Day 89 (of 183) 2 roads diverged & I took the one less traveled by & that has made all the difference#blog4mh #BellLetsTalk
The quote is actually: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
For me, there are always multiple approaches to take when it comes to mental wellness and schools. Within my PLN (professional learning network) I have seen many educators do a better job taking the more difficult, road less travelled by and indeed it is making a difference.
When mental health is not stigmatized, it helps open up conversations and communications. And the more we talk about it, the less we focus on “just what we see”….behaviours that can either mask or distract from the root cause. Too often admitting mental wellness challenges has been seen as a weakness (depression? I’ve been sad before. anxiety? I’ve been nervous before. etc) and easier to understate and/or ignore….until it’s too late to be ignored – and then comes the admissions that something else was going on….
When we acknowledge that there are wide ranges of mental health that mirror physical health (have you tried just ignoring the broken arm?) and acknowledge that there are many pathways to “getting better” we better understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach for success. It also helps to “be mindful” (present, focused, thinking) when providing support:
– If they are “up” (upset) you need to be “low” (calm) – keep your inside voice inside
– be aware of what they “want” vs what they “need”
– don’t get distracted by behaviours (ignore the swearing and name calling they are using to try to avoid the issue that first got your attention)
– be part of a team; you can’t be (or wait for) a superhero a you nee to rely on the strengths of others
– remember there is no quick fix; in the example of generalized anxiety I use the time reminder that we aim to identify it in grade 4 for grade 10 success
– It ain’t always easy – in fact many days will be brutal….for everyone (but of course not necessarily at the same time)
– you’re not alone. There are others working on similar issues. Promise.
The more that take the harder journey to work on understanding better mental health, the easier the trail will become….and the more pathways can be uncovered and shared.
Thanks to @bellLetsTalk for promoting time to talk about mental wellness