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May 2023 - Mental Health Month

May 1-7th marks the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 72nd annual Mental Health Week. “This year’s theme, MY STORY, aims to shine a spotlight on community mental health care champions, programs and communities while showcasing the importance of securing universal mental health care. We all have mental health which means we all have different, yet equally valuable stories to share. Let’s harness the power of storytelling to  build connections and understanding! How to get involved: Listen and support those who share their story with you, there is vulnerability, strength and benefits in these interactions; share your story with someone close to you, this helps destigmatize the mental health conversation; learn about different types of mental health supports and how they can be used to support you or someone in your community; understand (the differences between) mental health and mental illness; share a message of thanks to a community program or person who has helped you in your mental health journey. New research from CMHA reveals that 87% of people living in Canada want universal mental health care. The research also shows that more than half of people living in Canada (57%) would access mental health care through a community organization with a free program. Don’t forget to connect with us on social media with the hashtags #MyStory and #MentalHealthWeek”

The American Psychological Association outlines 10 ways to help build resilience in children and teens. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, and is important for children to work on from an early age as it is a valuable life skill. The strategies to help teach resilience include helping them make connections, helping them help others, maintaining a daily routine, taking a break, teaching self-care, goal setting, nurturing a positive self-view, keeping things in perspective, encouraging self-discovery, and accepting change. Here is the link to find out how to reinforce these concepts with your child(ren). 

Please check out an original resilience chant made by Miss Strong's grade 2 English class - Resilience Chant

“Self-acceptance is not about vanity or narcissism. It is about teaching our kids to know themselves and to accept themselves as they are: The weaknesses. The strengths. The tears. The joys. The uncertainty.” Here are the evidenced-based tips to give your child the gift of self acceptance: identifying strengths and weaknesses, teaching them they are not defined by what they do, reinforcing positive self-talk, practising gratitude, and observing your child’s explanatory style. Here is the link explaining what you can do to help your child develop habits to make it easier to accept themselves.

Why is human connection so important? PsychCentral states that social interactions can help with boosting your mood and managing your emotions. We are naturally social creatures, so of course when we are alone we have feelings of loneliness and isolation. Counteract these feelings by having positive engagement with others, using the following tips:

For more resources, check out the Mental Health Resources section of the NLPS website.

If you would like me to connect with your child or your family, you can contact me at the school at 780-594-1404.

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