Love Leadership and School Counselling

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YOU are a leader ! What you say and do does matter .Technology can assist you in being an amazing leader who reaches the whole school population.

Technology is also 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 your students , but they can help and inspire YOU the School Counsellor as well.

I hope you enjoyed my presentation on LOVE LEADERSHIP and SCHOOL COUNSELLING for the ATA Council for School Counsellors Conference. This blog is written just for you so you can look back and enjoy the resources , but I know if you were an attendee this all makes much more sense to you and you got a few freebies besides. Thanks for being there. I appreciate you giving of your valuable time.

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If I can learn to use technology as a seasoned School Counsellor, you can too.  I love technology and think it is essential to present and 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 @ecmmason my friend is an amazing leader when it comes to School Counsellors utilizing and creating ideas with technology and you were lucky enough to connect with her at this conference. Check out her SCOPE page if you haven’t already.I am so happy she is at this conference.

So, conference participants enjoy.  Meeting , connecting , sharing and helping you is what I hope to do to pay it forward for all that has been given to me. The rest of this blog will be about the resources I think you as School Counsellors can use to 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.

Check out this post by University of Regina President Vianne Timmons saying School Counsellors Change and Save Lives click here.

This post has had thousands of  people who have seen it. Social media can reach people quickly.

  • 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 you saw above #scchat #sccrowd and #escchat . 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.
The power of social media to touch others is absolutely amazing. This simple @haikudeck on Who Matters? has had over 80,000 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 :

Post Secondary Planning here
This Personal Wellness livebinder here

#4 Smore

There are so many benefits for using smores. Check out my smore with resources on LEADERSHIP here.

#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.

 

 

#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 over 15,000 views from over 105 countries.

SCOPE blog
Check out the 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.

#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

The Future of School Counselling

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.

Be the leader you HOPE others will BE.

Lessons from Leo

One of my all time favourite educators and authors is Leo F Buscaglia. I started Hug Days in my school district because of Leo in the days when it was ok to hug students. I still believe it is ok to hug students , recognizing boundaries and always being respectful of students and their boundaries.

What did I learn from Leo that I still think applies to students and myself today? Here are some of the lessons i learned from the amazing Leo Buscaglia:

  • Be passionate
  • Love learning , love life, love yourself, love …

“Perhaps love is the process of leading you gently back to yourself” Saint -Exupery

  • Make yourself into the best person you can be, because you are all you have
  • Schools should be the most joyful places in the world
  • Be spontaneous
  • Live fully alive

“Oh God , to have reached the point of death,only to have found that you have never lived at all ” Don Quixote

  • Leo wanted us to live fully to enjoy every single moment of life

from another Leo more wisdom comes …

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful,
to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.
It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something,
to have made some difference that you lived at all.”

Leo Rosten

  • Accentuate what is right instead of focusing on what is wrong
  • Feel free to make mistakes and learn from them
  • Believe in change
  • Every time we learn something new we become something new
  • You control your destiny
  • Stop looking for or striving for perfection
  • Life isn’t always easy, but rise to the challenge to face life head on

“Everyone needs at least one person  to love them no matter what ” Leo Buscgalia

  • Be that someone for someone
  • You need a path with a heart
  • Be real , be you
  • There is so much more to know, to be, to do

A favorite question Leo liked to ask was … If you only had five days to live, how would you spend them? With whom? 

We need to always reflect on this and live … fully live.

  • Death teaches us what love is
  • Ask yourself “What are YOU giving to life?’

If you have never read Leo Buscaglia’s books do it now.The lessons are timeless. These lessons are from Living, Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia. Stay tuned for more lessons from Leo.

Career Speed Dating

On Tuesday, BCHS had its first ever Career Speed Dating event. It was a fabulous event for students and guests alike.  Although the idea was conceived last year we did not make it happen until this year. We decided to invite our alumni as well as parents for our first of hopefully many Career Speed Dating events.

CAREER SPEED DATING

THIS YEAR MARCH 4th 2016.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

You will have 5 minutes to share your story.

  1. Introduce yourself and share what you do in your career/vocation.
  2. Ask students to introduce themselves.
  3. Tell students what you are passionate about in your career.
  4. Tell them the skills they need to be successful at work – now and in the future. What attributes do you seek in our employees and co-workers?
  5. If time allows, tell them about the process you took to get where you are (education, career advancement, training, job changes).
  6. If you are a Bishop Carroll graduate, please explain how the self-directed learning model impacted your work life (i.e. the relationship with your TA, independent study, flexible scheduling, and continuous progress).
  7. Thank you for sharing.

