Counsellor Connections - May Blog
May 1-7th marks the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 72nd annual Mental Health Week. “This year’s theme, MY STORY, aims to shine a spotlight on community mental health care champions, programs, and communities while showcasing the importance of securing universal mental health care. We all have mental health which means we all have different yet equally valuable stories to share. Let’s harness the power of storytelling to build connections and understanding! (www.cmha.ca)
The Canadian Mental Health Association shares the following ways in which you can harness the power of storytelling and get involved in building connections:
- Listen and support those who share their story with you, there is vulnerability, strength, and benefits in these interactions;
- Share your story with someone close to you, this helps destigmatize the mental health conversation;
- Learn about different types of mental health supports and how they can be used to support you or someone in your community;
- understand (the differences between) mental health and mental illness; share a message of thanks to a community program or person who has helped you in your mental health journey.
To find out more please visit: https://cmha.ca/
Here at Learning Together Anywhere, we honoured Mental Health Week in the following ways. Our Grade 7/8/9 students spent the month of April working on and completing mental health projects. These projects focused on various topics related to mental health and the things people can do to improve and maintain it. The projects were then posted on the class stream throughout Mental Health Week for all LTA students to read and enjoy. Students were also asked to participate in various activities throughout the week such as Chalk-the-Walk, Hats On For Mental Health, Let’s Connect Paper Chains, and Kindness Rocks. I hope you found these projects and the activities associated helpful in starting or guiding conversations around mental health at home. I would like to thank the Grade 7 to 9 students for all their hard work in completing the projects!
Resiliency, self-acceptance and connection are all important when it comes to our mental health and well-being. Please check out the following links for resources and tips on how to build and reinforce these concepts with your children.
The American Psychological Association outlines 10 ways to help build resilience in children and teens. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, and is important for children to work on from an early age as it is a valuable life skill. The strategies to help teach resilience include helping them make connections, helping them help others, maintaining a daily routine, taking a break, teaching self-care, goal setting, nurturing a positive self-view, keeping things in perspective, encouraging self-discovery, and accepting change. Here is the link to find out how to reinforce these concepts with your child(ren). https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/guide-parents-teachers
“Self-acceptance is not about vanity or narcissism. It is about teaching our kids to know themselves and to accept themselves as they are: The weaknesses. The strengths. The tears. The joys. The uncertainty.” Here are the evidenced-based tips to give your child the gift of self acceptance: identifying strengths and weaknesses, teaching them they are not defined by what they do, reinforcing positive self-talk, practising gratitude, and observing your child’s explanatory style. Here is the link explaining what you can do to help your child develop habits to make it easier to accept themselves. https://raising-independent-kids.com/evidence-based-tips-give-child-gift-self-acceptance/
Why is human connection so important? PsychCentral states that social interactions can help with boosting your mood and managing your emotions. We are naturally social creatures, so of course when we are alone we have feelings of loneliness and isolation. Counteract these feelings by having positive engagement with others, using the following tips:https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-importance-of-connection#benefits
For more resources, check out the Mental Health Resources section of the NLPS website.
If you would like me to connect with your child or your family, you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (825) 723-0208.