Grief is often pushed aside quickly in American culture.  You lose a loved one, you have a funeral or memorial service within a week and people go back to their regular schedules. I’m sure most people reading this have lost one or many loved ones in their lifetime. Do you remember the “fog” you were in? Do you remember the disbelief you felt that the person died? Some people go into shock which is a way for the body to protect itself. These experiences are normal when a death occurs. Then comes...

There are infinite ways to practice mindfulness. Well-known mindfulness practices include breathing exercises, sensory activities, meditation and mindful movement like yoga. But any activity can be made mindful by “paying attention, on purpose” to it and maintaining non-judgmental thoughts about the activity. My strong interest and belief in the power of mindfulness for families stem from my role as a child therapist with CHRIS 180’s School-Based Mental Health Department and as a parent myself. I know the value of doing mindful practices together to model the behavior we want to see...

Almost two years from the day they first arrived at CHRIS 180’s Gateway to Adoption program, brothers Logan and Layne were adopted into their forever family! Sibling relationships can provide support, love, and stability, but siblings in foster care often experience separation. The data tells us that as many as 75% of siblings in foster care are placed apart from their brothers and sisters. Separated siblings struggle to adapt to new situations, may experience more behavioral and emotional challenges and perform more poorly in school than siblings placed together in the...

Home for neighborhood matriarch will provide stability for young mothers CHRIS 180, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing trauma-informed holistic health services to children, youth and families, held a groundbreaking ceremony to announce the launch of a project to stabilize families on Atlanta’s Westside. CHRIS 180 partnered with the MicroLife Institute to construct a single-family home in the Washington Park neighborhood for Deborah Glover, a 71-year-old woman who has lived in the area for decades, in a shed without water or electricity. Glover connected with CHRIS 180 through its Community Health...

Michelle’s Story When Michelle lost her housing, a friend told her about CHRIS 180 and our Drop-In Center. The Drop-In Center provides a range of free services for youth ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness. These services include meals, life coaching, job and housing assistance and walk-in therapy sessions. But Michelle was hesitant. She had just come out as a trans woman and worried about reaching out for help and being met with judgment. However, when Michelle arrived at the Drop-In Center for the first time, she was surrounded by a welcoming...

Children are small people with very big emotions. Although they can show you what they are feeling, most children have yet to attach a name to their feelings and have not learned healthy ways of dealing with their emotions. As children grow, they face many challenges and obstacles. Therefore, it is important to promote healthy social and emotional development by helping children identify and name their feelings, and sharing methods to help them cope effectively.   Why should I promote emotional awareness in my child early?  Promoting early emotional awareness helps your child...

Valancia Abdullah considers it her calling to care for youth who some may think of as “challenged.” After working with special needs students at Atlanta Public Schools, in 2000, she joined CHRIS 180’s foster care program. She serves as a Resident Assistant. The kids affectionately refer to her as Ms. Val. “The RA to me is just like being a mom in care: we have to make sure their needs are met,” Abdullah shared. “They look up to us. They’re learning from us. Kids who are grown now have come back...

Since early spring, many of us feel disconnected from our friends and family because we have been unable to spend time with them. And while it is important for us to practice social distancing, the price is high when it comes to the connection many of us crave. This challenge is made more difficult around the holidays when we are used to gathering with old friends and have opportunities to make new ones at holiday parties and outings. What Makes a Friendship? According to the author of We Should Get Together: The...