Wellness as Life Practice
Select one action to start within 24 hours: decide whether your priority is in the home, community, or school and select an option.
Call to Action: Home
- Learn about the New Parent workshops and encourage new parents to attend (www.williamjames.edu/community/freedman-center/workshops-and-classes-overview.cfm)
- Read chapter 5, ‘Fostering Emotional Wellness in All Students’ (see ISBN 978-0-393-70872-1) and practice its exercises with your son or daughter
- Exercise, sleep well and practice other coping skills – like playing!(www.adolescentwellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Supplemental-Activities-for-Building-Coping-Skills-BFFD-4.pdf)
- Practice the problem solving PIP Problems-Ideas-Plans exercise; both adults and youth can do this! (click for PIP worksheet)
- Practice the exercises within the Whyville.net virtual Wellness Center with your child / grandchild (whyville-parent-participation-request)
- Invite conversations about feelings and wellness (e.g., a family meeting devoted to how each member is doing:
~ how is each person coping with something difficult in his/her life?
~ how can others help?)
- Plan individual time when you can play, to get to know each other better and what is happening in your lives.
Call to Action: Community
- Contact a nearby Rotary club to volunteer with the District 7910 Mental Health and Wellness Promotion project (www.rotary.org/en/search/club-finder)
- Visit the William James Interface website to learn more about mental health services and other resources in your community (interface.williamjames.edu)
- If you volunteer or are involved in community events, see how the topics of mental health and wellness could be incorporated (Unleasing the Power of Prevention)
- Support other parents or community members in their efforts to find mental health resources
- Encourage any efforts to promote open conversations about mental health and wellness (e.g., through art projects, book discussions, ongoing social events)
- Introduce healthy coping coping skills earlier. By eighth grade, 10% of children have already considered suicide (metrowest-adolescent-health-survey-middle-school-2015).
- …and 2% report having made a suicide attempt (graph)
Call to Action: School
- Teachers – set aside two minutes of each day for a visualization exercise or a deep breathing exercise (www.adolescentwellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Supplemental-Activities-for-Building-Coping-Skills-BFFD-4.pdf)
- Teachers – grades k-5: read chapter 5, Fostering Emotional Wellness in All Students (see ISBN 978-0-393-70872-1)
- Teachers – grades 4-8: view the guide (Wellness Center teacher_tutorial ) and invite students to explore the virtual Wellness Center in Whyville (www.Whyville.net) and exercise its activities independently.
- Teachers – grades 8-12: attend Break Free From Depression train-the-trainer workshop (www.BreakFreeFromDepression.org)
- School personnel – ask your administrators how you can, as a system, pay attention more intentionally to student mental health and wellness
- School personnel – start a wellness initiative for staff (e.g., walking club, mentoring program)
- Parents – communicate with your child’s teacher about his/her emotional needs, not just academic needs:
~ What makes your child happy or feel successful?
~ What situations might make him/her feel worried or stressed?
~ How can you and the teacher work together around this?