Worried? Overwhelmed? Sleepless? Struggling? It’s okay. We’re here to help.
Livingstone Range School Division’s Family School Liaison Counsellors are trained and ready to help students and staff members handle life’s challenges, connect with people and resources, and/or promote positive mental health.
“This year, more than ever, we are thinking and talking about wellness within our schools,” says Clinical Team Lead Dr. Kendra Massie. “Mental wellness, social wellness, and physical wellness: they’re all important and connected.”
January 28 is 2021 Bell Let’s Talk Day, and offers an opportunity to be reminded of the importance of mental health, how to support others, and how to get help. Here are 5 tips for taking action for positive mental health and wellness (adapted from letstalk.bell.ca):
1. Recognize Signs of Stress
Stress can affect us psychologically (e.g., feeling worried) as well as physically (e.g., sleeping poorly). Understanding and recognizing what stress looks like in ourselves or others is beneficial. Some signs include fear and worry; changes in sleeping or eating patterns; difficulty concentrating; and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is an important way to deal with stress and worry, especially when there is a lot of change or disruption in our lives. Some ideas for taking care of yourself include taking care of your body by eating healthy and well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep; connecting with others and being open about your feelings and concerns; maintaining as normal a routine as possible and participating in activities that you enjoy; and focusing your energy on what you can control rather than worrying about what you can’t.
3. Take Care of Others
Many children and teens experience mental health challenges but there are lots of ways you can help support them. Give children and teens an opportunity to talk about their concerns and let them know that they can count on you. Try to keep regular routines, and if in-person classes are cancelled, create a schedule to help promote wellness and predictability at home.
4. Connect to Help
It’s okay to ask for help! If you or your family members are experiencing symptoms of stress that are getting worse, consult your doctor or a regulated healthcare professional. You can also reach out to your Family School Liaison Counsellor to help access resources and tools that will be beneficial in promoting positive mental health and wellness.
5. End Mental Health Stigma
You can help to positively change how we think and react to mental illness. Ending the stigma will help those who suffer with mental health problems to seek the help they need. Using language that focuses on the person rather than the mental illness, learning more about mental illness, showing kindness and compassion to yourself and others, and being a good listener as we talk about mental health will help end the stigma.
“We would love to hear how individuals and families have connected with others and focused on wellness this year,” says Dr. Massie. “Please share your fun and creative ideas with your Family School Liaison Counsellor. And remember, our Family School Liaison Counsellors and LRSD Wellness Resources can be accessed for more information on staying well and connected.”