Mental Health Symposium with Dr. Alec Couros @courosa

Living Fully Alive

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman

At Bishop Carroll High School we take mental health and wellness seriously. Our district and province have made a committment to focus on the well being of our students . Take a look at the video below to see what Alberta teachers are saying.

Our mental health wellness committee put together our second symposium featuring Dr. Alec Couros.

Need a background start here and really think about the words you use when it comes to mental health .

Take a peek at our 2005 Mental Health Living Fully Alive Symposium:

Mental health is important and if you need to find out why take a look at these facts about mental illness. It is one of the reasons we decided to put together a symposium. It will be a great day when mental health is understood and de- stigmatized.

If you want to see what we did last year you can can take a look at the pins below:

Below we hope you could make use of some of our resources. Feel free to use any and or all ideas. We need to work together to make this a better world for our youth.

  • Our Living Fully Alive advertisement can be found here.
  • Our challenge for ten reasons to live is posted here: 10 Reasons To Live
  • One of the most important things we wanted our students to gain from this symposium was coping skills.
  • Haiku Deck Reasons To Live
  • Haiku decks for  School Counsellors and students click below:

We need to teach students how to find their flow state and use it to keep themselves healthy. How do you get yourself into this state? For me one way is painting.

Our mental health wellness is a collaborative project that we began last year . The following document has a wealth of resources that we hope high schools, educators and school counsellors will use. It is an ongoing work in progress, so if you’d like to collaborate with us please feel free to tweet me @sspellmancann and join us on our journey as we pay attention to our own mental health as well as the mental health and wellness of others.

101 ways to  Live Your Life to the Fullest

101 things to do Before You Die

Thanks Dr.Couros for your passion and assisting students to think about their identities on and off line. As our students would say . YOU rock!

Now go have yourself a great day and remember you have a purpose … YOU MATTER

Thanks to @haikudeck for this video! Love you guys!

#ReachHigher … You Can Too … Go Make A Difference

Susan University  (1)

Created using smilebox

I am so inspired by the First Ladies commitment to help students #reachhigher as well as her dedication and support for School Counsellors.

When I reflect back to my high school years , I am not sure if I would have attended University if it were not for my School Counsellor, Mrs. Brown from Dartmouth High School. I certainly could not afford to go to post-secondary , even though I had worked part-time for a very long time. In fact I am certain I would not have attended, if it were not for that meeting.

It was only after a meeting with my School Counsellor who led me in the direction of a Bachelor of Child Study at MSVU Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, that I even considered the possibility. She also contributed $100.00 to my University Education which was a lot of money back then. I am so grateful to Mrs. Brown  ( who has since passed away ) . I never got to thank her , but I have attempted to pay it forward many times.

Becoming a School Counsellor was never on my radar back then , but again as I reflect back I am sure that one gesture had a HUGE  impact on me. I would be the first child in my family to graduate from University.

My community also stepped up to help me. I was very fortunate to receive a university scholarship for playing lacrosse from Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport( A member of my community Shannon Park – Wallis Heights – a forces base,  pointed me in this direction to get this scholarship ) . I also received a bursary from Officers’ Wives.

They say it takes a village to raise a child , and for me that was true. My community came together to help and support me and as a result I now have a University education and a lifelong love of learning.  I am forever grateful.  I feel passionate about students believing they can go on to post-secondary, no matter what their situation.

So School Counsellors, let’s gather together and let students know they can #reachhigher , no matter where they live whether it be in Canada , the US or wherever they live in the world.

Make a poster like the one I did above and share it . Maybe one student will be inspired to reach for their dreams. A special thanks Mrs. Obama for your fabulous leadership and support for School Counsellors . We feel it everywhere.

Thanks to all those who helped me reach my dreams along the way including so many teachers who I adored and one special School Counsellor who really made it all possible. Mrs. Brown, you made a difference. If ever any one of your relatives reads this,  know the impact one person can have to change the trajectory of a child’s life. I strive to be that kind of person each and every day for the students in my care.

10 Reasons To Live

In October while attending CCSDL conference 2014, I met Josh , a positive intelligent young man. Inspired by his teacher ( N von Krogh) who asked students to complete a project titled “15 reasons to live”,  Josh made this video. I hope watching Josh’s 15 reasons to live gives you inspiration to come up with your own top 10 reasons to live. The students projects at CCSDL in B.C.  inspired me to bring this idea back to our wellness team at BCHS .

The Mental Wellness team Living Aware,  Living Informed, Living Empowered  will be coming up with their own top 10 reasons to live to share with the Bishop Carroll High School Community. This project is an adapted version of what Mrs. von Krogh did. The project we plan on doing is also inspired by The Buried Life , who are positive young Canadians who go out and cross things off their bucket list by doing the things they want to live for, but a very important part of the process is doing something kind for others.

