Day 166 (of 188) the real costs of underestimating mental wellness #blog4mh

Day 166 (of 188) the real costs of underestimating mental wellness #blog4mh
some of the scariest thing I hear:
They’ll grow out of it

Suck it up

Why can’t they just be like everyone else

What’s worst case scenario

At least they don’t lose it at (home, school, work, etc)

They had everything (to live for)
Just heard  a former colleagues spouse lose his fight with mental wellness. And I know the family is going to be hurting so much. And it’ll get worse as the media will get involved. Because no one wants to deal with the root issue of mental wellness. They’ll be distracted by the ‘where and how’ and focus on the ‘what and when’ and glance over  the ‘why’.  
You can’t see it (there is no cast/wheelchair/wound)

It’s freakin hard to have empathy (because it’s so hard to understand) and so much easier to ‘kinda get it’

It’s the reason when I first got to my current school and turned over some rocks that I saw great anxiety within our learning community and that needed to be the goal our school worked on first so that our learners would be ‘ready’ to learn. I know some think we are seeing ‘too much’ of it – but I still think we aren’t recognizing enough of it. We are focusing on ongoing angst (and depression and other issues) that distract from learning on a regular basis – not ‘just’ stressors that have a clear start (family passing, move, etc) which are also all more and more too common. 
But the mental wellness side……
People don’t really want to talk about it – it’s embarrassing to admit that it’s a struggle to cope when ‘everyone else can’………even though many can’t. Easier to say fine fine fine and move on. 
There’s a reason it doesn’t make sense: it’s because nothing makes sense – when my son sees a dog (no matter the size) the possibility of the dog ripping his face of is as real as the dog licking his toes. Sensory overload is common and hard to comprehend by those of us who can self regulate what is likely and what is not. 
When it doesn’t make sense then it seems that there is only one solution – and it doesn’t make sense because it can’t make sense. My biggest fear is that without support too many others will feel that there is no choice. But the earlier we intervene and support and acknowledge the importance of mental wellness, the less likely a tragedy will be the finality. 
I don’t want my son to say ‘fine fine fine’. I don’t want anyone to think they are alone. I don’t want behaviours to continue to distract from the bigger issues being worked on. I want to have less than a two year wait to get support because there is ‘no immediate risk to self or others’. I am working on raising awareness that there are strategies and supports that can be amazingly effective…..if there is access to them (try to find a councillor who uses cognitive behaviour therapy for kids under 13….)
It’s a work/learning in progress – and we do need to remember that there can be an immeasurable cost when we don’t. I was greatly saddened to hear the news today but it has emboldened me to keep raising awareness and supporting where when and who I can…because the ‘why’……matters. 

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About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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3 Responses to Day 166 (of 188) the real costs of underestimating mental wellness #blog4mh

  1. First, I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Second. This. “There’s a reason it doesn’t make sense: it’s because nothing makes sense – when my son sees a dog (no matter the size) the possibility of the dog ripping his face of is as real as the dog licking his toes. Sensory overload is common and hard to comprehend by those of us who can self regulate what is likely and what is not”

    I remember trying to explain my son’s anxiety to another child. I framed it like this: think of something you are really scared of, I mean REALLY scared. What kinds of things do you feel? Now, I know it doesn’t make sense, but those feelings you have? These are the kinds of things my son feels about a lot of things that happen. It may seem like some of those things aren’t really that big of a deal to a lot of us, but for my son they are. Imagine if you felt those feelings every day and you knew that hardly anyone else did?

    I know I have wrote and spoke about this before, but when we can anchor to our own experiences, we have a much better chance at understanding. When we can put ourselves in the child’s shoes – set aside our beliefs that the child “shouldn’t” feel this way, and instead, “accept” that he/she does – that’s when we can start making a difference.

    Much gratitude to you for continuing to advocate for change and increased recognition of and intervention for ALL children in our schools .

  2. Pingback: Week Four! #Blog4MH | Champions for Community Mental Wellness

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