A doodle that "prevented" me from falling asleep
during a training!
This month the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board will be highlighting the importance of prevention.
Simple mental wellness practices like gratitude, positive thinking, meditation, and forgiveness can have a lasting impact and create an emotionally healthier environment where you, your family, your friends, your co-workers can thrive.
Many forms of mental illness and substance abuse can be prevented or their impact can be greatly reduced through a variety of programs that provide early identification, positive parenting and teaching skills, and the daily practice of wellness.
For example, the greatest deterrent for children to ever use drugs or abuse substances is simply parental disapproval. Think of it this way - when a parent simply expersses disapproval to their child about the use of drugs, the parent is innoculating that child. Parents have so much influence they do not use because they do not know that simply expressing to your children, beginning at a young age about the harmful effects of drugs has a tremendous influence. This is the genesis of the Start Talking Campaign - telling teachers, parents, and law enforcement that talking to children about the harmful impact of drugs will have an make a difference - A BIG DIFFERENCE! I will be working with schools in our area to reach out to parents.
Another is inncoulant is self-regulation. Children who learn self-regulation at an early age have far fewer problems with mental illness, substance abuse and even ADHD because they have learned those inner controls that help them cope well. PAX Good Behavior Game is a classroom program that teachers use to help children learn their school work as well as self-regulation. One teacher told me that this has been her best year of teaching in 14 years. Our goal is that every teacher in every classroom learns this. We are training another 40 teachers this month and have hired 3 more coaches to help these teachers succeed.
Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognized program that gives anyone the ability to reach out and assist someone in crisis. So many of us become fearful or withdraw when faced with an emotional crisis of another yet most of these situations do not require a trained professional but rather a simple understanding of how you can help another - a human outreach, just like any kind of first aid. 11 people in our three counties are trained and certified in Mental Health First Aid. These 11 will become the corp of our outreach effort to the community. We see this as an important suicide prevention program and bringing awareness of mental wellness to the community.
We Care at Work is our initiative to reach out to the business community and help business create a drug free workplace. By educating and informing workers about the harmful effects of drugs we hope to not only help create a healthy workforce but we want those workers to talk to their children too. We have an executive briefing for companies interested on August 19 at 8:00 at the library in St. Mary's.
There is a lot happening. Watch the web site. Check out my blog. Check out Facebook.