Mental Health & Social Emotional Responses

Mental Health & Social Emotional Responses

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Hey, good morning everybody; thank you for
joining us for the webinar. We were going to get started in just a moment. We do
want to go over a few things this morning on how this webinar is going to
function, so we do have a task to ask you. Throughout the course of this webinar we
encourage you to send questions or comments by utilizing the Q&A feature of
this webinar, and there are also points the presentation when we are going to
prompt you and ask you to purposely write in their responses to some
questions or comments. So again, this is the Q&A feature-I want to quickly bring
your attention to it now and just ask you to click that Q&A button on your
screen, and then you can just type in there anything-say hello, give us your
name, whatever you want, and that just helped you get familiarized with it, and
it’ll help us see that everybody is using it and we can see those questions
come in through Q&A. And also we have enabled the feature so that as any
participant types a question into there, all other participants should be able to
see that. That will help us reduce any repetitiveness. It also gives you guys a
chance to know what other people are asking about. So again, the Q&A features
where we really want to focus all of your comments and questions and the
responses to any time that we queue you up throughout the presentation for it.
All that is, say we will be able to share that with the group at a post webinar. So
how we are we doing on Q&A responses?Perfect, perfect, I appreciate it. Thank you for
taking the time to make sure that you know we’re all familiar with that. I
think we’re good on that; we’re recording on our end. I’m not sure if there’s any
other housekeeping. Any time though, if you have any technical problems, again
use that Q&A, flip us a quick note. I’ll be floating around in the background and
be here to help us should something come up, but it looks like we’re solid and
good to go. Ronnie, no requests for help, no? All right, so without any further
ado, I’m gonna step aside and we’ll get started.
Thank you Tony Brown, now OSPI is so glad to have you back, very pleased to see you
today. So my name is Kim Reykdal, good morning
everyone. I will be facilitating this webinar this morning, and I am joined
here by some amazing colleagues. On the Q&A box and helping us keep track of
your questions and comments is Ronnie Larson. We also have Mandy Paradise here;
she is our program supervisor for our prevention and intervention program,
and Camille Goldie is also joining us this morning. She is our Suicide
Awareness Program Supervisor. We have a lot to share with you this morning, but
we will be offering you some opportunities to contribute to our
learning, as we ask you to share out some of your best resources and favorite
things that you are using in the areas of mental health and social-emotional
learning. We also have our normal partners in this webinar series, the
Washington Student Achievement Council. They will not be joining us specifically
for this webinar this morning, but they will be the ones who will host the copy
of this recorded webinar. It lives on their “Ready Set Grad” website, and if you
ever want to go back and take a look just Google Ready Set Grad, and when you
get there, type in Wednesday webinar in their search box, and you will find all
of our archived webinars for this series this year. This is number four of seven
or pardon me, number three of seven, so we are excited to have you here this
morning. Just really briefly, we always want to ground us and the work that our
agency is doing to support you out in the field and the students that you work
with and families that you work with, so you can see on the slide, here are some
what newly revised, it’s not quite so new anymore, vision mission and values, and
I’m not going to read these to you because I’m assuming you’ve probably
seen these before. We put them in darn near every presentation we give. But I do
of course want to point out today that our topic is going to really focus on
primarily the value of the whole child, but also in collaboration and service
with you and always in through the lens of looking at continuous improvement and
equitable resources for all our kiddos. So, glad to have you on board and here’s
just a really simple version of what the three main buckets of conversation are
that we’re going to have with you today. Obviously when we started to look at
mental health and social-emotional learning, we could spend hours if not
days with you sharing out resources and ideas about those topics, so we added a
little bit of a subtext to this because it is the holiday season and we do know
that our students often have a little bit more trouble this time of year with
the stresses of the season. Uh oh, just finding from our Q&A that you all are not
seeing what is on my screen, so we’re gonna take just a quick second to make
sure we’re fixing that for you. Sorry about that, y’all you bear with us
and give us just a second. So if someone could type in the Q&A if
you are now seeing a very colorful slide or now seeing the first slide of the
webinar. Please let us know if you’re still seeing black. We see it, okay. Geez
o’petey, sorry y’all, um we are back on line. So I’m gonna just give you a quick sec
to see the visual of what I just explained auditorally, but try to move
through these a little bit so that you we can get caught up with our time line.