The day will begin with student tours at 9:00 a.m., ending at 9:50 a.m. If you are interested in the tour, please join our student tour guides in the gym.

10:00 a.m.                         CAREER SPEED DATING begins in the gym. At the end of each 5 minute interval a bell will inform YOU to move one person to their right. You will repeat your story with 10 different students, finishing at approximately 11:00 a.m.

11:00 – 11:05 a.m.            Please find your name tag, placed on the wall located on the outskirts of the gym.

11:05 – 11:30 a.m.            QUESTION PERIOD. Sit at your designated place to be available for questions. This is an opportunity for any student to learn from your diverse experiences by posing additional questions or who did not get to visit with you during the speed dating component.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.    Lunch is provided in the gym.

Here is an overview of the day:

The day began with student tours at 9:00 a.m., ending at 9:50 a.m. Student tour guides met our guests in the gym.

9:50 -10:00 All guests were asked to sit in the circle that was already set up and given an explanation of the morning as well as a warm welcome by our Principal Mr. O’ Flaherty who was instrumental in making this day happen.

10:00 a.m. CAREER SPEED DATING began in the gym. At the end of each 5 minute interval a bell informed the adults ( originally we thought the students should move , but felt it would be better at the time if the adults moved as they were there to give instructions as to what to do).

An explanation was given to all guests 5 min. prior to event, to move one person to their right. Guests repeated their story with 10 different students, finishing at approximately 11:00 a.m.

(When our guests arrived they were asked to locate their names on the outskirts of the gym for the  11:00 o’clock Q and A period.)

11:00 – 11:05 a.m. Guests went to their designated chair located on the outskirts of the gym.

11:05 – 11:30 a.m. QUESTION PERIOD.Guests sit or stood at their designated place to be available for questions. They were told that this was an opportunity for any student to learn from their diverse experiences allowing students to pose any additional questions or to provide an opportunity for those who did not get to visit with them during the Speed Dating component to do so. This also allowed those students who signed up, but did not get a chance to do the 10:00 o’clock Speed Dating component to come into the gym and ask anyone any questions they might have.
11:30 a.m – 12:15 p.m. Lunch was provided in the gym for GUEST Speakers

How did we make this day happen?

1. A letter went out to all parents inviting them to participate by email. We can send out a mass email to all parents in our community.

2. Our staff was asked if they could invite alumni.

3. A mass phone message went out to all inviting parents to the event.

4. Once we had a list, our fabulous Admin. Head Secretary Pam sent out a letter to all guests telling them what the day would look like and some hints on how to approach their talk.

BISHOP CARROLL HIGH SCHOOL

CAREER SPEED DATING Letter 

November 18, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

You will have 5 minutes to share your story.

  1. Introduce yourself and share what you do in your career/vocation.
  2. Ask students to introduce themselves.
  3. Tell students what you are passionate about in your career.
  4. Tell them the skills they need to be successful at work – now and in the future. What attributes do you seek in our employees and co-workers?
  5. If time allows, tell them about the process you took to get where you are (education, career advancement, training, job changes).
  6. If you are a Bishop Carroll graduate, please explain how the self-directed learning model impacted your work life (i.e. the relationship with your TA, independent study, flexible scheduling, and continuous progress).
  7. Thank you for sharing.

The day will begin with student tours at 9:00 a.m., ending at 9:50 a.m. If you are interested in the tour, please join our student tour guides in the gym.

10:00 a.m.                         CAREER SPEED DATING begins in the gym. At the end of each 5 minute interval a bell will inform YOU to move one person to their right. You will repeat your story with 10 different students, finishing at approximately 11:00 a.m.

11:00 – 11:05 a.m.            Please find your name tag, placed on a chair located on the outskirts of the gym.

11:05 – 11:30 a.m.            QUESTION PERIOD. Sit at your designated place to be available for questions. This is an opportunity for any student to learn from your diverse experiences by posing additional questions or who did not get to visit with you during the speed dating component.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.    Lunch is provided in the gym.

5. Our amazing Head Caretaker Cam and team set up all the chairs ( we had to order chairs from downtown ) in gym the way we thought might work. ( I drew him a bad diagram, but he set things up the way he knew would work and I totally knew he would do it perfectly and of course he did)

6. Pam ordered lunch and helped decorate for all our guests. She also made all the name tags and signs. She is outstanding!

