13 Reasons I Personally Choose NOT to Watch 13 Reasons

img_2794

  1. Picking up the pieces. I work with so many vulnerable youth and one in particular convinced me to not watch.  This young person was incredibly triggered by watching the show and made me realize that I did not need to watch it in order to know the harm it could cause to those who are at risk.
  2. Was I curious?  Like most of you yes, and I do understand that it is compelling for both adults and youth to want to watch the series, but I also chose to not read the book years ago for some of the reasons I am about to discuss. For those who did watch … this is not a criticism, just a choice I want to make for my own reasons.
  3.  I think young people need to know that there are adults who while they may be very curious about the series will still choose to NOT watch . I know this show was NOT created to really help young people , otherwise they would have based the series on solid research around suicide,  how it is portrayed in media and the impact on youth.  I do realize the creators say they consulted with medical experts and had good intentions however, I do think they missed out on some valuable helpful information when it comes to suicide. Stan Kutcher , a Psychiatrist and mental health expert from Dalhousie University whom I respect believes the show could be dangerous to young people who choose to watch it.
  4. I do not need to see the show to be informed and personally I have NO desire to see a child die by suicide (even if it is television). Some things on TV are even too graphic for me.
  5. I choose not to be triggered by watching the show. I have worked with too many vulnerable youth. I know that I need to practice self-care . Watching this series is not going to make me a better parent , School Counsellor or Psychologist . Being able to discuss sensitive topics is essential and I believe I can do so without actually watching this series.
  6. I plan on reading as many articles as I can that give informed information that is helpful regarding the series .   The National Association of School Psychologists gives important information on how to do so responsibly.  Dialoguing and engaging youth in thoughtful conversations around sensitive topics is essential.  Yes, I certainly know a lot and I mean a lot have already chosen to watch and will watch this series , some will do so with their parents most I am guessing will watch on their own. Parents who watch can and will open a conversation that is useful and helpful with their child. I am just saying for me , I want students to know it is OK to not watch if they have not already done so.
  7. I want all people to know that suicide is complex. We are learning more and more about the brain . I am sure new research in the future will give us a better understanding of some of the complexities.
  8. I want students to know the protective factors, risk factors and warning signs of suicide. We have Canada Mental Health come in every year to speak to all our grade 10 High School Students.
  9. I want all students and adults to become more literate when it comes to mental health. All staff at our school are trained in the go to educator series. You might want to consider this for your school.
  10. I want students to know how to have better coping skills.
  11. This show is NOT hopeful . Students need HOPE in as many ways as possible.
  12. Suicide is never a solution. It is an irreversible choice regarding a temporary problem. THERE IS HELP!  If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, talk to a trusted adult, like your School Counsellor or call Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.
  13. School Counsellors across the world (#scchat) work very hard to let others know that they work diligently daily to help and serve students . They do save lives . They may possibly be the unsung hero in a child’s life , but that is not often the way they are depicted on tv or in movies and from what I have read definitely not in this series.   There are also lots of other people who do like parents, teachers, administrators, support staff, coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and friends. I want youth to reach out and keep asking for help until someone they trust makes that difference. WE DO CARE!!!!!

The opinions expressed in this article are mine alone. This is my choice and although I listed 13 reasons I could have listed many more. I do not regret my decision. I know it is best for me.

RESOURCES:

Canada Mental Health responding to Netflix series .

Personal Wellness livebinders : Several topics and resources can be found here .

For Educators Teen Mental Health teenmentalhealth.org

Connect Teen: 24 hour support 403.264 TEEN Link to website.

Kids Help Phone: A space for you. Link to  website

Police / Emergency : 911

Teen mental health Reasons To Live

I love this short video that our wellness team put together for our  Jack Summit .

Celebrating What We Do

As School Counsellors we need to be leaders in celebrating what students do as well as what we do for students.

The past month has been a wonderfully busy month for us at school. It started off with our Who’s Frank #whosfrankyyc bake sale and the elephant in the room.

A big thanks to our Principal and fabulous leader @neilof12 who truly helped spread the anti. bullying message by being Frank.

Then came our Mental Health symposium again run by student leaders who I am always in awe of and so proud of the work they do.

A special thanks to @courosa for joining us virtually and to @brettrothery for sharing his courageous story.

