for our CARE COORDINATION FOR MINORS and our PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION PROGRAM in Harford County
Empowering Minds recognizes  Kia Pitts  as Direct Service Coordinator of the Month.  Kia is a remarkable example of the commitment of the EMRC agency to assist participants in meeting their personal therapeutic goals. Kia meets her participants where they are. With a motivational and positive outlook, she is able to assist each of her clients move towards accomplishing their goals. She is committed to working with the individuals assigned to her and is unwavering in that commitment to them. She works diligently within the community to direct clients to up to date resources in their surrounding community. Her dependability, consistency, and compassion assist all those she works with at EMRC to flourish.

Empowering Minds is looking to add some new members to our wonderful team. Check out the link below for more information!