I know other educators can agree with me when I say I surely did not learn how to manage my own mental health as a teacher when I was going to college to prepare myself for education (as far as teaching virtually, and hybrid and in the pandemic). I teach Middle School and I have now been teaching for about 17 years. Last year and this year by far has been the toughest yet.
We are calling this activity, Resilience, and Safety Planning for Students. Access to the pdf and editable PowerPoint are below. In short, this is a simple activity you do as part of a lesson that students can take with them when they meet an emotional crisis such as parental divorce, a romantic breakup, or the loss of a loved one.
It is such a cliché I know; your world feels like it is crashing down, you have no energy. You even feel like your world is getting darker and darker and all you want is to see a little glimmer of hope. Your days are long, and you are tired of it all. The walls are closing in on you and you cannot breathe.
Does this sound familiar at all?
That is exactly how I felt when I was at my lowest point of depression (I manage and cope with Bipolar Disorder-which was not … Read more...
This podcast features, Anne Moss Rogers. Following her son Charles’s tragic suicide on June 5, 2015, she sold her digital marketing business to speak on the topics of mental health and suicide prevention with a focus on helping educators build a climate and culture of student wellness.
Her second book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk written with co-writer Kim O’Brien, PhD, licensed clinical social worker, was published in August 2021 through Jossey Bass.
In case you were not aware of what Bipolar was, the medical terminology is called manic depressive disorder. This means the person can experience mania (extreme highs) and depression (extreme lows). Now, everyone varies on the extreme, and keep in mind some may also only have manias or depressive episodes.
What do I experience? I experience mixed episodes
So, for me what happens is sometimes I will experience mania symptoms then later that same day I will experience symptoms of depression. Other times it will be one or the other.
A school counselor in my Arizona workshop, The Emotionally Naked Truth About Student Suicide, told me she had a student in the office who shared her thoughts of suicide and when she called the parent they yelled at her and then forbade the child to speak to her.
The parents were ashamed and outraged with their child for talking about such things with a counselor.
You might default to thinking that the parents are terrible people and while they might be, it is usually a cultural … Read more...
The term “postvention” describes an intervention initiated after a traumatic event and for the purposes of this post, the term refers specifically to an intervention following a death by suicide on a school campus. An effective response includes communication, connection, healthy grieving, commemoration, stabilization, coping skills and resilience development, and advocacy.
Good postvention is good prevention
The knee-jerk reaction by schools and colleges is to cancel everything. But the opposite is recommended. Furthermore, the administration usually tries to contain it by being hush-hush which further exacerbates an emotional crisis and stigmatizes a suicide death.
I can’t even imagine the heartbreak. The helplessness those left behind are feeling. The hopelessness her son felt in the final days when everything went so dark there was no turning back to find the light.
Suicide isn’t a desire to die; it’s a desire to end the pain. Too many beautiful young people have ended their lives trying to end the pain because they can’t see the light at the end of the darkness. We often wonder how they could do this with so much going for them. If only they could see themselves through our lens … Read more...
In 2015, my son Charles took his own life at age twenty during an episode of major depression and withdrawal from heroin. By 2017, I had sold my business and invested myself in suicide prevention which included a focus on postvention, the period following a death by suicide.
To better understand this kind of tragedy and its aftermath from an educator’s point of view, I interviewed several educators, including a Colorado public school teacher who had lost a student to suicide. This teacher offered a chilling account of how her students opened … Read more...