Accessing Mental Health Care: Overcoming Obstacles and Asking for Help

What happens after you recognize you need help? Who can you go to to receive support? As important as mental health is, it can be difficult to find a suitable care for a multitude of reasons. In this episode of our the Teen Health Matters podcast, we discuss the importance of accessing adequate mental health care with Rebecca Dietz and Ash Kim on Dragon Digital Radio.

Finding Belongingness: Creating Connections and Fostering Hope

Throughout our lives, we deal with constant change and have to adapt to new environments. Between all of the sounds of life, it can be hard to feel heard. How can we cope with isolation? What is our community doing to promote belongingness? Join us for a conversation with Kristen, Chloe, and Michelle to hear about their personal stories of belongingness on Dragon Digital Radio!

It’s Ok to Ask: How to Have a Conversation About Mental Health

It can be hard to talk about feelings like sadness, hopelessness, and depression, but these emotions are natural parts of being human. How do you have tough conversations about mental health and suicide? Where can you go to get support for yourself or a loved one who might be struggling? Join us for a conversation with Ashlyn McNeely and Denise Giuliano of NAMI Howard County to hear about one personal journey, and how NAMI can help. Listen to Teen Health Matters on Dragon Digital Radio.

Let’s Talk About Sexual Health!
It’s often hard to talk about sex with a partner, parent, or healthcare provider, but it is essential that young people are empowered to talk about and take control of their sexual health.  Join us for a discussion with the Howard County Health Department’s Reproductive Health Program Supervisor Jenna Mermer and student intern Emma Schreier as we talk about sexual health, things to think about before you have sex, consent, safer sex, birth control, and a walkthrough of a visit to the reproductive health clinic. Listen to Teen Health Matters on Dragon Digital Radio.  

Coping, COVID, College, and Changes 

Although we are working through a pandemic, students still face the “big life changes”. We are experiencing a drastically different college application process than in past years and this certainly brings about newly felt anxiety and worry for the upcoming months. How can youth balance financial, academic, and socioemotional expectations? As senior year comes to a close, how can we remain motivated while feeling burnt out and ready to move on from this hectic environment? In this podcast, two Howard County Health Department interns will be interviewing a University of Maryland freshman and Assistant Director for Student Support Services at Howard Community College about tips on maneuvering the transition to college during COVID-19 and maintaining emotional wellness. Listen to Teen Health Matters on Dragon Digital Radio. 

Instagram: @HoCoStrength

Keeping Connections

Although we are in isolation, we don’t have to be disconnected from one another. In this episode, we will provide tips for teens on how to stay socially connected while physically distant. You will hear about creative ways to communicate, join clubs, as well as how other students are feeling in these times. Listen to Teen Health Matters on Dragon Digital Radio.

Instagram: @HoCoStrength

Mental Health and the Transition to College

The first year of college can be overwhelming for many reasons, even without the added uncertainties of COVID-19.  Join us for a discussion with Dr. David Tirpak, Associate Director of Career Services at Howard Community College, Katie Rees, a rising sophomore at University of Maryland College Park, and Simon Guteng, Jr., a rising sophomore at University of Maryland Baltimore County on strategies to prioritize your mental health during this transition.  Listen to Teen Health Matters on Dragon Digital Radio.

Instagram: @HoCoStrength / Instagram: @TeenHealthMatters_ / Facebook: @HoCoStrength

Have an Honest Conversation: Talking about Mental Health with Parents

Do you feel like mental health is a taboo topic? Do you have difficulty talking to your parents about your feelings & experiences? Join Teen Health Matters, where student interns share their insight, experiences, & tips on how to talk to parents/adults about mental health!

Instagram: @HoCoStrength / Instagram: @TeenHealthMatters_ / Facebook: @HoCoStrength

Strategies for Coping with Social Distancing

Juli Murray of Inquiring Minds, LLC & Cris from Dragon Digital Radio talk about strategies for coping with social distancing & managing health anxieties. 

Sources of Strength Peer Leadership 

Howard County Health Department behavioral health staff & student interns discuss the new peer-leadership program, Sources of Strength! Join us to hear more about how the program works to decrease suicide, substance use, & bullying by sharing messages of Hope, Help, & Strength in the community!
Instagram: @HoCoStrength / Instagram: @TeenHealthMatters_ / Facebook: @HoCoStrength

Finding your Sources of Strength 

Juli Murray of the Healthy Minds Podcast & Inquiring Minds, LLC invited Kayla Blasher-Burch to discuss the mental health initiatives that are occurring in Howard County. Kayla is the Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Howard County Health Department & an Adult Advisor for Sources of Strength, a program that encourages peer leaders to share Hope, Help, & Strength-based messages in the community. Listen in to hear more about the program, protective factors for mental health, & how to find your own sources of strength. 