7. Student tour guides had to sign up in Student Services.

8. Students wanting to attend the event had to sign up in Student Services as well.

9.  Erin ( my amazing sidekick counsellor )  figured out how to use the timer so that it rotated automatically , and used an iPad to project it on the screen in the gym. You can see it in the video. Our Principal Neil used the mic. to give our presenters a 20 sec. warning when their time would be up to move on to the next student.

10. Our Caretaker Cam also had coat racks set up for all guests. He is so smart, I would have never thought about that detail.

11. Our Art teacher provided us with some great student Art to decorate our gym.

12. Our Career Practitioner had Career Booklets and websites available for our students.

13. Krystyna, our Admin. Assistant made posters to put up around the school.

14. Our Vice Principal Ralene helped with all the details of putting up signs and clean up etc.

15. Our Lisa from Student Services checked off all the students names and greeted students as they arrived at the gym doors.

16. Erin, Neil and I greeted and talked to all the guests as they arrived.

Many hands really do make for light work. I really am so grateful to all for the help in getting ready for this event. I am also grateful to our Phys. Ed department for giving up their space ( we did need to find a date that would work to book the space to hold this event ).

I loved this day and I know students and participants did as well. Here is a Career Speed Dating Haiku Deck that I made which enabled me make the iMovie that I made from my phone (that you can see above on YouTube) . It is important to share what we did with staff and students who were unable to come , so that next time they too can participate. As well I always like to share any ideas with my fellow School Counsellors so that they too can use the idea if they like it and I hope you do because it had such a positive impact on students and presenters . One of the many benefits of this day is that participants shared their winning approach to work and life. The participants got to meet other parents in our community as well as network and make a difference for students. It was an amazing day one which we will repeat for sure. Will we make changes for next time? Yes, of course there are a few things . We will meet as a team to discuss some minor tweaks that could make the day even better. We will also send out a feedback form for participants and incorporate their thoughts and ideas.

Are you now ready for your own Career Speed Dating event?  I hope so ! Enjoy!

 

Here is a list of the Careers that were represented:

Lab administrative assistant  Computer Science Department U of C
Professor at the Computer Science Department U of C
Chartered Accountant – Talisman Energy
DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE AND PROCUREMENT
CHRP, Sr. Human Resources Consultant; MillerNet HR Solutions
Owner/operater Insurance and Financial Services Agency
Speech-language Pathologist
Entrepreneur or a socialpreneur
Police Officer
Director and Talisman Energy Chair of Environmental Sustainability Institute for Environmental Sustainability
PWC | Director, Consulting & Deals
Chemical Engineer
Partner, BD&P Law Firm
Human Resources-Fluor Canada
Communications Specialist
Chemical Engineer
U of C Student
JVR Landscape, Landscape Industry Certified Manager and Technician
Sr. Counsel – Legal Dept. – Husky Energy
Crown Prosecutor – Specialized Prosecutions – Organized Crime Unit
Senior Processing Geophysicist – Shell Canada
Coanda Research Chemical Engineer
Business Owner, Plumbing Company
Material Manager – Oil & Gas
Sr. VP – Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
VP Trading & Asset Optimization – Transalta Corporation
Engineer Marketer
Pres. & CEO REC Media Inc.
Parent
Controller
Andylan Capital Strategies Ltd.
VP Bus Dev. – Seko Construction
Owner – Pete the Plumber/Electrician
Broadcaster
Family Physician
Engineer
Accountant – Schlumberger
Managing Director – Scenarios to Strategy Inc. (owner)
Career Banker and Financial Advisor
Business Prof – UofC
Family Lawyer
CA-CIRP Sr. VP – Hardie & Kelly
Ensign Energy
Insurance Broker Oil & Gas
McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. – Manager of Landscape Architecture
Physician
IT Program Manager
Manager Technical Services, Facilities Waste Processing Division
Psychologist
Engineer
Physician

Lesson #16 Children of Alcoholics … School Counsellors Can Help

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Don’t Talk … Don’t Trust … Don’t Feel a saying coined by Dr. Claudia Black a leader in the field of addictions

Lesson#16 We can make a difference

 Children of Alcoholics Haiku Deck cc image slide 3 photo by inkshots

According to the study done by Jane E Mc Namee and David R Offord in 1991 there are approximately one million children of alcoholics living in Canada. No doubt a lot more today. In the US some stats  say one in five children are living with alcoholism.