So here we are just talking today with you, three main buckets, because when we
thought about mental health and social-emotional learning, we realized it
could take us a long time to share out everything that we have to share. So with
this idea in mind of the holiday season and the additional stresses that staff
and students are experiencing this time of year, we’re gonna talk a little bit
about self-care for staff, and some of the systems level supports that we
should be focused on this time of year, and then also give you some some what
quickly and easily implementable support strategies that you can use with your
students in the next couple of weeks as they gear up for winter break and you do
as well, but also could be applicable any time. And then of course, we will keep you
in mind some basic terminology as we go. This slide will be up again at the end,
but wanted you to be aware of some of the many folks we have here at OSPI who can
support you in the areas of social emotional learning and mental health, and
some of our main contributors to this website, or to this webinar. And so we
would like to first give you a chance to give us a couple of your top of mind
issues during this time of year. I would love to see you give us your thoughts
around what are the things that are really percolating up for you during the
holiday season and the December months? So we’re gonna give you a couple minutes
to type some things in that Q&A box. Obviously everybody will be able to see
your thoughts. So we hope we can kind of capture a
little bit of some of the things that you’re working on and dealing with this
time of year. Also remember, as Tony said, that we will be capturing all of the
comments and questions that you type in that Q&A box and we’ll be able to email
that out to all the participants. So if you see something that somebody is
suggesting as a resource later on in the webinar, that you want to come back to,
you will have that opportunity. Again, just give me another minute or two
to see what kinds of things are going on for you. What do we got Ronnie? Sure,
fractured home, stressful home environments. We know that winter break
can be a time period where students get a little bit anxious about not having
their school hours and not having their access maybe to their peers and their
safe environment and the adults that are champion for them. Okay, social-emotional
crisis this time of year. We really were excited to present this webinar, “Social
Emotional Learning and Mental Health” continues to be one of the most
requested topics by many of our support staff in our schools, so we’re happy to
be with you this morning talking about some things to hopefully help you in
that area, knowing of course that an hour is pretty quick. So, again, we’ll send out
kind of the ideas that were top of mind of you all for this year as we capture
those in your Q&A box, but we’re going to go ahead and continue on with what we
want to share out. And just want to ground us a little bit in some of the
work that we know many of the listeners on this webinar are engaged in, which is
school counseling. Want to remind you all of the framework that OSPI has posted on
our website; we’ve linked it here for you. We know that students cannot fully
engage in their education if we are only focused on social-emotional. We’ve got to
make sure we are also integrating that academic and career and college
readiness piece into the whole big picture of serving those students, and
giving them hope for their future. But we have, obviously school counseling where
this is a heavy piece of the work they do, this model is here for you. It’s full
of tools, standards that you can align your program with, both ethical and
like content, and then a whole section of tools from the American School Counselor
Association. It’s going to be a really great tool for you and aligning your
programs with best practices. And then a little bit later as we will talk about
in this webinar, school counselors really should be
collaborating with the other support staff in the schools, especially this
time of year. Our school psychologists or school nurses or school social workers
to provide that integrated support system for
students so they’re really having all aspects of that whole child’s needs
being met. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that here in a few minutes
when I turn it over to Mandy. She’s going to share a little bit with you about
what some of the holiday break may mean for your students. Hi everyone, thanks for
joining us today. You know that question that came in about fractured homes? It
really rings true about the social context of the students, and how that can
be amplified during breaks, especially a holiday or winter break. So I’m going to
run through these considerations that students may have more exposure to
family dynamics. That can be both positive and negative. Family dynamics
may also increase in intensity. Parenting or visitation plans might be adjusted or
changed, so sometimes folks are going to visit a parent that they don’t normally
see, or they’re spending time with a guardian who has come in for the
holidays. They may also have changed schedules around different key dates.
Scheduled shifts that increase or reduce time with some family members, so if
they’re used to seeing primary caregivers and are now seeing folks that
they don’t always get to see or vice versa.
Travel hosting or visiting bring very different places and faces. So, some kids
might be traveling this time of year, others might have travel visitors staying
with them, so there’s extra folks sleeping on the couch, or you have to
give up, I think we’ve all seen National Lampoon, when you have to give up the
bedroom for somebody else. So not only are people, places and times
changing, but even the security of having your own space gets shifted around for
some of our students. There’s a lot of overstimulation, but the other extreme of
that can be an extreme sense of isolation during this time of year, well
especially when we don’t have our school schedule. Kids might be at home, spending
more time by themselves, because their parents are still working through the
break, or their siblings or half siblings have gone off to see other
family members. So there can be a lot of new things happening. But also a time of
loneliness or isolation might occur. There are also concerns or adjustments
related to finances and food. Many families are
working really hard to ensure that daily needs are met, but given the holidays
that can occur this time of year, there might be added emphasis on having bigger
meals or more things and gifts are part of that for a lot of families we work
with. There can be a sense of scarcity or comparison that sometimes happens, which
brings us to our last point about balancing expectations in reality, and
helping students to navigate comparisons among peers and friends. So how much do
they have access to the supports that they normally would have, without also
balancing some of the feelings of just wondering if they measure up in terms of
how other people experience this time of year. Thanks Mandy, lots of great
considerations for our students, but also some of our staff may be experiencing a lot
of those same things. And, this time of year especially with the extra
everything that comes with the holiday season, staff may be feeling extra tired
and stressed from trying to meet students’ additional needs. And as this picture
reminds us, it is incredibly important that we care for ourselves before we
care for our students, or at least at the same time, so that we are able to provide
them the supports that they need. So we’re going to look at some self-care
terms and just get some common language situated. The first term we’re looking at
is Compassion Satisfaction, and this is the positive feelings we get when we
realize that compassion we put into working with others is resulting in some
relief, growth and/or healing. We also have Compassion Fatigue. The fatigue, the
emotional distress, sometimes apathy, that results from