Directions for our project:

For our project I’d like you to reflect on your life and think about things that matter, the things that make you, you and give you reasons to live life fully.

Some questions to ponder:

What do you live for and love?

What are your reasons to trust, to overcome adversity, to cope, to laugh, to love?

What makes you get up every day?

What makes you happy and makes your life worth living?

What do you value?

What motivates you to make a difference?

What are the peak moments in your life that have impacted you?

Who are the people or relationships in your life that make you want to celebrate life?

What are the places in the world that inspire you or bring you comfort?

What do you want to do before you die? What are your TOP 10 reasons to live?

This is a reflective activity. You might start listing 100 reasons to live randomly. Then go through your list and pick the top ten to CELEBRATE .

You may wish to celebrate your TOP 10  in several ways:

  • An Art piece
  • A display
  • A magazine article
  • A mobile
  • Music … there are many ways to celebrate your reasons to live … an album cover …
  • A photo gallery
  • Postcards
  • Poster
  • Use a tech tool like @haikudeck to tell us about your top ten
  • You can make a YouTube video
  • You can be creative and come up with your own ideas

You may wish to collaborate with some others or you may choose to make this more personal to you .Who you do this with and how you do this is totally up to you.

Check out the trailer by Alan Zweig’s 15 Reasons to Live for more inspiration.

Our wellness team want you to think about all the things that make a difference to you and hopefully seeing others projects inspires you to think of many more ways to enjoy your own life as well as ways you can make a difference in others. We will be displaying or sharing some of the presentations at our Mental Health Symposium.

We challenge you to find two people who would be willing  to do this project and share this project with us so we can spread more HOPE in the world. What are your ten reasons to live? You also need to think of one way you can make a difference in someone else’s life. I’d like you to reflect on one of my favourite quotes when you do something good for someone else, something that will make them feel that you care and that they matter.

“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention

You can look back here at a later date to see our projects.

Now it’s your turn. Go make a difference and when you do please post your ideas to this blog or tweet @sspellmancann so I can share your inspirational projects.

Words Can Change The Way We Perceive Others and Ourselves

Words really do matter. I am in the process of developing an online presentation for adults on mental health and wellness so that they may assist students in their post – secondary programs. As I think about what I will say I recognize that my words matter. What I say could potentially influence educators. What they say to their students could potentially transform what happens for the students and their families. Mental health literacy matters,  stigma matters , words matter.

Sometimes I hear people use words way too loosely when describing someone with a mental illness or someone who has special needs or challenges. They may say so and so is an ADHD kid or so and so is bipolar, an alcoholic etc.  It matters to me when I hear words used inappropriately as I believe strongly that we are people first ( the labels used like ADHD are only a very small way of telling us something about someone). We are so much more. Who we truly are cannot or should not be described in a few words.

So the next time you find yourself using the label first STOP and THINK about the power of your words. Jack or Jill may have a million attributes that are positive and when you use one word to define them you are missing such huge pieces of who they truly are. So eliminate so and so is a developmentally delayed child etc. and say their name and the many wonderful things about them. When you do this you start to perceive them differently. You also begin to treat each human being , each child in your care with so much more dignity and respect.

Words really do matter

Words can bring about acceptance

Words can change our brains

Words can hurt or heal

Words can hold back or help

Words can break hearts or touch hearts

Words can build others up or tear them down

Words allow people to tell their stories

Words give people their voices

Words can challenge us to be resilient

Words can give us the strength to carry on … to give us HOPE

Words can ruin someone’s day or make someone’s day

Words have the power to change others and change ourselves

What words will you use when speaking about and to your students today?

School Counselling Apps you can use

photo

1. Anxiety: Have your students been struggling with anxiety?  MindShift by AnxietyBC, is a mobile app designed to help teens and adults cope with this problem.

2. Conversation starters : Conversation Starters is an app to get the conversation going and could be used in a a group small or large.

3. Haiku Deck : An i pad app you can use to create stories with and for students. Here are some for School Counsellors:

4. Flipboard : Flipboard is a great way to collate information you want to share in a visual way. Here is one of mine called Lessons for New School Counsellors

5. Stress reliefBreathe2Relax is an app that will help students. It is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.

6. Toxic thinking : A great app for students. Toxic Thinking app is an app that explains what toxic thinking is as well as listing triggers and appropriate actions.

7. Who’s Frank? :An anti-bullying app designed by Mount Royal University in collaboration with MRU and Bishop Carroll High School’s movement against anti bullying . Who’s Frank Anti- bullying app . See more here: #whosfrankyyc .

There are so many great apps to use. Please share your favourites in the comments below.

I Am A School Counsellor

 

IMG_0751

I am a School Counsellor

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly 

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do 

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann

 

 

I Am A School Counsellor

IMG_0751

I am a School Counsellor

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly 

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do 

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann