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Healing Trauma Through Art Series: Poetry

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"When we say out loud what is heavy on our heart, we set ourselves up to be freed from our silent suffering." We all need to find a outlet whether it's through music, writing, sports, dance, etc.  Whether you doodle mindlessly on a page or journal for hours, research suggests the act of creating art has powerful healing properties.  Art is healing because it forces you to forge a connection between your mind and your body. Unlike  exercise , which works your body, or  meditation , which clears your mind, art-making accesses both mind and body to promote healing. Every time you sit down to write a song or paint a picture, you’re using mental processes in a physically engaging activity. “ Reading or writing poetry creates a space for empathy, for seeing another person, for bearing witness to our common humanity.” Whether it’s written or spoken, poetry can be a powerful tool to aid in healing. It offers an opportunity for readers, writers, and speakers to feel both heard and

Foster Youth Holiday Care Package

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  IL Youth! Christmas is right around the corner. Our team realizes the holiday season may not be the most exciting time of year for you! We hope that these tips will help you work through the holiday season and maybe even give yourself a chance to enjoy it! Give yourself permission to stay well -  during moments of sadness and negative emotions, allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.  Be extra kind and gentle on yourself, and if you can, apply a healthy dose of self-compassion - talk to yourself like you would your own best friend.  It’s not about changing that way you think, but redirecting negative thinking into new ways through mindful practices. Do not isolate yourself -  Gather with other ILP youth or friends and have a  Friendsgiving! Put yourself at the top of your to-do list -  The expression ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ means to avoid feeling burnout, you also need to replenish.  Try activities like taking a walk or having quiet time. This allows you to ‘fill up y

Special Pandemic Support

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COVID relief for thousands of foster youth has expired. Will lawmakers renew it? The pandemic package, passed in December of 2020, allocated $400 million to expanded relief and benefits for current and former foster youth.  That assistance, however, ended on Sept. 30 and left many former foster youth facing new challenges as the pandemic continues. Read this article to learn more about the bill designed to give States continued flexibility to assist older foster youth. This bill has unanimously passed the House, but still needs to pass the Senate and President to become a law.  

The Impacts of COVID on Foster Youth

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So many people were affected by COVID. Here are some stories to help our youth feel less alone and supported during these hard times.  The following quotes were collected from young people, age 18-24, who experienced foster care and are now struggling through the COVID-19 crisis, often with limited or no family support. Alabama “I do not want to return home to my biological family for many reasons and there aren’t any foster homes available. There are currently 7 people living in this 3 bedroom home and I am sleeping on the couch.”   Alaska “I have a year-old baby and one on the way and due. Struggling to find care for the kids and a good paying job. It is stressful.”   Arizona “I am a graduating college senior. I cannot find a job. I can't move back home to family like many of my peers can. I'm scared of not making rent next month.”   Arkansas “Graduated this year, but no graduation due to Corona virus. I would like to have a therapist again.”   California “I am unable to buy

It's Ok

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Thanksgiving often comes with a great deal of triggers and added stress for many people.  We get it, there's a lot on your mind.  If you're feeling that emotional ache, it's ok, you are not alone.  Reach out and connect with one of our youth consultants!  We're also aware that many people seek the help of friends...but we don't always know what our friends are going through and it can be helpful to talk to someone with the training to address the really BIG emotions that may arise.  Please look into these FREE resources: Warmlines  - a list of  phone numbers people can call when they need someone to talk to or to just be there, whether they are experiencing a crisis or not. Staffed by people with lived experience. Inspire  - Mental Health Awareness on Inspire,  MHA’s Inspire communities provide a place for people with similar interests to support and encourage each other 24/7 online. Inspire is the largest provider of health-specific communities. MHA staff moderat