Guest Speaker Dr. Mark Hatton, Psychologist, Will Appear at Parent and Teen Support Group for Mental Health Association on March 9th

On Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 the Mental Health Association of Rockland County, Inc. will continue its Parent Support Group and Teen Support Group for adolescents who have behavioral health challenges and their parents. The MHA is happy to announce that psychologist, Dr. Mark Hatton will be the guest speaker on March 9 at the parent meeting. Meetings are held monthly on Wednesdays as follows: March 9 April 13, May 11 and June 8. The MHA of Rockland is located at 140 Route 303, Valley Cottage, NY. The meetings are free; hours are 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM. Call Madlen Setian (845) 267-2172, ext. 281 to RSVP before attending and to insure that this is an appropriate event for you or your teen.

The groups are held to address the needs of adolescents who face the challenges of achieving mental health wellness, as well as to support parents and caregivers.

The Support Groups are generally held monthly September through June on the second Wednesday of the month unless otherwise announced. The two groups meet concurrently in the same building but adjacent rooms. The Parent Support Group is facilitated by two Parent Partners with long-time experience in this area, while the Teen Support Group is facilitated by two Children’s Case Managers.

“People in crisis come together because of mutual need and because they can often no longer cope alone with their condition. One of the simplest yet profound benefits reported by people attending a self-help group is that of ‘no longer feeling alone’.”
Teens have an opportunity to participate in a monthly event where they can enjoy socializing with other teens.

Parents share personal experiences with other members of the group,
have an opportunity to address concerns, share successes, and gather information through direct and indirect participation. Occasionally, guest speakers may attend the group to present topics of interest.

To download a printable flyer for this event, please click here.

What to do if you find drugs in your child’s room?

What to do if you find drugs in your child’s room?

It’s one of every parent’s nightmares. During a routine cleaning of your child’s room you accidentally come across a benign little baggie. Curiosity gets the best of you, and you open it up only to be shocked to find your teen’s stash of drugs. At first, you think your eyes must be playing a trick on you. After all, your child would never do drugs, especially after so many candid discussions about the pitfalls of addiction and the dangers of drugs. Right!?


The truth is that you are not alone, and you if come across your child’s stash of drugs, you can count yourself as one of the lucky parents. At least you know.

The trick is knowing what to do once you find the drugs. Of course, you are angry, and most parents’ FIRST reaction is to get angry and take away all freedoms that their teen has. While experts agree that consequences are necessary and should be immediate when parents realize their child is experimenting. It is also important for parents to keep the lines of communication necessary so they can ascertain the extent of their teens drug use.

Important questions that you need answered.

Is your teen just experimenting, or are they on the road to addiction?

Where did they obtain the drugs?

How long have they been doing drugs?

Why does your child feel the “need” to do drugs?


So what should you do now?

First, sit down and have an open, clear-headed conversation with your child. This is a time to build trust, to encourage your child to open up to you, to find out what is going on in their head and in their life. If you are too accusatory-your teen will think that you just don’t understand and will clam up – only hindering a positive ending.

The next step, regardless of the admitted level of drug use – is to seek some sort of drug and alcohol counseling from a professional experienced in the field.

Additionally, expose them in some manner – to the life that is ahead of them should they continue to use drugs.

Kids all over the country are becoming addicted to multiple different substances from every kind of background imaginable from the poorest of the poor to the very wealthy.

Don’t ever underestimate the role that peer pressure plays in a child’s drug use and do not give in to the guilt trip, because your child will not be helped by a parent who is feeling guilty and thus too immobilized to do anything.

If you suspect drug abuse is taking place, however, it is your responsibility as a parent to try to get help for your child. Drug abuse ruins lives, tears families apart and sometimes kills. It is nothing to be ignored!!!!!

Juliet Stiebeck is the Program Director of Recovery Services, a State-certified addictions recovery program at MHA Rockland.
Contact her at 845-267-2172, x225.

For information on programs offered at MHA Rockland and throughout the County, call our Client/Family Advocate at 845-267-2172, x296.