Teen Mental Health and Wellness Matters

It is always time to talk about mental health and wellness when it comes to students. This year we held our second Mental Health Symposium with Dr. Alec Couros, but throughout the year we hold small events that inform students about the importance of their own wellness.

Last year our theme was Living Aware, Living Informed , Living Empowered. We want our students at Bishop Carroll High School to feel fully empowered and we want them to be good digital citizens by posting to the hashtag #empowerBCHS

Take a look at some of the great things our students have to say:

Click here to find out more information about our symposium last year.

Our theme this year was Living Fully Alive. We really wanted students to think about all the reasons they could and should want to live. Click here to learn more.

We wanted students to leave with resources which you can find by clicking here.

We also want to continue the dialogue and have students learn more about mental health literacy. Thanks to Dr. Stan Kutcher we can .

When it comes to mental health we need to :

1) Know how to obtain and maintain good mental health

2) Understanding mental disorders and their treatments based on the best scientific evidence

3) Decrease Stigma

4) Know when and where to get help , know what to expect when you get help and having the tools to empower us to get the best care possible

Take a look at his fabulous website to find out more Teenmentalhealth.org. We hope you will join us in our work . You can collaborate anytime with us on the topic of mental health and wellness by contacting @sspellmancann . Go ahead make a difference for teens , because mental health and wellness matters.

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!

2014 A Year To Remember

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 7.24.24 PM

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

– Mark Twain

Thanks to a post by my fellow #etmooc ‘er Helen Blunden @activatelearn. I was inspired to write this post.

My most viewed posts of 2014

1. Career Speed Dating

2. Ten Reasons to Live

3. Hope In My Idea School

4. Putting Passion Into Practice

5. School Counsellors Connecting

6. Children of Alcoholics School Counsellors Can Help

7. OCLMOOC: SChool Counsellors Joining In And You Can Too

8. Connections Have Transformed Me

9. Conference With A Difference

10. Lessons For A New School Counsellor

Wishing my PLN a fantastic 2015 and hoping you and your families enjoy all the blessings of life.

          LOVE THIS TWEET : Something we all should practice in 2015

I am so fortunate to work with @NeilOF12 a great leader, and @ehordyskiluong ( my co-inspirer) I know that’s not a word, but she always works with me to inspire students and helps me with so many other projects and ideas. To Peter Damen who always has great ideas  and is a fabulous School Counsellor ( who I am grateful is on our team ) thank you for who you are and all you do. To my fabulous colleagues who continue to inspire me by what they do and their comittment to education . I am grateful to work alongside you.

In 2015, I hope to see more Canadian School Counsellors on twitter. I look forward to celebrating and connecting with you. Thanks to those who have already taken a leadership role. See you in #SCCrowd #scchat and #cscchat.                                        

GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in 2015

Coping Skills

When it comes to coping it really does matter what you have to cope with: Check out my haiku deck on coping skills here: How You Cope Depends On What You Have to Cope With. Understanding how stress impacts you can help you cope. Below you will find some strategies that may help you cope . Use the strategies that work best for you.

ABC’s  Coping Skills:

A: Attitude: Your attitude matters.

Allow yourself extra time to get up in the morning andget to places. Being 15 to 20 minutes early can reduce your strss level.

Allow 10-15 minutes a day for YOU time. Time to wind down, time to reflect, time to let go of your worries,

B: Books : A book on the topic you are trying to cope with can help. Beliefs Challenge your thoughts about the topic: Be positive! Books can be healing!

Be a person who can say NO and not feel guilty. It is OK to say no to things that are not healthy and things you really don’t want to do. It’s also ok to give yourself a break and say no to something.

Be a person who knows how to wait, read a book online or have a book with you that you can devour while you have to wait somewhere. It not only makes the time go faster but it is a wonderful way to pass the time.

C: Caring and compassion make a difference:  helping others helps you to focus on others not on your problems. Care about yourself. Write a positive message to yourself on a mirror with an erasable marker. Write a positive note to yourself on a card and carry it around in your wallet.

D: Decide if you are a School Counsellor that you need to take care of yourself. Watch out for compassion fatigue:

D: Decide if you are a student to reach out and ask for help if you need it. Reaching out is a strength not a weekness.

E: Express your feelings . Feelings are neither write or wrong. It’s what you do with them that matters. If you hurt yourself or someone else then that needs to be changed. So write down your feelings.Tell someone how you feel. Draw your feelings in an art journal. Find some great ideas for art Journalling on pinterest.

Exercise is always helpful. You might only need to exercise 7 mins. each day. You can do it!

F: Find great strategies.

G: Give yourself a break . Try these brain breaks:

H: Hope . It is so important to maintain a hopeful perspective.

I : Invite others to help you : Kids Help Phone.

J: Just be yourself.

K: Kindness is always a good thing . Do a Random Acts of Kindness for someone else today.

L: Listen to music . It soothes the soul.

M: Mindfulness matters. Focus on your breath.  Here are some tips for teens.

N: Naming game : 54321 Exercise.

O: Open your mind to new strategies.

P: Positive self talk matters.

Q: Quite your mind. Be still!