constant demands of caring for others- and this includes our teaching
professions and our social supports that we provide in schools-then it can
oftentimes bring a sense of weariness. And finally burnout-a physical emotional
exhaustion that might include negative self-concepts and/or job attitudes
and the loss of concern and feeling for others. So as the research continues
to confirm, the ripple effect of learning about and trying to mitigate the
challenges that surround the lives of our students can really affect
our own health and well-being. So while we often feel satisfaction and enjoyment
with our jobs, when we experience compassion fatigue we need to pay
attention. Too much can lead to burnout and even cause us to experience
vicarious trauma, which if is not addressed early on, can lead us into
secondary trauma and we’ll talk a little bit more about that. If not addressed, we
ultimately could be affected physically, symptoms that are similar to
post-traumatic stress disorder, even though we weren’t directly exposed to
that trauma ourselves. So, how do we know if the exhaustion we’re feeling is no
longer healthy? Here’s a tool. Yeah, so you know, doing a personal self-assessment
can be done in many ways. Sometimes you know yourself well enough. One of
the prompts I often put out there is, “Who am I when I’m well?” And this particular
tool can help us navigate some of that. So this tool shared by Ron Hertel, OSPI’s supervisor for social-emotional learning, and it’s the professional quality of
life scale, or a ProQol for short. It’s a great way to monitor compassion
satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and potential burn outs. And this can be used
for individuals or groups, it’s free. We love that, and it only takes about five
minutes to complete. There’s also multiple languages. If you use the entire
self score tool to which we’ve provided a link, and then we can put that in the
chat box later on. You’ll get a self rated score in the areas of compassion
satisfaction, burnout, and secondary trauma, and a brief description of what
you, of what the score might mean for you. Some school administrators use this tool
as a blind survey to aggregate the general stress and satisfaction felt by
staff. And then you can implement programming based upon what your data
shares with you. You’ll find also that your score might lie outside of a
positive range, or if you just know without a tool that you need some
self-care, here are some of those eight suggested areas in your life that you
might want to focus on. Ultimately, with as much as we know about the impacts of
stress and trauma, self care is an ethical obligation for those who care
and support others who are struggling. Self-care is an intentional activity. To
do it well, we really have to plan for it. It can be
helpful to think of it in categories such as the ones you see on this slide,
and feel free to take a quick picture of this page. Jot down some ideas for
yourself and hang on to it on the refrigerator or sometimes I said it as
my phone screensaver just to keep me considering my own self-care. Also in the
lower left hand corner of the slide, you’ll see a link to chapter 2, well it’s
a link to OSPI’s book on compassionate teaching. And in chapter 2
of that book, The Heart of Learning and Teaching, you’ll see some
additional ideas aligned with these eight categories. It’s a free download
for you, and hopefully that link will get you right to it without any trouble. And
then I wanted to share out with you another book that was recommended to me
by Dana Anderson. He’s the superintendent of ESD 113. And, this book has been a
national bestseller for quite a few years. I think it came out in 2009, but it
was new to me and I thought I’d put it back out there for you all. It’s called
Trauma Stewardship. If you want to take a deeper dive into some strategies for
self-care, and can make the time because after all, winter break is coming, so
maybe you’ve got a few minutes on your hand coming up soon, then this book can
be a really great resource. For those of you who don’t have time or aren’t into
books, we also have a link here to a TED talk by the author of this book. It’s a
much more condensed shorter version of some of the strategies that she shares
out around taking care of yourself if you are a caregiver, and we’ve provided
you with one more thought on another resource that’s out there about managing
compassion fatigue specifically. It’s another TED talk by another well-known
author and she gives some really nice concrete strategies for dealing with
some of the issues that come up when we are feeling fatigued and leading into
burnout. Okay, thank you. This is Camille Goldy again. And so
one of the tools that I just want to share to reinforce that self-care and
acknowledge that we really need to be you know working on taking care of
ourselves so that we can regenerate and come back at the new year-this
is a great self-care checklist for the holidays, highlighting really just the
importance of acknowledging that holidays may not always be a happy time
for everyone or maybe things that come up. And also, just kind of adding in my
own editorial comments that go along with this checklist, things about you
know, good and healthy boundaries. Maybe just because it’s been a tradition
doesn’t mean it has to always be a tradition, if it’s something that just is
creating so much stress for you, and just giving, putting it out there, that
you have the permission to kind of recreate what that looks like for you. So
this is a good short read. Yep, I was able to condense it down to a one-page of
front and back, so it’s not too bad. Okay, so again want to give you a chance
to share out some of the things that you might be using for self-care that have
been successful on your end. I put this graphic organizer up as a visual because
I want us to be mindful that we do have need for self-care in mind, body, and
spirit; and so if there’s something you’ve been using or that’s been really
working for you. I’ll give you a couple minutes here to type information into
that Q&A box, and just a reminder that we will be able to send that out to all the
participants, so if you see an idea that goes by and you can’t quite keep up, then
we will make sure that obviously you’re going to get that out as a link here
after the webinar. So we’re gonna get to give a couple of minutes of quiet time
for you to think and share; hopefully you saw that prompt on our advertisement of
this webinar that we’d be asking you to contribute, so we’ll give you a minute
here to see what you come up with. How are we doing Ronnie? Are we seeing any? Okay,
maybe some of you are thinking and still typing. I just want to apologize; we had
our reminder set to go out for this webinar with our OSSI newsletter on
Monday, and that actually went out this morning, and so you may have not seen
that prompt to come prepared with some ideas and strategies. So no problem if
you didn’t have that ready. We will certainly
hopefully see that some of the things we’ve shared with you today are things
you can take home and think about and try. Thank you this is Mandy. I’m
wondering if I could share an example of one of my self-care strategies. That’d be awesome. Oh,
and we’ve got a couple others. For me, this time of year getting a walk in
before 3 o’clock, because I need to see the sunshine. Just to be reminded that
before work and after work it’s usually dark out. Right Ronnie, it sounds like we
have some questions. What are, what’s popping up? That’s what one of our ladies said, long walks, upbeat films, visiting relatives. Another one is self-care, leaving work at work & spending more time with family. Gosh, leaving work at work. I
want to talk to whoever’s leaving work at work because I need some help with
that. So, we appreciate that you all have got some ideas. I hope you’re utilizing
those especially this time of year, as it can be extra stressful with everything
that’s happening whether you are someone who subscribes to the holidays or not.
