Mental Health Experts

Posted on May 31, 2018

Multiply Your Happy

From preventative services like Youth Mental Health First Aid certification and “Multiply Your Happy” positive psychology tools and seminars to mobile crisis response, counseling and therapy or psychiatric hospitalization if needed, Mind Springs Health is dedicated to serving our local families and has many child and adolescent mental health professionals available to consult with, including psychiatrists Lynda Tenhundfeld, MD and Dr. Nikolai Furmansky, and Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse Kris Vandenberg, DNP.

With the proliferation in our lives these days of smart phones and multiple digital devices, our experts are fielding many parental questions about how screen time impacts our kids’ mental health and the risks for depression and/or suicide. Recent studies do show that there is a correlation, and overuse of the internet and/or excessive gaming has repercussions on cognitive development, social/emotional development, physical and mental health.

mind springs

Heavily restricting kids’ online access is not the answer. There is opportunity for learning and creating, literacy and academic achievement, personal expression and connecting with both other people and social justice movements or causes. What has been found to benefit kids and families is developing a family media use plan, understanding the types of content and sites out there and surrounding you children with protective factors that can decrease the risk of depression and suicide.

Protective factors are simple, connective activities like spending time with your kids both one-on-one and as a family; encouraging face-to-face social interaction and activities like team sports, clubs, hanging out with friends; providing opportunities for exercise, religious beliefs and activities; managing marital or other discord at home and being consistent with expectations, guidelines and discipline. Doing homework is also considered a protective activity!

There are many ways to minimize risk and maximize opportunity for your kids. Have a family conversation about where media fits into life. Determine the purpose and rules for use before acquiring devices for your kids. Create tech-free zones like mealtimes, family gatherings and bedrooms. Warn kids about the importance of privacy and the dangers of online predators. Consider installing apps/software to track accessed content. Keep computers in public areas so use can be overseen. Require kids to share passwords. Perhaps most importantly, remember kids are great mimics so be a good online role model.

There’s more information on kids and mental health on, or visit the local Mind Springs Health offices in Eagle and Vail. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 1.888.207.4004 or text “TALK” to 38255 any time, day or night.

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