Children of alcoholics often keep their parents drinking a secret, but teachers and school counsellors can often spot that something is wrong and reach out to these students. Sometimes students show up in our offices sad and scared because mom or dad had been drinking on the weekend and they are feeling helpless and hopeless. Here are some signs that children may be living with alcoholism.

As school counsellors we can identify these children using CAST Children of Alcoholics Screening Test. You as a School Counsellor should not underestimate your ability to have a lfe long impact on children who are living with a loved one with an addiction. You may be the first person this child’s life that they have felt safe enough to share what is happening in their life. You may be the one to give them permission to share openly what they have been feeling and going through. This can be life changing.

Children of Alcoholics need to know:

  • That they are not alone
  • That pouring out or hiding their parent’s alcohol does not help
  • That their parents drinking is not their fault (they did not cause it, they can’t control it and they can’t cure it)
  • That they are not doomed … they can get help and do not have to repeat the pattern themselves (children of alcoholics are at a higher risk for alcoholism and other mental health concerns)
  • There is help for them (they can talk to you the school counsellor) you care
  • They can go to Alateen
  • They do not have to be ashamed (alcoholism is a disease)
  • Alcoholics can get help
  • There is hope and help for them and their family
  • They can learn to be happy and healthy no matter if their parent stops drinking or not
  • They can survive and thrive
  • There is hope, no matter what their situation

You may be the one safe person they can turn to make a difference in their lives. What you say and do does matter.

You can refer them to Alateen in your area.

Find out more .

Here is one teen’s story:

I was so scared at home. I never knew if my dad would be drinking when I got home from school.  Actually I never knew what to expect. Mom was always threatening to leave dad and all four of us (my brother and sisters) would often line up at the door to leave, but we never did. None of my teachers ever knew that there was alcoholism in my home. They often told me how lucky I was that I must have had great parents. I guess that was because I behaved so well in school, trying to be the perfect child so no one would find out my secret. I was embarrassed that my dad drank too much and I was also angry a lot. I was angry with both my mom and my dad. Sometimes I was angrier with my non- alcoholic mom because I did not understand why we stayed and put up with the drinking. I saw her reaction to his drinking and that had an impact on me. I would also throw my dad’s alcohol down the sink or hide it around the house so he could not find it. Little did I realize that doing that was making me sick emotionally. I often felt irritable and unreasonable, but I never knew why. I was in denial about alcoholism being in my family. Here is a journal entry I wrote in the first few weeks I decided reluctantly  to go to Alateen, because I thought it was their problem, not my problem.

“ I wish I could work out my problems. I hope Alateen will help. Mom really doesn’t care about anyone but herself (at least that what she’s pretending to do). I think she needs me as much as I need her, but how do we solve this problem? I depend on mom and dad. I am not mature. I get mad at every little thing without wanting to. I hope Alateen will help with this too. I would try to help myself if I knew how. I remember thinking about killing myself, but I would never go through with it because I was too scared and I did not want to really.”

I’m so grateful I did not go through with harming myself because Alateen did work. Actually my whole family got help. I learned everything I could about how alcoholism affects families and things slowly, but surely got better and better. I recognize that alcoholism affects everyone in the family each to a different degree. Today I look for the good in everyone and everything.  I recognize that I don’t know where I would be today if it were not for Alateen. If you are a teen living with a parent who drinks too much Alateen can help. Reach out!


Children of alcoholics can be resilient and you can help them develop these skills. As a School Counsellor you can be the one and only person that child turns to . You can make a difference!

 

I’m Getting To Know You…

You want me to do what? Really?IMG_4429

Thanks to Jeremy Inscho  @jeremyinscho  for making me think about some random thoughts this Christmas . Feel free to join in PLN. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 Random Facts About Myself

  1. I love jazz.
  2. I’ve played lacrosse since I was about 12 years old. I still play lacrosse at 55. Here is a video I made:
  3. I started painting in my 50’s using oils, acrylics and watercolour.
  4. I want to learn how to play guitar, but I can’t seem to get past my music teachers comment “you are my most dedicated student who learned so little” Yes, I know better and it is my retirement gift to myself in a few years I WILL LEARN TO PLAY.
  5. I have a progressive eye disease called keratoconus ,but I don’t let that stop me in any way.
  6. I met and fell in love with my husband at a Halloween Maritime reunion party . I was a rainbow, he was a hunter carrying around a duck.
  7. I used to play hockey, ringette, basketball, volleyball, and baseball among others .
  8. Was athlete of the year in junior high… I love sports. Wanted to be a PE teacher at one time.
  9. I love the ocean, but I live inland.
  10. I went to China with the first delegation of Canadian Counsellors from across Canada.
  11. I knocked out my first set of front teeth and then again at nine years old I was skating in the dark in my backyard ( which my mom told me not to do) and I knocked my second set out. I have hardly ever had two real front teeth. Used to sing  “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”, a lot.