I think that’s really part of the meat of this conversation and the
self-care strategy, is that, with so much hustle and bustle or change in schedules
or different demands, or new faces and places that are demanding our time and
attention, and our usual schedules being different, and day care being different,
whatever it is, that fitting in those self-care strategies
might even be harder on break. Well, and I think when, if you dive into the resource
that Camille was talking about, and that she provided for you, the very first one
says take time for yourself; and we all know that often those of us especially
who are helpers, tend to prioritize our own needs last, so this was why we led
with this section of the webinar first. Because before we dive into mental
health and social-emotional learning, I just want to really encourage you all to
do what we all need to do probably better, which is to take care of
ourselves. So thank you for your contributions. We’re going to go ahead
and switch gears now, and talk a little bit about systems work. And in particular,
the idea of providing those tiered systems for our students where we have
some of our supports and services that are being presented and utilized with
all of our students in a more foundational way. And then of course
where we’re kicking it up when we have those students who need a
little bit more intentional work from us, and a more intentional supports from the
folks who are there at school to help them with their, whether it be academic,
social, emotional, or personal social needs. And then finally, we all know those
small number of kiddos who really need everything and the kitchen sink, and where
our school psychologists and social workers, community organizations, all
kinds of folks, might be coming in to provide those wraparound services that
are so critical for those students and families in crisis. So keeping it real
around the system improvement work, we’re going to share a resource with you
but also a couple of strategies that are more systems-level, but are really still
things you could be thinking about like in the next couple of weeks. Do we have
this ready to go? Is this a place we need to focus a little time and attention?
So Mandy’s going to take you through some important distinctions about
vocabulary in this section of the webinar. Want to be really clear about
what mental health means, because there’s a lot of confusion out in the field
about mental health versus mental illness, and the role that our school
support staff play in helping students with their mental health. So Mandy, you’re up.
Thanks Kim. So again, just setting a common language opportunity. So let’s
talk about mental health, which we have defined as: a state of well-being in
which one realizes one’s own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life
and self-regulate during stressful times, can work productively and fruitfully, and
is also able to make contributions to the community. These key terms are kind
of important, because sometimes, as Kim said, there can be complation with the
words mental health and when folks really mean to talk about mental illness
or mental health challenges. Also we have social-emotional learning. We have that
defined as a process in which children and adults acquire and apply knowledge,
attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and
achieve positive goals and feel better, and show empathy for others, establish
and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Not a problem
at all! We got that handled right?! Holy Moly! Right and, you know, two notes on
mental and social emotional learning
definitions. They’re really long, but it’s because they’re complex, nuanced things
right; and it’s easy to see how we can sometimes conflate terms, or say one
thing when we reference and mean to impact or have outcomes in another. And
they do have a lot of overlap. I don’t know that you could do one without the
other. Lastly, we have school climate, which is
the quality and character of school life. It is based on patterns of students, parents,
and school personnel’s experiences of school life. It also reflects norms, goals,
values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and
organizational structures. That’s where some of that systems work comes in, and
the idea around positive behavior intervention. Lots of the acronym
language that’s out there is really just about do our kids feel safe, and do they
feel engaged and enjoy their school, and what are we doing to continue to improve
that? So Mandy, yeah, and just a note that the most common mental disorders
among children and teens are anxiety, depression, and ADHD. A mental illness can
affect the ways people think, feel, behave, and interact with others. For school
counselors and other support staff, they’re increasingly asked to help
students develop coping strategies for disorders, which can be appropriate
depending upon the level of impact the student and the staff, and to match the
level of training that that staff person has had. However, students with mental
health challenges need greater levels of support from professional counselors as
well. Especially when the impacts are severe or lasting, and affect daily
activities. So for most school-based support staff, even if they’ve had
additional training and licensure, given the vast amount of responsibilities and
typical caseloads in the school setting, they should work with their school team
and the family to refer students to licensed professional treatment
providers, for mental health therapy or other behavioral health needs such as
substance abuse. Yeah, thanks Mandy. I think there’s a lot of
interest in seeing counselors do more mental health, and so what I always hear
out in the field and our school psychologists and our school social
workers are being asked to do the same thing. So we really wanted to be clear
about what mental health means versus what mental illnesses are,
and how those may need higher levels of treatment than what we can be providing
in that school setting, with all of those various support staff that we may or may
not have access to, and in some communities, we got to acknowledge that
our school counselors or our school social workers, maybe even our
psychologists are acting in that role as well, because there may not be those
resources in the community. So just wanting to be clear that we know it
varies from school to school, and depending on the access you have in your
community, you may or may not be having to provide more of those resources
yourself. But wanting to be really clear on that definition. And bringing it one
more time kind of, as we start talking about systems and system improvement
terms. Just being familiar and working with your colleagues to have a set sense
of what any of these terms mean for you and your context is going to be really
important. We also see things like um, mental health stigma that impacts the creation of these system supports. So for us, when we think of mental stigma,
being ready and willing to ask the hard questions can be really important, and
just having a shared language, but the shared outcomes is also really
valuable, right. Lastly, we wanted to say that sometimes students that you work
with, you may know that they have a diagnosed mental illness or mental
health challenge. You might know students who have anxiety disorder or depression,
or some other diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have good mental
health. They may have lots of coping strategies, lots of support. So watching
our own stigma around how we might be placing those concepts into our system’s
creations is also something to be mindful of. Definitely. Thank You Mandy.
And our definition of social-emotional learning came from the National School
Climate Center just as an FYI, and then we of course take our school climate
definition from the Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning or
CASEL, CaSEL, however you want to pronounce it. And then last but not least,
I wanted to provide you with an opportunity, if you are interested in
providing OSPI’s social-emotional learning work group, with some feedback.
They have a survey that’s out right now. They’re asking us to push it to as many
people as we possibly can, including students and families.
So if you have some folks in your building who you could get this to, who
would be willing to take it and provide that feedback, our office is working
pretty hard on trying to develop the indicators of social-emotional learning
to help staff be able to know what things to focus on within the school
system. So that would be an option for you there. We’ve pasted the link to the
survey, we’re going to get that link into the chat box by the end of the webinar. Yep,
and otherwise it’s linked here on these slides, and these slides again will be
posted, so all the things you’re seeing that are linked are live for you. So
we’ll make it easy hopefully for you to go back and be able to access some of
these additional pieces. So thinking again of systems work-obviously this
isn’t something you would take on between now and winter break. But there
might be some pieces that you are thinking about already in terms of
needing to do some work on your entire K12 system of supports for students in
your district and in your building. So this is a protocol that has been
developed within our Center for the Improvement of Student Learning or
SISL. We have staff here who have spent a lot of time researching best practices
and working those into this very comprehensive model about how to support
students. In 2016, the legislature actually created a bill that was asking
for us to come up with a variety of strategies to close educational
opportunity gaps, and the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accounting
Community, EOGOAC, if you’ve ever heard that acronym-they are tasked with this
work. And so they’ve been directly connected with this protocol development
as well. It does incorporate multi-tiered systems of supports, but it also really
looks at the integration of community-based resources and supports
into that academic setting, and the environment within your schools and
districts. So it’s really calling on us to think about where we can get
additional support in our community for the work that we’re doing, because we all
know, that often times we have more students with needs than we can
adequately staff as school support personnel, and so looking out into the
community and seeing what kind of supports are out there that they can
help with, our district here where my kids are in school are reaching out to
our faith-based organizations. Right now we’ve got an interaction with a local
nonprofit, where they’re providing some of our supports to our tier three
students and families. And so many of our schools who, when I think of community
partnerships, I also think of the regional supports at the ESD level. Oh
yeah, they have excellent programming and prevention centers that are providing
behavioral health supports through direct staff that are often in schools
or to help you know, school counselors. Yup, all kinds of things that can come
out of your ESD as well, so again, especially for those schools and
communities that don’t have a lot of resources, that ESD is going to be your
best bet for finding some solid supports in the areas that you may not have the
capacity in your building. And then we’ve got some staff members here who are
directly connected to this work, and one of them is on our slide of all the
different staff here you can connect with if you need some additional
supports or have questions, so that will come up again at the end. And now Mandy’s
going to share with you some broader kind of system level strategies that you
could actually be thinking about in the next couple of weeks that might help
make the last two weeks of 2018 go a little bit better for your whole school.
So here you go Mandy, you’re up. So we kind of lump this in into four main
categories. The first two are Collaboration and Connection. So if we
were thinking systems, why does collaboration? These will look like
things like having a refresher about referral processes for all support staff.
So talking to your peers and colleagues about what community supports are out
there, and who might be making those referrals. So collaboration is key, but
also how we do that collaboration? And just a refresher on how things get
funneled through the school system, whether it’s through you as a school
counselor, and you know checking your forms, making sure people know where to
drop off referrals, or if it’s a skyward system, how folks do that, and
reminding them that you are there for that collaboration. Community-based
resources-are staff connected and using them? So refreshing those partnerships this time of year can be helpful. Connection,
one of our key examples here was about link crew or student and peer leader
groups, and having checking in with new students. This is a great time to check
in with not only students who are new, but if there’s any kids that have been
flagged for needs, or have been identified for, who would benefit from
some additional supports, and when we think about connection-how are staff
supporting students who have anxiety about being with family and or away from
school during this time of year? I know it’s easy, on a personal note, to be so
consumed with what I’m going to do during this break, that I’m not always
spending the time I need to check in with both my peers and with the kids
that we might work with. Our other two buckets we wanted to say for system
supports, look like Consistency and Cultural Sensitivity. We think about
consistency. We really wanted to emphasize that having maintained
routines in the school setting can be really helpful, and also finding ways to
build in some extra “as-needed” availability, so amplifying and giving a
lot of access to, excuse me, giving access to places where kids can tap into your
supports. The consistency of having posted office hours on your door, or maybe
during the morning announcements or reminders, so that kids as their need
arises, or they might identify that they could use extra supports, to just that
you’re there and available. Cultural sensitivity-this is a part of our holiday and winter breaks. Some of our prompts include: how our schools are, how
are our students learning about various holidays? What traditions are students
experiencing? And are they able to share with their peers? And when are
staff supporting those who are not celebrating holidays or don’t have the
funds to celebrate in the same way that other folks might be? The last note on
cultural sensitivity-we also know that there’s economic cultural context as
well, so again, sometimes folks talk about or reference the culture of poverty. And
just being mindful that with all the giving and the gift
exchanges, and sometimes even just the food concerns that, everybody might have
a different take on this time of year. Some who are engaged in holidays and
some who aren’t practicing any holidays during this break. And I gotta say Mandy,
I know I’ve been out of schools now for two years, but the last year that I was
in the high school, I was so impressed with how increasingly open-minded and
and sort of connected that our students can be, and the sensitivity that they
sometimes have, more so even than us adults always think about, around making
sure that all of their peers feel included, and that they’re not feeling
isolated. And this is just one of those times of year where I think it’s really
key for our students to be reaching out to other students as well, because we
just know it’s why we had a whole section on it. And staff are just as
stressed and that there’s a lot going on and it’s busy. But you know, as we have
concerts and we have holiday assemblies, and we have things that are meant to be
fun and exciting, and enjoy it and festive, that we just keep that equity
lens on everything that we’re doing and really try to see things through the
eyes of those students who may be not part of the dominant or not dominant but
majority culture in that area, um, and I think that that is something that’s
important regardless of where you live in the state, because we know that there
are a lot of communities where the predominant culture is not maybe
necessarily the one that would celebrate Christmas, right? And that that holiday
celebration can look very different across the state of Washington this time
of year can be very different from one building to the next, so we hope some of
these things are helpful for you to be thinking about. Obviously again, in an
hour, we can’t meet everyone’s needs in social-emotional learning and mental
health conversation, but just putting these things out there as something for
us always to be thinking about. And this time of year just happens to be a time
of year where we need to be extra on top of these thoughts. So we want to go now
into the last section of our webinar. It’s sort of the quick and easy, down and
dirty stuff that we want to throw your way as some things you
might need right now. Oh my gosh, that’s why I’m online right now! So I’ve been waiting,
and so we’ve got some resources, some quick links for you too, some additional
things if you have the time, but also a few things that we’re hoping resonate
and give you something to work from. So just to start with, I think sometimes
what’s so hard for students in this time of year is feeling really isolated and
alone, and that they’re not included in some of what’s happening around the
building and around the school and around their family community. So really
having them take a moment to pause and think about who is here to help me when
I need it, and as school staff increasingly become the champions and
the supports for so many of our kiddos who are experiencing lack of stability
in their home environment, or any of the things we know that we’ve got our kids
thinking about this time of year. This is something that I think can be done at
any point in time; to just have a student think about-who can I look at and think
about as a person I could connect with when I need that help? And this is just a
nice visual way to do that, and they can take it with them, they can put it up in
their room, they can post it on their refrigerator, if it’s something that
their family is aware of, and then really sometimes if they can just see they’ve
got at least one adult who’s there for them, and/or a peer who’s willing to act
in that role, or be their buddy, that can make a huge difference for their
mental health and for their feeling of connection and support. And now we’ve got,
Mandy’s gonna come share a few more quick and easy with you. We’re gonna
bounce back and forth between she, Camille and I. We’ve all got some
nice stuff to share out with you, oh and I did want to mention that several of
the things that we are going to be sharing with you are coming from, the
graphic on the right, the Providence Group has a whole series of resources. We
pulled several of them out of the grief activities, but they can be adapted and
applied in other settings. Anytime you see the Providence icon on the slide,
just know that’s where we got that from, and that link
is here for you to go back in and take a look. So bringing it back to the field,
this is something that we gained from all the folks in school settings that
are doing things like PBIS, but specifically practice good behavior game. So
we wanted to highlight “tootling,” a behavior intervention. So tootling can
really be used to improve the quality of interactions between students, and it
discourages the focus on negative behaviors while encouraging and
emphasizing focus on positive. It’s another one of those peer-to-peer
activities too, so classrooms are often set up to identify or catch kids being
bad, but tootling gives us an opportunity to catch kids being good. So engaging
kids with tootling is a positive intervention that can be added to
existing classroom systems, and it basically looks like providing a a Tootle ticket. So, a Tootle ticket is: who was doing what, what did they do,
or whom and who the Tootler is. So this is an example, but you could create a
Tootle ticket or Tootle system in any way. And this is great for young kids, but it
can also be adopted for your secondary students too. As Kim was saying, you know
especially with this ever-growing ability for us to lean into our students
as Co teachers and peers and our whole systems changes, that we can
look to them for how to highlight each other in meaningful ways, and what it
looks like to really catch kids growing, and catch kids doing well. Right, and the
link at the bottom of the page here will take you directly to the entire lesson
plan that goes along with what we put here on the screen. We just took a little
snippet of it, but it’s got lots of more kind of practical ideas about how to use
this in your buildings. We also wanted to share with you some means,
again, things you could implement today. So an easy reminder to get help would
look like having some sort of prompt for kids. These could be signs that folks put
into the bathroom stalls, or put in the hallways. It could be something that you
show on your morning TV or screen announcements. We have prompts that say
“Got the wintertime feels? We’re here to help,” and it just reminds it and
encourages anybody in your building maybe to swing by the counseling office
and do a good positive check in. Right and again,
thinking about that referral process that we mentioned earlier when Mandy was
talking about some of that systems work, making sure that your posters obviously
are aligned with whatever your referral process is, and who the students have
available to go see, especially on a you know as-needed basis, it’s really
important to make sure there that those are clear on those posters. So this is
the puppy part of the presentation here. Next one up, it’s Camille. So this is our
favorite resource, or at least mine these days. It’s Gizmos Pawesome Guide to Mental
Health and this is I think intended for younger students, but I would argue it
works for the lifespan of all of us because it’s so – with puppies on every
page, and it really does an excellent job. It’s a downloadable book for free
from the state of Connecticut, and so it does a great job of just really naming
mental health, giving practical examples of what those behaviors and feelings
look like, and then takes you to the page that you see on the screen, which is a
