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Teen Behavioral Health News- Nov 2014
In This Issue
Inviting Behavioral Health Professionals for a Free C.E. Webinar


Join us for an online webinar presentation offering Free C.E. units.  We welcome 

Darlene Lancer, LMFT to present on 


"How Codependency Affects Our Countertransferance"

Time:11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PST 

Date: Wednesday Nov 19, 2014 

Learn More and Register Now


National Homeless Youth Awareness seeks public assistance for teens in November


Annually, there is an estimated two million homeless youth in the United States. Many of them have taken to the streets because their home lives were too much to tolerate. Such domestic disruptions may include substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and other such trauma. Some were removed from their homes due to parental neglect or others had parents that did not object to them leaving. Other reasons for homelessness may include outgrowing the foster home system or being neglected due to coming out about their sexuality. As a result, these youths roam the streets, seeking their daily shelter and food to help them survive.


November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. United States Congress dedicated this month to such awareness in 2007. The resolution has since been adapted by a number of different school districts and national organizations nationwide. The goal of such recognition is to further awareness of the issues facing runaway and homeless youth. Furthermore, the intent is to broaden public knowledge about solutions regarding youth homelessness
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White River Academy

Creating Strength Through Power of Peers


White River Academy is a therapeutic boarding school

 for struggling adolescent males between ages 12 and 17 1/2, located in Delta, Utah. We provide a safe, secure and structured environment for young males to face and overcome their issues.  Using an experiential learning approach that makes students think about what they do, we combine therapeutic programming, a customized academic curriculum, and community service to foster personal growth and create men of character and integrity. White River Academy has a track record of success turning around the lives of troubled teens.

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Teen Binge Drinking and Brain Development


Study finds long-term alcohol binging affects brain development, cognition


One of the most common things that comes to mind when one thinks about college is binge drinking. Defined as five or more drinks (for men) and four (for women) in two hours, over 90 percent of alcohol consumed by young adults under the age of 21 is in the form of binge drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although past research has documented the effects of binge drinking on the brain while it is still developing in adolescence, finding links between teen alcohol use and reductions in myelin that lead to cognitive issues later in life, there has yet to be a study that produced causal evidence for the theory.


However, recent research conducted by a team from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sought to determine a causal relationship between binge drinking and cognitive damage. Examining the effects of alcohol on adolescent rats for two weeks, the researchers broke the test group down into two categories - rats that had access to sweetened alcohol each day and a control group with sweetened water. Similarly to humans, the authors found that rats have a preference for sweet beverages, happily completing mazes to find a lever that granted access to it. Also similarly to humans, this led to high levels of voluntary alcohol consumption among the rats.....Read on

When Adolescents Start Talking Less to Parents

It's common at the onset of early adolescence (9-13) that the child who had a lot to say and used to confide everything becomes much less talkative and personally forthcoming with parents. (I'm not talking here about non-communication that can accompany substance use, depression, or social trouble.)


It is also common that parents who are used to receiving a ready and steady stream of conversation from their child find it hard adjusting to this loss of communication with their teenager. At worst, they can feel cut off ("We rarely talk"), ignorant ("We don't know what's going on"), anxious ("We worry about what we don't know"), and lonely ("We miss the chats we used to have.").....Read On

How To Help A Child Struggling With A Parent's Addiction

Parents with a drug or alcohol problem aren't the only ones in the home who need help. Children are good at detecting the stress and upheaval that often come with addiction - even if they don't know the exact cause. They're also prone to developing problems related to a parent's substance abuse, which can develop both in the short term and years later.

For these reasons, if your spouse or partner has a drug or alcohol problem, it's important to work to protect your children from its harmful effects. Talking to your child about what's happening in the home is a good start, says Dianne O'Connor, PhD, a child psychologist in Toronto, Canada, and author of the book, I Can Be Me: A Helping Book for Children of Alcoholic Parents.....Read On


The Upside of Your Dark Side 

by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener


In this age of the daily diet of Facebook "happy life" photos featuring smiling friends and beaming family members, and all the accompanying "like" icons, is it no wonder that we may be subconsciously striving for the elusive, perfect, happy life. A new book entitled "Upside of Your Dark Side"by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener may just change the way you perceive that quest for happiness.  

The authors had entered the field of positive psychology a decade ago, attracted by the emphasis on the positive aspects of human nature and hopeful that they'd found their niche. There is actually a field named positive psychology, a 15-year-old branch in psychology that promotes the understanding and building of the positive qualities in an individual, such as optimism, social responsibility, work ethic and courage.  It sounds good on paper, utilizing such utopian terms as "sustainable happiness," and is concerned with three issues: positive emotions, positive individual traits and positive institutions.  


To learn more about "The Upside of Your Dark" and it's authors Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener, please visit  http://toddkashdan.com/upside.php
Meet Our Staff


Kris Cary

Academic Director  


Kris Cary has been the Academic Director of White River Academy since December 2006. He focuses on the academic process, delivery, content, and course application for White River Academy. His primary responsibilities are to review each student's transcript, create an appropriate academic curriculum, and represent White River Academy for its academic accreditation. Kris received a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Alternative Education from Prescott College in June 2009. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from West Texas A & M University in December 1994. He has worked with at-risk youth for over 16 years. His professional experience includes working in group homes for adjudicated males, males in self-contained classrooms, and those who are participating in credit recovery programs. Kris has also coached various recreational and high school sports. Kris' interests include any type of sports, camping, and working with youth. Two of Kris' proudest accomplishments include being named a 1989 NCAA All-American in the 3000 meter Steeple Chase and serving as a Scout Master in the Boy Scouts of America program. Kris also enjoys spending time with his wife and family. Kris's personal philosophy is: "People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care." 

Corporate Office:
White River Academy 275 West 100 South
Delta, Utah 84624
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