Instagram: @HoCoStrength / Facebook: @HoCoStrength

Instagram: @InquiringMindsLLC

Episode 23- Intimate Partner Violence: Myths, Misconceptions, and Facts

March 26, 2019

Join us for a conversation with Maya Carey, Community Engagement Coordinator at HopeWorks of Howard County, as she discusses the myths, misconceptions and facts about intimate partner violence.  She also shares HopeWorks efforts to promote health relationships for teens.



Episode 22- #FridayReads: Books You Want To Read

Some of the best books in 2018 were middle grade and young adult novels.  Join us for a conversation with Lori Conforti from Howard County Library System as she shares information about the most popular books of for tweens and teens in 2018, book recommendations and much more!


Episode 21- Adulting 101: How to Manage Money and Be Fiscally Responsible As a Teen

Have you ever wondered how to save money? When should I start? Join us for a conversation with Roy Yenoli from Making Change as he shares information to help you manage your money and plan for your financial future.

Episode 20- A New Approach to Sex Education: AMAZE

Join us for a conversation with Dan Rice, Director of Training at Rutgers University as he shares information about which creates age-appropriate animated videos for adolescents ages 10 to 14 and offers their parents and educators trusted resources to open lines of communication about important sexual health topics—in a fun, engaging format they will want to share with their peers.

Episode 19-Coping with Back to School Stress

It’s the end of summer and time to start a new school year!  Join us for a conversation with Kimberly Gillette, LCSW-C  as she shares tips to help your transition into a new school year.

From the Howard County Health Department’s latest podcast series The Doctor Is In: Teen Mental Health and Suicide

The Howard County Health Department just released another episode of the podcast “The Doctor Is In”. In this episode, Dr. Rossman talks to the mother of a Howard County girl who died by suicide, and to the lead clinician from Grassroots’ Mobile Crisis Team about teen mental health, suicide, available resources and ways to help. Click the link to check it out!

Episode 18- Teen Health Matters Debunking Myths Around STI’s

Dr. Jackie Douge welcomes in Dr. Melissa Houston and Oakland Mills Senior Jacqueline to discuss the truths and myths about STI’s. A must listen episode, come learn with us!

Episode 17- #MeToo

The recent #MeToo social media campaign has increased the awareness of sexual harassment, violence, and assault.  But how do these issues impact you or your friends? Join us for this episode as we have a conversation about this important issue and why it’s relevant to teens.   Our guests will be Heidi Griswold, Community Engagement Coordinator, HopeWorks, Brittany Eltringham, Community Engagement Coordinator, HopeWorks and Abi Balkin, Youth Leadership Project Member at HopeWorks.

Episode 16- A Conversation about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at HCPSS

Join us for a conversation with local changemaker and leader Dr. Kevin Gilbert, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) as he shares his vision for meeting the physical, social and academic needs of HCPSS students.

Episode 15- Social Media & Body Image

There’s no denying it.  Media is a huge influence in our lives from what we eat to what we wear.  But it’s also affecting how we think and feel about ourselves.  Join us as we discuss how social media affects our thoughts and images of ourselves.  Our special guests will be Dr. Meghan Moreno, Adolescent Medicine Specialist, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rachel Ma, Student, River Hill High School, and Chidera Umeozulu, Student, River Hill High School.

Episode 14- Tattoos, Piercings, and Scarification

More teens and young adults are getting tattoos and piercings, but there are things to consider.  During this episode of Teen Health Matters, we’ll have a conversation with our special guest, Dr. Cora Collette Bruener, Professor Department of Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine Division & Adjunct Professor Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, about the health and social risks associated with body modification.

Episode 13- Challenges and Opportunities Facing Howard County Teens Today

Teens are dealing with issues that are different than previous generations.  How are they coping? What resources are available to help? Join us as we discuss these issues and more.  Our special guests will be Heidi Griswold, Community Engagement Coordinator at HopeWorks, Valerie Harvey Adolescent Resource Specialist at Office of Children and Families, Kori Jones, Youth and Teen Specialist at Howard County Local Children’s Board, and Colleen Nester, Adolescent Health and Injury Prevention Supervisor.

Episode 12-Distracted Driving and Teens with Dr. Lahila-Carina Ojeda

Did you know that distracted driving can increase your risk for an accident? Join us as we discuss how to prevent distracted driving and keep you safe on the road.  Our special guest will be Dr. Lahila-Carina Ojeda, Pediatrician and Preventive Medicine Resident at University of Maryland.

