Tag Archives: online resources

May – Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month in America. It was designated as such in 1949, by the Mental Health America organization. mental-health-awareness-2017

When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on heart health, or liver health, or brain health, and not whole health. You have to see the whole person, and make use of the tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together. That’s why this year, our May is Mental Health Month theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body

 

Each year in mid-March Mental Health America releases a toolkit of materials to guide preparation for outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month. During the month of May, Mental Health America, its affiliates, and other organizations interested in mental health conduct a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.”  View past themes here. 

horizontal-red-ribbon-line

Take a look at Arlington, Virgina, for an inspiring glimpse into a community that’s doing it right.

The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families Foundation is an outgrowth of the Partnership. A number of present and former APCYF board members determined that a nonprofit, charitable corporation is needed to raise and expend funds for Partnership projects that the county and school budgets cannot accommodate.

Our Vision

Arlington, a community where all young people and families are valued, supported and empowered.

Care for a change – also in Arlington.

Care for a Change, or CFAC, is a community-led initiative to increase and encourage empathy among Arlington youth.

horizontal-red-ribbon-line

From the National Institute of Mental Health…

Any Mental Illness

  • Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. AMI can vary in impact, ranging from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment (e.g., individuals with serious mental illness as defined below).

Serious Mental Illness

  • Serious mental illness (SMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. The burden of mental illnesses is particularly concentrated among those who experience disability due to SMI.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), defines a serious mental illness as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that limits one or more major life activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 20-percent or about 1 in 5 children, have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder.

horizontal-red-ribbon-line

See a list of national events at  the American Psychological Association’s website.

APA Commemorates Mental Health Awareness Month With Series of Special Activities

Events will focus on children, older Americans, women of color, the LGBTIQ community and people with chronic illnesses

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association is honoring Mental Health Awareness Month in May with a range of activities aimed at providing important insights into the status of mental health for minority and vulnerable communities and finding solutions and sharing resources to address critical gaps in comprehensive care and policy.

 

horizontal-red-ribbon-line

Clinical Trials

Find a study near you.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/trials/

 

 

 

Mindfulness for Schools

According to UrbanDictionary.com, the term “urban youth” refers to young black people living in the city. I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but it does have relevance to what I am about to talk about.

Earlier today, I saw an article on FaceBook, posted by the American Psychological Association (APA) regarding urban youth and the problems they face. What disturbed me was the comment by an obviously disengaged viewer. I have included a snapshot of the comment below.

The post stated:

Many urban ‪#‎youth‬ are repeatedly exposed to significant negative stressors including violence, poverty, and substance use. A new study suggests that a ‪#‎school‬-based ‪#‎mindfulness‬ program may lessen effects of these stressors. apapsy.ch/school-mindful‪#‎mentalhealth‬

The post linked to this article:

School-Based Mindfulness Program May Help Urban Children Deal With Negative Stress, which is linked to PsychNews.org.

Ignorant comment

As you can see, I did not black out my name with my response to this person. I am still shocked by such disregard for the problems that face people today. Those with no problems seem to have no heart or mind for hearing about the unpleasantness of growing up without money and resources.

What this male does not understand is the definition of pathetic. What is pathetic is the attitude of people sharing his belief that education should not include teaching people how to cope with desperate situations, how to have hope in the midst of trouble, and how to remain focused on preparing a better future for yourself.

There are many mindfulness curriculums already in effect in many inner city schools.

Goldie Hawn has had success with her curriculum on mindfulness, which is sold through Scholastic. You can read more about her program, MindUp, and the many great reviews at the Hawn Foundation.

You can also follow their progress on their FaceBook Page.

Mind Up provides this extremely affordable curriculum in three age groups, covering ages 3 to 14. You can find them at http://store.scholastic.com.

It is never too late to learn to be mindful, to learn to still the mind and focus on this moment, which is all we truly have for certain.

Become mindful of your power to create a better future.

Become mindful of your power to create a better future.

You can also purchase tools for using at home. If you know a student who would benefit from the art of mindfulness, perhaps consider becoming a mentor and teaching this unique yet simple approach to a small group.

Meanwhile, let us continue to expand the awareness of those people who are out of touch with the realities and suffering of young people all over the world.

Namaste.

 

 

Online Twelve Step Program

If you need to find an AA meeting or would like to read the Twelve Steps, or access any other information for immediate use, please visit one of these sites:

This particular article is primarily about high school and college students who are in recovery for substance abuse, addictions and alcoholism. Much of it would also apply to people of all ages in recovery.chatroom

In most cases, the online Twelve Step Program chat room should be just as useful as a face to face meeting. In fact, it may be more useful for people who are too shy to speak in front of others. The chat room allows them the opportunity to speak without worrying about facial reactions, such as shocked looks or even giggling. It gives them the protective barrier they need. Regardless of which type of meeting is used, it would still take time for all members to feel comfortable enough to participate. Nobody-Said-it-Would-be-Easy

Another advantage to meeting online is that no one is seeking transportation to get to a meeting. Some of the participants may not have a car or money for transportation. Not all family members are willing to get their loved one to a physical meeting in a brick and mortar building. In this respect, the virtual meeting solves a problem for many people.

The challenges an online chat room presents are that the person in charge of the group meeting is unable to view the participants’ physical reactions. Therefore there are no facial clues, body movements or uncomfortable movements that can be noted and addressed.

It could also present challenges to those who prefer to be in an actual physical group where they can smile, hug and connect energetically to others. Some people need the physical human connection more than others. Also, some of them may just want an opportunity to get out of the house.

I believe both options should be available whenever possible. However, the online chat room offers a viable method of getting people into group sessions and Twelve Step meetings when other methods are not an option.