Our Blog

News and insight from Franciscan about our philosophy of hope through healthcare and recent issues affecting children’s wellness.

Mental Health

Screen time for kids: setting safe boundaries

Parent and child looking at computer screen, limiting screen time

Technology has become an integral part of our lives, but our increasing need to stay connected is threatening our personal connections with our families and friends. Julie Ogletree, LICSW, a child and adolescent psychotherapist in our Outpatient Mental Health department, talks about the negative effects of screen time and how you can set safe boundaries for your family.

Medical Services Mental Health

Meet our Team: Kat, Residential Counselor and Supervisor Team Lead

Kat is a Residential Counselor and Supervisor Team Lead in our Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) program, providing direct support to children experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties. Care for one kid isn’t the same for another, says Kat, who works with her team to adapt and learn new techniques for all types of children and challenges.

Mental Health Support Services

Meet our Team: Mercy, Environmental Services Aide

Mercedes, Environmental Services Aide

Mercy’s work as an Environmental Services Aide in our Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health program has been known to comfort many of the children, adolescents and teens who come to us for mental health services during times of crisis. “This is just like my house, and I want to do something to make [our patients] feel good,” said Mercy, who has been cleaning patient rooms at Franciscan Children’s for 13 years. “People just need space, love, good communication and a good attitude.”

Mental Health

Meet our Team: Devin, Residential Counselor

Devin, Residential Counselor

Devin is a Residential Counselor in our Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) program, providing direct support to children experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties. “I love to be active and do group games with the kids to introduce the concepts of sportsmanship and taking turns,” says Devin. “You can learn a lot from a simple game of kickball.”

Mental Health

Meet our Team: Ryan, Mental Health Specialist

Ryan, Mental Health Specialist

Ryan is a Mental Health Specialist on Unit 1, our Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health program, providing support and services to children, adolescents and teens experiencing mental health crises. “When you leave the Unit, you’re not cured,” said Ryan who hopes that resilience is one of the main takeaways for patients as they leave. “[Franciscan Children’s is] teaching you coping skills for life.”

Mental Health

Suicide up close: what parents need to know

Mental Health and Suicide, What Parents Need to Know

The popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, recently created a flurry of media and social buzz and brought the topic of teen suicide to the forefront of conversation. In our latest blog post, Dr. Ralph Buonopane, PhD, Program Director of the McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health program (Unit 1), talks about suicide, the warning signs, and what parents need to know.

Mental Health

Meet our Team: Maria, Mental Health Specialist

Mental Health Specialist Maria standing in front of artwork done by inpatient mental health patients

Maria is a Mental Health Specialist on Unit 1, our Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health program, providing support and services to children, adolescents and teens experiencing mental health crises. “Some people just need to be shown how to cope with mental illness” Maria says. “[The staff at Franciscan Children’s is] here to support and help during a crisis.”

Mental Health

NAMI Basics Introduces Caregivers to Care Techniques and Coping Strategies

NAMI Basics Parent Leaders

Victoria Dekoatz is a Project Assistant for the McLean Franciscan Inpatient Mental Health program. If you have questions about the program, please call 617-254-3800 or email us at info@franciscanchildrens.org. To contact the 24-hour referral line for the program, please call 800-333-0338. Franciscan Children’s recently partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to host a free 6… Continue Reading

Mental Health

Pokémon Go: Tips for Parents

Pokemon Go Characters at Franciscan Children's

Has Pokémon Go captured your family’s hearts (and screens) yet? If it hasn’t, you’ve likely heard all about the new augmented-reality gaming app that has quickly become a big part of popular culture. So, what does this virtual phenomenon mean for parents? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you navigate this new Pokémon world.

Mental Health

Extending the Conversation on Pediatric Mental Health

Attendees from the recent PPAL training at Franciscan Children’s

The Parent Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) has given a voice to families and advocated for improved access to mental health services for children, youth and their families since 1991. Recently, Franciscan Children’s had the opportunity to host a PPAL training session focused on Family Engagement, designed to further the conversation and advocacy efforts to improve the quality of care available.

Mental Health Support Services

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues, and has been incorporated into a variety of therapeutic treatment approaches. In mindfulness practice we do our best to “be with” whatever is happening in an aware and self-loving way, often with a focus on present moment body sensations, thoughts, and emotions.