Meet Peggy Prygon and The Statewide Family Healthcare Initiative

December 13, 2012

Delaware Family Voices was recently awarded the Statewide Family Healthcare grant. The purpose of this grant is to address the needs of children and families with mental health needs, and to serve as a catalyst for positive system changes in children’s mental health care.

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Delaware Family Voices also recently hired Peggy Prygon. Peggy joins the DEFV staff with the primary objective of managing the Statewide Family Healthcare grant. As project coordinator, Peggy’s role is to advocate for families of children with healthcare needs, and to help them navigate the healthcare system.

2012DecPeggyImgPeggy is the mother of two children, one of whom has developmental disabilities. Formerly an elementary school teacher with special education experience, Peggy has also worked as a market research assistant and in library circulations.

Here are Peggy’s own words on joining Delaware Family Voices and taking on the Statewide Family Healthcare project:

“I am enthusiastic about my new position at Delaware Family Voices. I am excited to have the opportunity to implement the goals of our Statewide Family Healthcare grant. Our hope is that family driven care will be established, allowing families to share an equal role and partnership with physicians and clinicians in determining what is best for their children and what services will be provided.”

The Statewide Family Healthcare grant will also enable Delaware Family Voices, lead by Peggy, to develop the Delaware chapter of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.

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The Federation’s mission is to ensure that:

  • Families have access to effective and competent care for children with special mental health care needs, and
  • Family driven care is upheld, giving families, parents and caregivers of children with mental health needs a full partnership in the decision making of their children’s care.

Most importantly, the Statewide Family Healthcare Initiative grant will help Delaware Family Voices foster positive system changes for families and children affected by mental health challenges.

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We are excited to have Peggy join Delaware Family Voices. Her presence will enable us to expand our mental health programs and further assist Delaware families. Please join us in welcoming Peggy.

If you have any questions about the Statewide Family Healthcare grant or the Federation of Families program, please contact Peggy at peggy@defv.org or (302) 221-5363.

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Depression and College Students

June 29, 2012

Did you know that nearly 30 percent of college students at some time in the past year reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function?” (per a 2009 nationwide survey by The American College Health Association of college students)

Or that depression can lead to risky behavior such as smoking, drinking to get drunk, or seeking out recreational drugs to assuage these feelings? Or that depression is a risk factor for suicide?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), many people experience the first signs of depression during their college years. Being in college is supposed to be all about the fun, new-found freedom, and the higher education experience. It’s not supposed to be about depression.

That being said, college students experiencing the first signs of depression often don’t know where to turn. They can feel isolated, even embarrassed, and may not even realize what is happening to them. They may think their symptoms are a result of the routine stress that accompanies college. They may not want to seek help for fear of being judged by their peers.

And if left untreated, depression can have a negative impact on a student’s ability to perform academically.

Depression is more than “just” feeling sad and anxious. A person with untreated depression will have symptoms that last for long periods of time, not just a few days, and will interfere with day-to-day activities. Be aware of the symptoms of depression, which include:

  • Sad
  • Anxious
  • Empty
  • Hopeless
  • Guilty
  • Worthless
  • Helpless
  • Irritable
  • Restless

It’s important for you – and your college age children – to know there is help. Consider the following:

  • Most colleges offer free or low-cost mental health services to students.
  • Depression is a medical illness and treatment can be very effective.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of depression can relieve depression symptoms, prevent depression from returning, and help students succeed in college and after graduation.

Read the booklet, Depression and College Students, by the NIMH, to learn more about what depression is, how it affects college students, and available treatment options.


The May Issue of The Voice Is Here!

June 2, 2012

The May 2012 edition of our quarterly newsletter, The Voice, is now available. Featured articles include:

  • The Able Act
  • Meet Senator Carper
  • Medicaid and Managed Care Questions?
  • Parent to Parent
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) App
  • Rec4 All
  • Get The Facts
  • In Memorium – Katie Beckett

Check it out today!

Want to learn more? Let us here your voice in the Comments section below.


Suicide Prevention Resources Added

February 16, 2012

We have added a new page to the resources section of our website. This new page is Suicide Prevention Resources. Currently the page lists information on two programs: Lifelines and Let’s Talk. We will continue to expand this list of resources, so stay tuned.


Suicide Prevention Grant Announcement

August 30, 2011

Delaware Family Voices was included in this joint announcement from our U.S. Senators

Carper, Coons, Carney announce more than $480,000 for youth suicide prevention

Health & Human Services grant will help middle school students

WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney today announced a total of $480,000 in federal funding for the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and its Families for the Delaware State Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Project. The grant will expand the project’s capacity for crisis intervention and response, increase knowledge and awareness of youth suicide and prevention among secondary school teachers, administrators, students, and parents.

“We have a responsibility to give all young people and their parents, teachers and caregivers across Delaware the necessary tools to help prevent this loss of life,” Senator Carper said. “This grant demonstrates our state and nation’s commitment to preventing suicides, and providing high-quality health programs to at-risk, yet often overlooked middle-school aged youth. This important funding for the Delaware Department of Services to Children, Youth and their Families will give teachers, parents and community leaders the resources they need to fill this void of critical life-saving mental and behavioral health services for Delaware’s middle school population.”

“It’s when Delaware’s young people find it hardest to reach out for help that our schools and communities must be prepared to reach out to them instead,” Senator Coons said. “By educating students and adults on the behavior that tends to precede youth suicide, we will help prevent more of our children from tragically taking their own lives. This grant to the Delaware State Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention project will help save lives in our communities.”

“No one should feel like help isn’t available or that their challenges are too large to solve,” Congressman Carney said. “Suicide, particularly by young people, is a very serious issue that impacts every community in our state. This grant will help state agencies, non-profit organizations, school leaders, and young people better understand suicidal behavior and connect those who may be considering suicide with the help and support they need.”

The grant, which is funded through July 2014, will increase the state’s capacity for crisis response, which will directly reach middle school students across the state using an evidence-based intervention known as Lifelines. The system will provide educators and parents with essential information about suicide risk and how to intervene when a youth is suspected to be at risk.

Outreach to adults who work with youth in Delaware’s communities statewide will be provided through the Mental Health Association of Delaware and Family Voices, educating parents, medical practice, and community juvenile justice staff in suicide prevention.

The grant will also support a communications campaign to help increase awareness about suicide prevention with an emphasis on military families.

Suicide prevention awareness and training will be provided to at least 6,250 middle school students and 6,000 adults over a three-year period.