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9 Tips for Working with “Difficult” Populations

“Troubled”, “High Risk”, “Difficult”, these are just some of the names that we label our students. With displays of symptoms of underlying problems, we often see behavior that can involve aggression towards self or others, extreme “attention-seeking”, low self-esteem or disproportionately inflated sense of arrogance, substance use, general disrespect towards authority figures, and more.  Admittedly, these kids are not always the easiest to work with. It takes endless amounts of patience, training, experience, and compassion to work with many “at-risk” students. That said if you are in a leadership role (teacher, coach, counselor, etc.) you can be a role model and show behaviors they may have not been exposed to before. While it may seem obvious that as a leader you will display compassion, authenticity, and patience, these youth may have never seen an adult act in this way before. In addition, it can be difficult to dig deep and find your own stride as you roll with their behaviors.
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World Mental Health Day 2019: Advocacy at All Levels

World Mental Health Day 2019
World Mental Health Day is coming up on October 10th. The theme this year is suicide prevention. When we lose a friend, a neighbor, a family member to suicide we can feel helpless. Alone. Unsure of what we could have done differently to prevent this. The World Health Organization notes that we lose one person to suicide every 40 seconds worldwide. With these staggering numbers, the W.H.O. is honoring those we have lost by encouraging people to have “40 seconds of action”. As taken from their website, they state that, “Everyone can take part in whichever way makes most sense. Your activity may be private, for example, initiating a conversation with someone you are worried about or sharing a message of hope with someone who is struggling; or it may be public, for example posting a video message for local or national authorities about action you would like them to take on this issue.”
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10 ways to not have a before-school melt down in the summer heat

We know. We can hardly believe it either. With weeks before the return to school we have to start shifting gears back to routine, education, and after-school activities.

“Already?! But we haven’t done all the fun summer things yet!” you may cry out, incredulously.

Yes, it is indeed that time already. Time to get moving, that is!

A smooth transition back to school begins with about a month’s worth of preparation. Of course, this doesn’t need to be drudgery, math drills, and rushing to complete that summer reading assignment. Here are 10 tips to make the process of returning to academia a little smoother!

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Understanding Suicide Contagion and How to Prevent It

Having a death by suicide in your school can be tragic for everyone in the community. But even more tragic is when that suicide instigates subsequent suicides. This heart wrenching and dangerous phenomenon is known as suicide contagion, and there are ways that schools and communities can help prevent it.

What is suicide contagion?

Suicide contagion is the exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one’s family, one’s peer group, or through media reports of suicide. This exposure can result in an increase in suicide and suicidal behaviors. (US Department of Health and Human Services) After that first suicide happens, communities sometimes see an increase in suicides or suicidal behaviors.


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Tough Talk on Marijuana

Talking about drugs can be difficult for parents.  Talking about marijuana can bring an entirely new level of challenges. Due to layers of controversy, the topic of marijuana, i.e. hemp, THC, CBD, concentrates, and medicinal advantages can place anyone at a loss for words when speaking with our youth. The question of how to talk to teens about marijuana can be an even greater challenge. Many parents also find that between increasing legalization of marijuana and their own experimentation at younger ages, conversations about marijuana are at
the very least uncomfortable and, in many cases, can feel downright hypocritical.

But as with diaper changes and other unpleasant parenting tasks, some that are necessary are more difficult to accomplish. Talking about marijuana may be one such task, but knowing how to be effective can be key in having an informed and productive talk about marijuana with your teen. Continue Reading

Four Ways Adults Can Help Teens Stay Safe in a Drug-Exposed World

Babysitting can be dangerous for teens, but not the kind of babysitting you might be thinking of. “Babysitting” is a term used to describe kids looking after or “babysitting” friends when those friends have over-indulged in drugs or alcohol.  At first, babysitting may seem like a good idea. Kids are thinking of someone else. They are concerned about their friend’s welfare, but overall, it’s a decision that can change lives forever, and not for the best. Most of the time, babysitting ends up ok, that is nothing terrible happens. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. When we see babysitting go wrong, it ruins lives forever. Continue Reading

What is SEL?

SEL, or social and emotional learning, is essential, but its definition may not be easy to pinpoint. In the past, education centered around academic achievement – give students information and expect them to remember it. But times have changed. Our understanding of human beings has changed. And as a result, what we teach in school has, and still needs to, change. Enter Social Emotional Learning.

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8 Ways Adults can Help in a Bullying Situation

Picture a bullying situation. See the place where it is happening, the people involved, what is being said and done. Now, here’s a question – how many people are there? Is it just the one doing the bullying and the victim? Does the one doing the bullying have a gang of friends standing around helping?

Sometimes our image of bullying is too limited. While the person doing the bullying, the victim, and even their friends are all playing a part in the bullying situation you might have imagined, they aren’t the complete story. To understand how bullying really works and, ultimately, how to stop it, we need to look at ALL the roles in a given situation.


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5 Dangerous Relationships Students in your School Need to Know About

Friends mean a lot to the teens in your school. In fact, peer relationships are so important they are often referred to as the second family. And yet peer relationships can often be harmful in the life of a teen. Poor or dangerous relationships can lead to risky behavior, substance abuse, truancy, and worse. For teens, having the right friends can have a huge impact on where life leads. Continue Reading