105 episodes

Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple plays up the fact that mental health is anything but simple, while helping parents and other caregivers to navigate some tough questions. Join Dr. Gene Beresin and special guests as they explore and provide practical guidance on a range topics related to the emotional and behavioral well-being of children, teens, and young adults. From depression and learning issues, to societal issues and digital media, Shrinking It Down covers it all. Tune in today!
About Us: The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital is a free, online educational resource dedicated to promoting the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of young people through innovative education. Visit us online at mghclaycenter.org.

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Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple plays up the fact that mental health is anything but simple, while helping parents and other caregivers to navigate some tough questions. Join Dr. Gene Beresin and special guests as they explore and provide practical guidance on a range topics related to the emotional and behavioral well-being of children, teens, and young adults. From depression and learning issues, to societal issues and digital media, Shrinking It Down covers it all. Tune in today!
About Us: The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital is a free, online educational resource dedicated to promoting the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of young people through innovative education. Visit us online at mghclaycenter.org.

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    How Do We Heal From Here?

    How Do We Heal From Here?

    When the body is injured, it begins the healing process despite the ongoing physical injury. Our minds should be no different. Right now – amidst a pandemic, economic strain, political tension, rising mental illness, and more – we are desperately in need of emotional healing, despite the many challenges ahead. But communities are divided, families are divided, and fear and anger are rampant. How do we heal from here?
    On today’s episode, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins think hard about and reflect on how to begin the healing process, for ourselves and the young people in our lives. A fundamental place to start is with our relationships – those in our families, in our communities, and with ourselves. They share ideas to mentally prepare for being mindful of judgement, managing our expectations, focusing on the positive, and fostering kindness. Plus, we have two special guests coming up this podcast season. Tune in for more.
    Thank you for joining in this conversation. What’s helped you to begin the healing process during the pandemic? We’d love to know. Write to us!
    Media List
    Follow along with the conversation.
    Star Wars: Teaser Trailer (Star Wars)This Supercute Kid Costume Compilation Has Us Totally Melting (POPSUGAR)High Levels of Stress Due to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic among Parents of Children with and without Chronic Conditions across the USA (Children)The Pandemic Parenting Guide: How to Improve Your Child/Teen’s (and Your Own) Emotional Well-Being in Times of COVID-19 (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)Managing Family Conflict During Covid (MGH Clay Center)Evidence That Conservative Students Really Do Self-Censor (The Atlantic)Tips for Practicing Active Listening (Verywell Mind)General Mental Health & Coping (Massachusetts General Hospital)Parents have never had more reason to drink – or more reasons to avoid it (The Boston Globe)Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): A Closer Look (MGH Clay Center)The Flaw In Our New Year’s Resolutions: A Few Tips for Focusing on the Positive (MGH Clay Center)Creativity Gives Our Brains a Boost (MGH Clay Center)The Illuminated Collage (MGH Clay Center)Bipolar Disorder and the Arts: Mark Vonnegut’s Story (MGH Clay Center)When Doing Good Boosts Health, Well-Being (American Psychological Association)Why Parents Need Self-Compassion During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)“Sage advice from an expert…” (Elizabeth Pinsky, MD on Twitter)  Photos of Massachusetts’ first major snowfall of the season (The Boston Globe)
    Episode produced by Sara Rattigan
    Music by Gene Beresin

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    • 27 min
    Managing Family Conflict During Covid