plan for supporting your own mental health. And this is something that in our maybe clinical world, we would call a safety plan, but really, I mean this is
just a really good plan for everyone to have for themselves. If you have a
student that needs a little bit of guidance on how to manage those
behaviors and feelings, and how to redirect, this is an awesome tool for
that, so we highly recommend it, and I think we all are you know, either doing
it, or have it on our agenda to do for ourselves. So what I loved about
this Camille, is, especially some of the things on the checkoff list, really
reminded me of the graphic organizer we showed at the beginning. And this of
course speaks to my heart as a very concrete sequential thinker, I love making
lists, so for your kids who love lists, this can be really awesome. That other
graphic organizer was a little more abstract random for me, so meeting
different kids’ needs as well. You’ve got lots of options here, and one of the
things too about our system work for our short words. How we use our language that-
this is great for being a mental health plan, and it talks about how to improve mental
health and supports, but it’s doing it through social-emotional activities,
right? So again, these two topics constantly are overlapping and informing
the same work. That’s why we put them together. We’re geniuses. Okay, so one of
the things I wanted to bring up- Regina Brown is our elementary school
counselor vice president for the Washington School Counselor Association, and she’s
been talking to me a lot about toxic masculinity and some of the things that
she’s researching and experiencing and sort of looking into, around the ways in
which we acculturate our boys. Sometimes in this culture, and when we’re talking
about feelings, we’re talking about social emotional learning, you know often
times this has been a harder area for us to talk with our boys than it has been
our girls. And in some of our cultural aspects, we tend to allow for the
expression of anger much more than we do the expression of grief; and so I wanted
to present this resource in this way because I want us to be really thinking
about, how are we promoting feelings with both males and females? How are we
teaching them around the different feelings we experience and how to
express those? What are positive coping techniques? And this particular resource
which again came from the Providence document that we linked you to, has a
couple of worksheets. They look very similar and they act in a similar way,
but they’re basically teaching students some of the more positive ways that you
can express these two feelings. And we know this time of year, these are just a
couple things that popcorn out a little bit more than maybe we hope they do, but
we want to be sure we have some resources in our back pocket ready to go
to help those students process through those feelings. Also you may have seen
the King 5 news story recently on Sydney Reed at Peter G Schmidt Elementary School in the Tumwater School District. She has created a chill room and
actually a place for the students to come and have
a place to deescalate, debrief with her when they’re really needy. They’ve set up
some similar areas in the pods of their school for students who maybe don’t need
quite as intensive of a moment to relax, but need just a break and a quick
time to chill out so that they don’t continue to escalate, and this resource
of course gives you some other ideas about how to use these very visual
graphic handouts in a way to help students think about these emotions. So I
loved that there were two things that were similar and yet different that you
could utilize here really quickly if you have that need, and then of course during
the holiday season is always a time where we know that our students who have
experienced especially a recent loss or are dealing with loved ones who are
really ill, may be especially prone to feeling really sad around the holiday
season. And as they experience those family traditions and connections
without maybe that family member present, how do we help them process through that
going into that holiday season? So this is yet another somewhat simple but
potentially powerful way that you can help a student organize their thoughts
around what they’re worried about. In the potential loss of a loved one who may be
really ill that hasn’t happened yet, what they’re thinking about in that line
of thinking with that person in mind. And then also, what do they miss about their
lost loved ones? And this resource goes on to provide you with some visuals
about how you can turn this into art projects, kind of a memorial of sorts of
things that remind you about that loved one in a more art-based way. We just
again have an hour, so we picked a few things to share out with you that were
relatively simple to do, as we lead into the last two weeks of school in 2018. And
then, we also link to you here, it’s a resource that again may not happen in
the next two weeks for you, but it’s a eight part lesson on grief support
groups for the school setting, and it’s a guide specific to offering that in
schools. It may be something that you might want to start before the winter
break hits if you’ve got some kids who are really struggling. You might find
some resources in there that you could do prior to, and then continue to support
them when they come back, because we all know that reentry after winter break can
be just as rough as the lead up, and so how are we going to think about being
there and available for our kids as they come out of this next two weeks? And Kim,
just as a final thought to offer up to our folks who are listening today, about
both the concepts of gender and on grief, that early in the webinar we talked
about the different faces and places and changing schedules that are
occurring for our students and our own families. I wanted to do a just a
quick brief coverage of some of our LGBT students and also our trans students
This time of year, they may be seeing family members whom they don’t normally
see, and they may be taken out of the social supports that they have
established in their school buildings, and with caring adults like our school
counselors and teachers. So it’s another opportunity to think about the, sometimes
the grief that the families can project on their lesbian, bi, trans and gay
students, that sometimes our students aren’t always being warmly recepted in
wider family circles. And then, for lots of our LGBT students, they do have tons
of support. So just one more lens to remember that things can often change up
this time of year. Absolutely, thanks Mandy, that’s a great addition. So want to
continue on here with some additional resources for you that Camille is going
to share out, ok. So, one thing to always keep in mind I think is resources that we have in our pockets, not only during the holiday season but
all year round, around students who are at risk for suicide and need supports. So
really just being mindful of the rates, the increase in rates, and the students
who are more vulnerable and kind of need those resources. One of the things
that I would like to always ask people to do is put a Suicide Prevention
lifeline phone number in their phone. I think that’s a great thing that you
could offer students before they leave and then also the website offers some
great free resources. So your school could go there and download their banner