We are also partners with Mount Royal University so I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on sexual violence. Such an important topic !

Next it was Career Speed dating where we had 37 guests share what they were passionate about and the process it took them to get there.

Thanks for coming Verena and bringing your husband. Community members who care!

So School Counsellors celebrate. Share what it is you do because together we are better and can make a difference.

I look forward to you seeing the book we have collaborated in creating Colour Your Way To A Healthy Mind High School Students Creating Change.  Coming soon to BCHS as well as our book made with grade 3’s Adventures of Frank at St. James. We can’t wait to share them with you.

 

Future School Counsellors … If I Can You Can Too

Technology is a very important part of students lives today and will be even more prevalent in the future. School Counsellors can find a way to incorporate exciting new practices into their School Counselling programs. These changes can inspire not only their students , but the School Counsellors themselves.

IF I CAN YOU CAN TOO

I’ve been asked by Dr. Chris Schimmel  @doc_schimmel an outstanding Counselor Educator to present to future School Counsellors on the use of technology. I love technology and think it is essential to future School Counsellors. Why? Because it allows us to connect with students in their space as well as allows us an opportunity to connect to the whole school population. Of course there will always be a place and a space for meeting and connecting with students individually, but it is also extremely important to reach as many students as possible  and that can be done through the use of technology.

Technology also allows us to develop a PLN  with people from all around the world. In my opinion this is one of the best ways to connect with not only School Counsellors who are passionate, but also with other educators who use technology to assist them in improving and reflecting on what it is they do for students. Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmmason  my friend is an amazing leader when it comes to School Counsellors utilizing and creating ideas with technology.

So, University of West Virginia Counseling students this blog post is for you. I look forward to meeting , connecting  and sharing and helping you in the Google Hangout organized by your professor Dr. Chris Schimmel.

The rest of this blog will be about the resources I think School Counsellors can use that make a difference.

#1 is Twitter so I encourage you to get an account today. It will transform your life and the life of your future students if used properly. Twitter is where it all began for me and then ETMOOC changed the way I offered parts of my School Counselling program. A special thanks to Alec Couros @courosa  Ed tech professor extraordinaire and social media expert at the University of Regina. You will want to follow him and his brother George @gcouros a leader and fabulous Administrator on twitter.

Advantages of twitter:

  • It allows for opportunities to connect, collaborate, share and learn from and with people from all over the world.
  • I have used Twitter and Google docs to collaborate with other School Counsellors and educators who have wanted to contribute to Mental Health in High School as well as many other projects.
  • Using the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat as well as some other great chats allows us to connect with School Counselling professionals who are more than willing to help us as we continue to work with and make a difference for students.

School Counsellor chat schedule

  • The instant anytime access allows me to get information or resources that I can utilize in an open manner which not only helps me , but may help others.
  • It also allows us a voice for reaching out to others to let them know that what we do matters.

University of Regina President Vianne Timmons saying School Counsellors Change and Save Lives

This post has had 9,458 people who have seen it in two days. Social media can reach people quickly.

  • If you’d like to start to follow and share on #SCin30 you too can have a voice. We’d love to know what you think as a future School Counsellor. Pose a question and answer it. Then share and we can learn from you.

The most rewarding part of my job as a School Counsellor

  • Twitter allows you as a School Counsellor to share and help other School Counsellors, School Counselling students and educators.

If you want to learn more about School Counsellors observe their twitter accounts. Please follow them using the hashtags above and you’ll get a good sense of how you too can be a positive digital citizen and model this for your future students.

Ask for help. Other School Counsellors and educators are always willing to help you. If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask.

One of the best ways you can find the best tech tools to use as a School Counsellor is to check out SCOPE School Counselor Online Professional Exchange. Spend some time there. It will be worth your time and effort.

#2  Haiku Deck As a School Counsellor you will have to give presentations or you may wish to share ideas or messages with students that you think are important. Haiku Deck @haikudeck is my number one go to app. It has a creative commons license built within the app that allows a visual experience that is like none other.

Below you can see some of my haiku decks that I have used to share with School Counsellors and students.

The power of social media to touch others is absolutely amazing. This simple @haikudeck on Who Matters?  has had 79,769 views . One never knows the impact a simple gesture   can have online and off.