    Managing Family Conflict During Covid

    Since the pandemic began, many families have spent more time together. A lot more time.
    More time together than we’re used to + challenging times + uncertainty about the future + none of the outlets we'd typically use to recharge = a perfect storm for rising family conflict. Conflict between siblings, conflict between kids and parents, conflict between partners or other adults at home – all relationships feel up for grabs. What can we do to help?
    As we launch a new season of ‘Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple,’ Dr. Gene Beresin and our new co-host, Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins, put their shrink caps on to delve into family conflict. They talk about how conflict manifests, strategies to prevent conflict, and ways to diffuse conflict and move towards resolution. Plus, Gene and Khadijah react to a high school student’s comment about conflict during quarantine. Tune in!
    We hope that our conversation helps you to have yours. Do you have your own story about family conflict during COVID-19, or tips that have helped you to manage it? Write to us!
    Media List
    Follow along with the conversation.
    Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH (MGH Clay Center)Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency of Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital (Massachusetts General Hospital)When Your Dog Dies: Reflections on Losing Your Best Friend (MGH Clay Center)Fiddler on the Roof (8/10) Movie CLIP – Miracle of Miracles (1971) HD (Movieclips)2020 Compare Cities Climate: New York, NY vs Boston, MA (BestPlaces)COVID-19 and College Students (MGH Clay Center)There’s been a lot of talk about protecting our kids. But parents, you need support, too. (The Boston Globe)Managing Challenging Behavior in Kids During Stressful Times, featuring J. Stuart Ablon, PhD (MGH Clay Center)Is Your Family Experiencing Greater Conflict During a Time of Self-Quarantine? (The New York Times)What Students Are Saying About Family Conflict In Quarantine (The New York Times)Pandemic 2020 Resources (The Family Dinner Project)You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Live) - OFFICIAL (The Rolling Stones)Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Cleveland Browns, move to 5-0 for just second time (ESPN)Five Parenting Tips for Civility and Coping With the Political Climate (MGH Clay Center)
    Episode produced by Sara Rattigan
    Music by Gene Beresin

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    • 31 min
    Moving Towards Anti-Racism for Our Future Generations, featuring O'Neil Britton, MD

    Moving Towards Anti-Racism for Our Future Generations, featuring O'Neil Britton, MD

    If you’re Black or Brown and growing up in America, it's noticeable from a very young age that something feels off. That’s because, no matter where you go, there is a layered, structural unfairness that plays out. The harmful impact of this unfairness begins to take its toll on even the youngest developing minds.
    On today’s episode of Shrinking It Down, special guest O’Neil Britton, MD, chief medical officer and senior vice president of Massachusetts General Hospital, joins Gene Beresin for a conversation about continued racial inequities in our society, social justice, and our duty to do better for future generations. They discuss how structural racism built in to education and healthcare systems affects kids and families, and think critically about steps we must take – individually and institutionally – to do more in moving towards an anti-racist Boston, and an anti-racist America.
    Thank you for joining in this conversation. Have a question or comment about racism and families? Write to us!
    Media List
    Follow along with the conversation.
    O’Neil Britton, MD (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)K-12 Commissioner Says Some Schools May Continue To Use Distance Learning In The Fall (WGBH, Boston Public Radio)Communities of color continue to be hit hardest in most populated cities (ABC News)COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)11 ways race isn’t real (Vox)More than Tuskegee: Understanding Mistrust about Research Participation (Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved)How we fail black patients in pain (American Academy of Medical Colleges)Metro Areas With Largest African American Population (Black Demographics)New York City Subway Map (Metropolitan Transit Authority)Rapid Transit/Key Bus Routes Map (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)Color Line Persists, In Sickness as In Health (The Boston Globe)The Binary Code of Racism | Tracey Benson | TEDxUNCCharlotte (TEDx Talks – YouTube)A Sociologist Examines the “White Fragility” That Prevents White Americans From Confronting Racism (The New Yorker)MGH Structural Equity 10-Point Plan (MGH Center for Diversity and Inclusion)The legacy of trauma (American Psychological Association)Do Kids Have a Fundamental Sense of Fairness? (Scientific American)How We Talked About Racism With Our Very young Kids: A Child Psychiatrist Mom’s Conversation With Her 5- and 3-Year-Old Sons (MGH Clay Center)Teaching Black History Beyond Slavery and Black History Month (PBS)Teaching for the Test or Teaching for Real Life? (MGH Clay Center)Ibram X. Kendi – BooksThe Constitution of the United States: A Transcription (The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)Five Parenting Rules for Coping With the Current Political Climate (MGH Clay Center)Remembering Civil Rights Icon John Lewis (WBUR, Here & Now)Coronavirus and Family Mental Health (MGH Clay Center)The racial wealth gap (Economic Policy Institute)Black Homeowners Pay More Than ‘Fair Share’ in Property Taxes (PEW)
    Episode produced by Sara Rattigan
    Music by Gene Beresin

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    • 45 min
    Special guest next week!

    Special guest next week!