Episode 11- The Opioid & Prescription Drug Epidemic with Dr. Roe Rodgers-Bonaccorsy and Seante Hunt

Many opioid and prescription drug overdoses have become an epidemic.  Join us as we discuss the epidemic and what’s being done to prevent it.  Our special guests will be Dr. Roe Rodgers-Bonaccorsy, Bureau of Behavioral Health Bureau Director, Howard County Health Department and Seante Hunt, Opioid Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Bureau of Behavioral Health, Howard County Health Department.

Episode 10- What to Know about College before You Start with  Isa Carunungan, Amanda Raid, Malcolm Douge, and Jared Baldwin

Many of you are getting ready to go to college in the Fall.  There may be a lot of emotions-from the excitement about being away from home to the nervousness because you’re finally becoming an adult. But what if you knew what college was really like before you started and knew that others felt the same way?  Join us as we discuss what it’s like in college and get some insights from college freshman who were just in your shoes a year ago. Our special guests will be Isa Carunungan, Amanda Raid, Malcolm Dougé, and Jared Baldwin.


Episode 9- Get the Facts: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) with Dr. Maria Trent, Dr. Jocelyn Ronda, Andrea Raid and Oluwatosin Olateju

Did you know that about half of sexually active teens and young adults will get an STI before their 25th birthday – and many of them will have no idea? If you’re having any kind of sex, you should think about ways to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Join us as we discuss what teens need to know about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Our special guests will be Adolescent Medicine Specialists Dr. Maria Trent, MD, MPH and Dr. Jocelyn Ronda, MD and Andrea Raid, RN, Director of Clinical Services, Howard County Health Department and Oluwatosin Olateju, MS, BSN, RN, CHN Program Supervisor- Reproductive Health & HIV, Howard County Health Department.

Episode 8- Stress: How Much is Too Much & How to Deal With It with Dr. Jeff Bostic

School can result in a lot of pressure between the rigorous course work, sports, and after school activities.  Anxiety about upcoming tests and report cards, and even maintaining a social life,  is enough to keep anyone up at night.  With all the things that you do, stress and anxiety should be one less thing to worry about. Join us as we focus on stress and its impact on teen’s daily life.  We’ll discuss how stress effects teens, how much is too much and how to deal with it.  Our special guest will be Dr. Jeff Bostic, MD, Child Psychiatrist

Episode 7- Teens & Vaccines with Beth Amstad

Teens have a lot going on and are often together in close quarters, increasing their exposure to illness and putting them at risk for quite a few diseases.  Although, vaccines have received some bad press in recent years, they are important because they protect people from disease. Join us as we focus on the importance of vaccines in preventing disease and which vaccines are recommended for teens. Our special guest will be Beth Amstad RN, MS, Immunization Supervisor, Howard County Health Department.

Episode 6- Sleep: How Much do Teens Need? with Dr. Tyish Hall Brown

As teens, there are many factors working together to wreak havoc on your sleep schedules placing you at risk for chronic sleep deprivation and the health risks that come along with it. Join us as we focus on the importance of sleep to teen’s health. Our special guest will be Dr. Tyish Hall Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Co-Director, Program for Sleep and Trauma Research, Howard University College of Medicine.  

Episode 5- What’s Up with E-Cigarettes with Dr. Elizabeth Menachery

E-cigarettes have surpassed cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among teens, but the health effects are just as bad! Join us as we focus on the health effects of smoking and discuss a new trend: e-cigarettes. Our special guest will be Dr. Elizabeth Menachery, Medical Director, Howard County Health Department. 

Episode 4- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with Dr. Rajender Gattu

With more youth suffering traumatic brain injury (TBI) than ever before, teens should be aware of and watch for warning signs of concussions and other head injuries. Our special guest will be Dr. Rajender Gattu, Pediatric Emergency Medical Doctor.

Episode 3-Depression: What It Is & How to Fight It with Dr. Larry Wissow

Teenagers face a host of pressures that may cause them to feel intense sadness or hopelessness. Join us as we focus on the growing issues of depression in teens. Our special guest will be Dr. Larry Wissow, MD, Child Psychiatrist.

Episode 2- Mindfulness Techniques with Dr. Heather Alexander

Being a teen can be stressful. Join us as we discuss mindfulness as a way to deal with stress. Our special guest will be Dr. Heather Alexander, MD, Howard County Pediatrician. 

Episode 1- Healthy Relationships with Dr. Maria Trent

What is a healthy relationship? Join us as our special guest, Dr. Maria Trent, MD, MPH, Adolescent Medicine Specialist, helps answer this question.