R: Relax:

S: Strategies : the more you have the better.  Here are 99.

T: Trust: that your feelings will not last forever. Feelings are neither right nor wrong they are just feelings. It is what you do with them that matters.

U: Understanding your coping skills matters.

V: Visualize what you want.

W: Watch a funny show to get your mind off all the serious stuff.

X:  A to Z  list.

Y: YOU MATTER . Remember who matters.

Z: A-Z another list. Thanks to Jordan Andrews @jta102 for making me think about this post today.  

Please share your coping skills and strategies Thanks for adding your links below. Remember:

The Smallest Good Deed is Better Than The Grandest Good Intention

School Counsellors Do Indeed Have a Hashtag ( this is for George and all my fellow Canadians)

IMG_0056

Attribution for picture and a Haiku Deck on School Counsellors matter here

I am inspired yet again thanks to fellow Canadian and educator extraordinaire  George Couros @gcouros  to write a blog post about the fact that School Counsellors do indeed have hashtags and use them on a regular basis.

American School Counsellors are on the web in droves as you can see if you follow the  #scchat hashtag. I am fortunate to connect with other School Counsellors who are from all over the world especially through #SCCrowd and you can join us . I am proud to call myself a School Counsellor because it is so much more than what a Guidance Counsellor used to be. Read more here. School Counsellor Chat #scchat was the leader of the way and we can join in as caring Canadians who are passionate about School Counselling and want to make a difference.

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

It isn’t as easy to connect with other School Counsellors from across Canada. There are a few of us that connect on a regular basis often using the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat :

@ehordyskiluong

@CharlieOsenton

@TrentLangdonNL

I know there are so many more of you like @Michelle0102197 @BriseboisJoanne  @brie_jen @JodieHeywood1 @helenMacKinnon2 @JenMTrigger  @mikesmacneil @BoskertheSC @kimtremblay13 @MacISSuey  @MzMoynihan that can and want to connect on a regular basis, but you may just need to be aware of the basics of how twitter and a PLN can change how you practice. For some of you, you may even need to know that there is a hashtag and how to use it.  We are here to help you anytime. Just ask and we will support you in any way we can. Join in by adding your name to this doc. You can find it by clicking School Counsellors Collaborating here.

There are so many more School Counsellors that I have added to my PLN since I wrote this blog post.” There are so many amazing School Counsellors doing so many fabulous things”,  in July of 2013. We really are trying to get more Canadian School Counsellors Connected on twitter so if you do know of any please send them our way and we will definitely start using the #CSCchat  Canadian School Counsellor chat that Erin and I created long ago hoping more would come on board.

I am so grateful to be a School Counsellor in a time when we can connect and learn and grow from and with each other due to the internet. So please join us as we make a difference and learn together. Check out SCOPE one of the best resources for School Counsellors you will find on the net.

Our next International School Counsellor chat is on Tuesday , October 28th at 6:30 MDT . Join @rawolfon and I . It is our one year  #SCCrowd anniversary. We look forward to meeting, connecting and collaborating with you.

School Counselling Week … Lesson #15 We Need To Take Time to Celebrate What We Do

 

Often times we do not take the time to celebrate what we do , so this can sometimes lead to the public not understanding our role. I would encourage all school counsellors to celebrate what you do all year long , not just during school counselling week.

School Counsellors can collaborate in many ways :

  • Vlogging

(thanks to @counselingeek for a great vlog )

  • Blogging
  • Google docs
  • Using livebinders
  • Haiku Decks

What ways do you collaborate?

Happy National School Counselling week my fellow US counsellors and Happy Canadian School Counsellor week to all my fellow Canadians. I hope School Counsellors from across the world will join us in collaborating Internationally.

Congratulations to School Counselor Online Professional Exchange (SCOPE) on your new space. It is a great place for counsellors to collaborate and share ideas and resources.

Please take a look at some of the great things counsellors are doing to celebrate School Counselling:

  • I like this article by Patrick O’Connor Why You Should Celebrate School Counselling Week. In it he says that ” many principals think we should change schedules instead of lives”. I have been extremely fortunate in my career as a School Counsellor in that my principals have felt the exact opposite. They have definately believed that we should change lives instead of schedules. I know that may not be true for some of you and I am very hopeful that the perception of what School Counsellors actually do is changing and will impact the Future Of School Counselling in a positive way. I also believe many counsellors in our School District are very well trained when it comes to knowing  how to help students apply for college. We also have excellent Career Practitioners in our District as well who assist us in this role.
  • This is a great audio  broadcast celebrating School Counsellors with a supportive principal.
  • A blog celebrating the whole child.
  • Some great tips for the celebration.
  • Celebrating @rawolfson’s new blog.
  • Another great article from a principals perspective on the role of the school counsellor.

Hope you are celebrating what you do every day . I have absolutely loved this career and would not change the choice of what I chose to do, but would love to see changes to the understanding and support of the role for the school counsellor. Please share all you do to support students. One life of a child is worth everything. We are fortunate to be able to make a difference every day. I am grateful to be working alongside my fantastic colleagues Peter Damen and Marc Osenton. Thanks for all you do for students and for making me want to go to work every day. I am honoured  to work with you.