    We've wrapped up Season 3, but we have a summer episode coming up.
    Next week, we welcome very special guest O'Neil Britton, MD, chief medical officer and senior vice president of Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Britton joins Gene to discuss racism's continued impact on community health and well-being, and to think critically about ways that each individuals, communities, and healthcare systems can do more and do better in moving towards an anti-racist Boston, and an anti-racist America.
    Stay tuned! We'll see you next week.

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    • 53 sec
    Medications: For Better or Worse? featuring Tim Wilens, MD

    Medications: For Better or Worse? featuring Tim Wilens, MD

    Many parents of kids struggling with a mental health issue have concerns – even fears – about medication as a part of treatment. Will it help? Will it hurt? What are the side effects? Today, Dr. Tim Wilens, chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, joins Gene and Ellen to talk about prescribed medications, and other substances used recreationally to ease symptoms: How they can help, how they can harm, and how to know when medication should be considered for your child or teen. Plus, a closer look at medications for treating ADHD. 
    Thank you for joining in this conversation. Have a question or comment about medications and mental health? Write to us!
    Media List
    Tim Wilens, MD, Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Massachusetts General Hospital) George Floyd: protests take place around the world (The Guardian) Today, Explained - “The Talk” (Vox) COVID-19 and College Students, featuring Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD  (MGH Clay Center) When Medicines Affect a Child’s Mind and Behavior (The New York Times) Listen to “ADHD and Substance Use Disorders: How to Recongize and Manage Addiction” with Timothy Wilens, M.D. (ADDitude) A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis on the Effects of ADHD Medications on Functional Outcomes (Journal of Psychiatric Research) The Complicated Relationship Between Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Use Disorders (Current Psychiatry Reports) Further Evidence for Smoking and Substance Use Disorders in Youth with Bipolar Disorder (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry) Familial Influences on Adolescent Substance Use (Psychiatric Times) Q+A: Once You Have Discovered Your Teen is Using Pot, What’s the Next Step? (MGH Clay Center) Recommended Alcohol Guidelines – Moderate (Social) Drinking Plan (Addictions and Recovery) Drug Prevention Tips for Every Age (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) Dr. John A. Renner Jr. honored by MMS with Special Award for Excellence in Medical Service (Massachusetts Medical Society)
    Episode produced by Sara Rattigan
    Music by Gene Beresin

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    • 34 min
    Managing Challenging Behavior in Kids During Stressful Times, featuring J. Stuart Ablon, PhD – Shrinking It Down

    Managing Challenging Behavior in Kids During Stressful Times, featuring J. Stuart Ablon, PhD – Shrinking It Down

    These past months and weeks have put tremendous stress on families across the country, on top of the daily challenges we were already navigating. And under tremendous stress, it can become even harder to regulate our emotions, leaving our kids – and even us – struggling with challenging behavior. 
    In today’s episode, Dr. Stuart Ablon, Director of Think:Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital, joins Gene to talk through strategies to help you and your kids do the best you can right now. A huge part of this is changing our mindset to remember that challenging behavior is about skill, not will – none of us act out on purpose. Kids behave well if they can, and so do parents. Tune in for ways to focus your energy on building new coping skills for the whole family. 
    Thank you for joining in this conversation. Have questions or comments about addressing kids' climate anxiety? Write to us!
    Media List
    THINK:Kids (Massachusetts General Hospital)Helping Kids with Challenging Behavior, featuring Stuart Ablon, PhD – Shrinking It Down (MGH Clay Center)Guide to Mental Health Resources for COVID-19 (Massachusetts General Hospital)George Floyd: What happened in the final moments of his life (BBC News)Calling out racism isn't political. It's our moral imperative. (The Week)The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health (American Academy of Pediatrics)How Racism Harms Children (Harvard Health Blog)Rethinking Challenging Kids - Where There's A Skill, There's A Way (TEDx Talks)Getting It Right: Collaborative Problem Solving for Criminal Justice (National Institute of Corrections)Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators Toolkit: Reducing the Use of Isolation (National Institute of Corrections)The Importance of Sleep for Kids' Emotional Well-being (MGH Clay Center)Calming Your Anxious Mind Through Rhythmic Movement (ACES Connection)Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Wikipedia)Collaborative Problem Solving Trainings (Think:Kids) 
    Episode produced by Sara Rattigan 
    Episode edited by Joshua Eng
    Music by Gene Beresin

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    • 35 min

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