Stories about: Mental Health

Ask the Mediatrician: Should I let my child watch ’13 Reasons Why’?

Boston Children's experts weigh in on whether or not teens should watch 13 Reasons Why.

My daughter is 13. Her friends in middle school have recently become obsessed with the Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why.” I haven’t read the book or watched the show, but have been seeing a few news articles that worry me that the show may be dangerous for kids to watch graphic depictions of suicide, bullying and forced sex. My daughter feels that it is only “drama” (in the teen use of the word), and she’s been feeling left out of the conversation with her friends. Is it ok for me to let her watch it? ~ Just One Reason Why Not, USA

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Experience Journal: Coping with chronic illness

coping with chronic illness in childhoodThe Experience Journals were created to promote healthy coping strategies for children, teens and families facing adversity and chronic illness. They were founded by Drs. David DeMaso and Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich of the Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry, and are a collection of stories and experiences from patients and families about what it has been like to live with a significant physical and/or emotional condition.


These stories represent the collective wisdom of children, teens, parents and health care providers. Here are some of their stories, in their own words.

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Our hopes for 2016

leukemia, remissionHappy New Year from Boston Children’s Hospital! We asked some of our leaders, surgeons and doctors to share their hopes for 2016. We hope that their words bring inspiration, peace and wellness to you for the new year.


Fenwick_Sandra120x150In 2016, I hope — or more accurately, I know — we will work together as a team across our Boston Children’s Hospital to continue to provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art care to children in our community and across the globe, while striving toward the breakthroughs in science, innovation and care that will help us to build a brighter future for everyone.

~ Sandra L. Fenwick, CEO

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5 ways to help prepare your child for a hospital stay

Snell_CarolynWhether it is for an overnight stay or a longer admission, preparing a child for a hospitalization can be stressful for families. Parents often are unsure how much to tell their children in advance and may worry about increasing children’s anxiety by providing too much or the wrong kind of information. They may worry about how to keep children as calm and comfortable as possible while they are in the hospital, or how to keep them connected to family, friends and school during that time.

However, the good news is that medical teams, including mental health providers, who work with hospitalized children on a regular basis, have learned some important lessons about preparing children for a hospital stay.

Hospitalization is challenging for children for a lot of reasons: it involves a loss of privacy and independence, disruption of daily routines and some separation from caregivers. Even for the most resilient and high-functioning children, these are significant stressors.

Providing children with information about what to expect in an age-appropriate and specific manner can help with any anxiety they may be experiencing and reduce their distress. This reduced anxiety and distress can, in turn, be associated with positive outcomes for children, such as improved sleep and decreased pain while in the hospital. It can also improve children’s confidence and correct any misconceptions they might have about the hospitalization process.

These five tips can help you prepare your child.

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