Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Student Mental Health and Self Care: Free Resources

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Each year our district hosts an annual teen leadership summit for middle and high school leaders.  Until recently, this conference was totally planned by an adult committee; however, the adults realized that it is a student conference and students should actually take part in the planning process!  So, the students were given an opportunity to provide feedback on which topics they felt were important at a student-led conference and one of the topics was, surprisingly, on  balancing life (particularly managing positive mental health and employing self care tactics).  Fortunately, my social worker friend and I were asked if we would present on this topic and we humbly accepted.


Work Life Balance and Self Care

Maintaining a Work Life Balance has become the war cry of the majority modern day workers and should justifiably be taken seriously by employers!!  Although we all strive to maintain that fine balance, how many of us school counselors effectively find that sweet spot? (If you need a reminder about the importance of school counselor self care, read this article from Dr. Rhonda Williams!!) What is this concept anyway?  According to the mental health and well-being page of the government of Queensland, Australia, Work-Life Balance is "adjusting your day-to-day activities to achieve a sense of balance between work life and personal life." If adults have an issue finding this balance, youth are certainly more susceptible to falling into the same trap.  

It's a Balancing Act

My friend and I divided the presentation into two sections.  First, I discussed the concept of mental health, when students should be concerned about their own mental health, and how they can assist others.  Second, my colleague gave tips on self care and she intentionally provided concrete examples that students could use once they walked out the door. 

Attached is the power point presentation that you are more than welcome to borrow or revise for your own use.  



In addition to the presentation, we shared some additional resources with the students.

Student Self Care Kit

My colleague and I created three self care kits to give away to students in the sessions.  They were simple to put together and surprisingly the students loved them...go figure!

Some items we included were:

lotion
bubble wrap
water
dark chocolate
green tea
lolly pops
stress ball
journal
colored pencils
self care cards



Self Care Cards

Here is a sample of the self care cards we gave to students.  


Additional Resources

We also gave out some mental health resources which included the Georgia Crisis text line for students experiencing a crisis. Here is the link to the resources we shared - mental health resources.  Also, my colleague brought her diffuser (she put in peppermint-lemon oil) and Himalayan Salt Lamp for the students to experience.  If you are interested in purchasing these products, check out the links below.





























Also, here are some additional worksheets you may want to include in your self care kit or use with your students experiencing an out-of-balance school-life.





Setting Goals

Now, it is your turn to share your ideas and tools.  What tips/resources/handouts do you use with your students.  Please feel free to share!!!