#3 Livebinders I love to use livebinders to organize and share useful School Counselling information. At Bishop Carroll High School we use livebinders to share large amounts of important information with students in a single space.

Here are two of our livebinders co-created by our School Counselling team Erin Luong  @ehordyskiluong ,  Peter Damen  and I   :

  1.  Post Secondary Planning
  2.  This Personal Wellness  livebinder is a work in progress.

#4  Smore

There are so many benefits for using smores. You can find a few ideas here.

Here is our Welcome to Student Services smore. It is an excellent way to share information with your future students , parents and staff. Also it is an amazing tool for gathering ideas to present to students as you can see in our personal wellbeing livebinder section .

#5  iMovie  / YouTube I use iMovie more and more to present to students information that I think will be helpful to them. Dean Shareski , a Canadian educator said once and it has stayed with me video trumps text, so I try to use video as much as possible to create information students can relate to and then upload the iMovie to YouTube. I do this all on my iPhone which makes things very easy for me.

Here are two iMovies ,  one  I made and one our students made as part of our student led wellness team.

Welcome grade 10’s

There Is More To me Than PSA

Here is one I made from haiku deck :

Ten Things You Should Stop Doing: Notice the attribution to Haiku Deck at the bottom of the movie which you should always do . Give attribution that is. That is where people can see where the pictures come from and who to attribute them to.

Ten Things You Should Stop Doing

#6  Blogs

Blogs are a great tool to create, connect and learn from others. For me creating blogs still requires a great deal of effort as I am still learning, but today’s example is a great way of sharing information with others from far away. I started my blog in May of 2013. It has had 15,113 views from 105 countries.

  1. SCOPE blog
  2. Blog roll of School Counselors

#7  Google docs are an amazing way to collaborate.  I collaborate with our students on our Wellness committee  and our Who’s Frank? team. Here are two google docs that you can collaborate on and I hope you do:

  1. Connecting with School Counsellors
  2. Mental Health in High School A Collaborative Project

One Tool At A Time Google Drive and Forms

#8 Pinterest is a fabulous way to collate information and gather information for future use. I love the visual aspect of pinterest.

Pinterest does indeed inspire creativity . I have used it for many things including creating School Counselling bulletin boards as well as for ideas for presentations.

#9  Google hangouts

Again, yet another great way to connect with School Counsellors and educators from across the world.

The Future of School Counselling Google Hangout

Post ETMOOC Google Hangout

For more ideas of why technology is important for you check here.

You can see that I use multiple tools in multiple ways to help me do a variety of things that help not only School Counsellors , but students as well. Three years ago I did not know how to do any of this so …  if I can you can too.

Privacy an Illusion

Too many people think that what they post on line is private. I was one of those people before #ETMOOC almost three years ago. I thought if I put on my privacy settings that I would be protected. Don’t be fooled. Act as if all is public always. I know that it isn’t easy for young people today because the world is watching. It makes me wonder if I would have acted any diffferent in my youth if I knew that. Teachers, School Counsellors and Administrators are increasingly posting on line and they most certainly need to be good citizens online and off. We are role models for all. Take a look at what Russ Sabella had to say during his session on Ethics at #ASCA15

If you scan Dr. Sabella’s QR code you can download the presentation into your dropbox files. if you are not sure how to scan go to the website on the tweet above.

I like the statement JUST BECAUSE YOU CANDOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

One of the many great things I learned in ETMOOC was that you need to create your own digital footprint before anyone else does it for you. So flood the internet with the positives that you do and are.

School Counsellors you can and must be a leader. Google yourself often to make sure your presence is what you want it to be. Set up google alerts to make sure your footprint is positive. You can start today to create your digital identity. By you learning all the ins and outs of posting online you will better understand your students and how you can help them. Will you make some mistakes? I am sure you will, I certainly have, but I feel I am much better prepared today to prepare our students for tomorrow.

You can spread your positive ideas and make a difference in the world and as a result be a role model for students and encourage others to do the same.  So if you don’t know already complete privacy is an ilusion.  I ask you to please make your mark in the world a positive one. Think before you post.

Here are a couple of my haiku decks on Digital Citizenship and privacy:

The Illusion of Privacy

Digital Citizenship lessons

For our High School Students

Now it’s your turn. What will you post today?