and put it on the webpage to be sharing out or however else you do
communications with families. This is a great resource to share. And then lastly,
the crisis text line is a great resource for students. It’s free, it’s anonymous;
they have excellent strategies for de-escalating and just really helping
students kind of identify like, what are they feeling, and how can we deal with
those feelings? And this is probably one of the best things I feel like we can
offer students just because it’s so accessible for them; texting is how they
communicate. So this is something that if you go to the website, you can download
some of their flyers and things to share out as well as just while they’re in
your office or in your classroom. Inviting them to get out their phones
and program in a line is pretty exciting for them. that’s the way
my two children communicate! I have a seventh grader and a ninth grader, and I can talk
to them more by text than in person sometimes, I tell you. I also just
wanted to add on to what Camille just shared, and let you know that that
graphic in the middle is actually a connection to a video that came out just
last week from Ed Week. It is eight minutes and forty-five seconds of
information that a school in Virginia- how they are tackling this topic. The way
in which they are bringing this out to students in a much less stigmatized way-
how do we get this out? How do we talk about it? How do we have those crucial
conversations with our students so that they’re not hiding and afraid and that
they know where to go to get help? And as Camille has told me she’s really clear
and saying, this is not a time of year where we see an increase in the number
of suicides, so we don’t present this to you because we want you to be extra
worried that this is going to happen this time of year or over a break, but
it’s just again, as we’re talking about mental health, we’re talking about
social-emotional learning, a big part of our job as supporters of students is to
provide them the information that they need to be successful in supporting
themselves. And so these are some great resources for you to get out in your
schools, and I encourage you to go take a look at this video. It’s fresh off the
press and really had some great ideas in it
for schools to think about how you’re bringing this issue to light, so that we
take away that stigma of mental health. We take away that stigma of suicide. The
school counseling community just lost a really great advocate in Dave Forrester; he
lost his battle with this. And in part, I think it was because we didn’t do enough
to engage with him and make sure he knew he had those supports. And he did a lot
of the same things we see our students do, with pushing away the people that
want to help. So really is an issue that’s a front and center for me this
time of year; this is my first holiday season having to deal with that myself.
So wanted to make sure that we’re all thinking about these things as well,
because they do unfortunately continue to happen to our youth as you can see on
this slide-second leading cause of death for our kiddos in our schools. So okay, on
that heavy note, we want to take just a really quick breather and let’s take a
deep breath together, okay. Mindfulness is important as we get enmeshed in these
thoughts, taking care of ourselves so that the trauma that our kids are
experiencing isn’t impacting us. Gotta practice that as well. So I want to give you one
last opportunity, if there’s anything you would like to contribute to our
webinar. Obviously we know there are so many other great things out there. I’m
sure there’s wonderful things you’re doing in your own work that we would be
more than happy to share out more broadly, if you want to type it into that
Q&A box. We will be sending this out to all the folks who registered for the
webinar so that they can have access to this, and then also be posting this
webinar again on the Ready Set Grad website for the Washington Student
Achievement Council, usually takes us a couple weeks to get it up, but it will be
there. And we’ll try to get this one up as quickly as we can, since we know we
encourage you to go back to some of the links we provided in the next two
weeks. So we will do our best. Is there anything that you want to contribute? I
would encourage you to just type anything in as it comes up for you and
again, knowing that our reminder didn’t get out in a timely way, that
we’re encouraging you to be ready for these opportunities. No pressure, no
stress, no expectations. And that just because of our quick timeline, all the
things that do get added to the chat box we’ll be sure to catalog and make
available. That’s right, so one last time, I want to give you those contacts for
staff here at OSPI who are really directly connected to the work of social
emotional learning and mental health. This is by no means a comprehensive list;
we have many other staff who connect to this work in a lot of ways, but these
were some of the folks who contributed to this webinar and who also are really
directly connected to what we’ve been sharing out. I would encourage you to
reach out with any questions you have or need for support-that is a big part of
our job here at OSPI, is to provide you with technical assistance when you have
a need for supports, and help in in any area really. So these are just some folks
and we do have a couple minutes left if anyone has a burning question that
didn’t get answered, this would be a great time for you to
type that in the Q&A box and we can take a second just to try to answer that
directly while we’re still online. So if you’re thinking about doing that or
typing right now, please feel free to do so. I’m just gonna say thank you on
behalf of all of us here; we really appreciate you taking the time to listen
in today, and for all the things you do to support your students, and want to
just remind you that this is a series of webinars that OSPI and the Student
Achievement Council offer each month and so next month, since we all most all of
us are coming back to school after winter break on the first Wednesday of
the month, we shifted the January webinar so that you wouldn’t come back and go
crazy. I don’t have time for a webinar, so it’ll be January 16th
instead of January 2nd, and our normal 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. We’ll be showcasing
some systems-level resources for elementary and middle school
counseling. Our Washington State or Washington school, oh my gosh, WSAC, my brain is dead. Our partners from WSAC will be joining us for that webinar
and so you’ll have a full house of both organizations here to support you. We
hope you’ll be able to come back in January refreshed, ready to hit the 2019
school year, and join us on the 16th from 10:30 to 11:30 for some elementary and
middle school counseling resources. So, last chance for any questions that came
in, Ronnie? OK, we must have done such a good job
or you guys are off and running to lunch duty, so or work with your other students,
so if you’re still on the line, thank you again for joining us. We wish you a
wonderful holiday season and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019. Keep an eye
out for an email from us with more information on today’s webinar and have
a great day!

1 thought on “Mental Health & Social Emotional Responses”

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