Questions for me

  1. What was your favourite class in university? I loved all my Psychology classes.
  2. If you could only read one blogger next year, who would it be? Seth Godin, I love how he says in so few words such meaningful things.
  3. If you could have your choice of career changes tomorrow, what would you choose? I’d stay doing what I am doing. I love what I do. If I could I’d also love to learn to be a photographer.
  4. What is your favourite way to relax? Read, play lacrosse and play with all things digital.
  5. How do you burn off energy when needed? Lacrosse or a long walk.
  6. Who is your favourite author and book/series? My favorite author is Leo Buscaglia. I read every one of his books. Wish he were still alive.
  7. Introvert or extrovert? Ambivert.
  8. Mac, PC, or other? Mac.
  9. Which is your favourite social media? Twitter and I love to GH.
  10. Who is the most influential member of your PLN? Alec Couros @courosa
  11. Do you have any quirky habits? I leave my wet towels on the bed for too long (usually my husbands side).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Now it’s your Turn:

  1. Alec Couros
  2. Erin Mason
  3. Catherine Carr
  4. Tina Photakis 
  5. Kadri Auvaart
  6. Rhonda Jessen
  7. Verena Roberts
  8. Fenella Olynick
  9. Sheri Edwards
  10. Christina Hendricks
  11. Adam Tratt  ( maybe you can make a @haikudeck related to this )

Here are my Questions for you…

  1. When did you know what you wanted to do for a Career? How did you discover that?
  2. What are your top three favourite books of all time?
  3. What advice do you have on love?
  4. What is on your bucket list?
  5. What is the best advice you can give to your children?
  6. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
  7. What are 3 things that matter to you?
  8. If you could sit with any 5 people dead or alive around your dinner table who would you choose and why?
  9. What is your favorite quote?
  10. How do you want to be remembered?

Ten is enough I am sure 5 is enough. Whichever ones you want to answer is really up to you ALL or NONE, but I look forward to reading any you wish to post. Here’s how it works again:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share  11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Post back here with a link after you write this. Go on, you have thinking  and writing to do Now it’s your Turn yes, I really do appreciate you and your efforts : Merry Christmas and maybe this could be your first post for the New Year or before !?!

Mental Health Literacy Training

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This week I was extremely fortunate to be Certified as a Trainer for the Mental Health Literacy Program facilitated by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Stan Kutcher

I was excited to be able to participate, as I have known about Dr. Kutcher’s work for a while. I am happy to say all four days were absolutely worth it. I left feeling I had learned many things that will assist me in my professional work and as a result impact the lives of the students we serve in our school community. I also loved his dry wit which absolutely kept me engaged during the process.

The training has fabulous resources for school counsellors, educators and mental health workers to utilize. This program is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It is rich in content, research, and resources.

When it comes to mental health we want students to:

CONNECT

  • With someone they trust like their teacher advisor , teacher, coach or other significant adult in the school who can then assist them in connecting …

CONNECTING

  • With their school counsellor who can assist them in connecting with their doctor, health care provider and or parents to assist them with their mental health concerns

One of important things that  Dr. Stan Kutcher discussed during the four days is the difference between:

  • Mental Health Distress (one example lose your keys)
  • Mental Health Problem (one example a parent dies)
  • Mental Health Disorder/Illness (one example clinical depression)

Too often we do not normalize what young people are feeling. It is normal to feel sad after a break up, but that does not mean the student is in a clinical depression. We need to teach our young people the difference between distress, problem and disorder and the Mental Health Curriculum Guide  does just that. It teaches students and educators the Mental Health Literacy that they need in today’s world based on present day research on the brain.

If you want to learn more you can take a quiz here to get you started…

Below I will share a few of the fantastic resources available. You may want to book a training in your area if you do contact @TMentalHealth

Digital storytelling:

Panic Disorder:

Coping with suicidal thoughts:

http://teenmentalhealth.org/resources/entries/coping-with-suicidal-thoughts/

Depression:

I really hope educators from around the globe will consider this fantastic program as part of any initiative that will benefit every student and family in their school and community.