18 January 2023

Wellness Wednesday: Navigating BC's Mental Health Services for children and youth.

Kelty Mental Health created an excellent video on how to navigate BC's mental health services for children and youth.

Trying to figure out what to do can be difficult and overwhelming as a parent/caregiver.

This video talks about the four ways to start getting support for your child having a mental health struggle.

1. Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner

2. Your child's teacher and/or school counsellor

3. A private mental health worker (counsellor or psychologist)

4. Child and Youth Mental Health, or Indigenous Child & Youth Mental Health.

If you have any questions about connecting yourself or your child with mental health services, please feel free to contact me.

07 December 2022

Wellness Wednesday: December Self-Care Ideas

The days are getting shorter and shorter which can make it difficult to think of ideas of self-care. 

Here's a list of 20 ideas. Pick three and give them a try!

16 November 2022

Wellness Wednesday: MEDSS (Self-Care)

If we are to break down self-care to it's core points, it is to: move, eat healthy, drink water, sleep, and socialize.

It creates a catchy acronym of MEDSS.

By doing MEDSS it helps alleviate our pain, hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness (PHALT). Therefore giving us a little more fuel in our tank to take on whatever the day may throw at us.

If you are struggling with self-care, pick one, and start there. Have a glass of water, go to bed 15 minutes earlier, take the stairs, munch on veggies, or connect with a friend, just to name a couple of ideas.

Self-care is a way of being.

09 November 2022

Wellness Wednesday: PHALT

Pain, Hunger, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These are the basic and foundational components that self-care needs to look after. In the past, we have used the acronym HALT, but Pain, whether emotional or physical, is also a risk factor for relapse.

That being said, we all increase our chances of having a successful day if we have minimal exposure to pain; make sure our stomachs are full; we have healthy ways of expressing our anger; we feel connected to our friends, family, community, and creator; and that we have enough sleep. We all know what it’s like to be HANGRY, and the impacts that has on our decisions.

As we discussed last week about change, relapse is a normal learning process. Frequently relapse, or becoming overwhelmed, happens when we are in pain, hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

When we are trying to make change or are trying to manage stress, we need to look after these five needs, they help keep our emotional tank full. 

02 November 2022

Wellness Wednesday: Stages of Change.

With Addictions Awareness Week at the end of this month, it feel appropriate to discuss topics related to managing, dealing with, and healing from addictions.

To start, let's talk about change.

Often when we discuss change we think there should be immediate action. When, in reality, there are three steps prior to any action being taken. 

First there is the pre-contemplative, the “ignorance is bliss” stage. 

Next is contemplative, which are ambivalent thoughts about changing - in a month or two or more. 

Next is preparation, which is testing the waters to see what plans need to be made to make the change. 

Then it’s action, followed by the ongoing stage of maintaining the change. 

Note that relapse from the change can happen at any point (and we’ll discuss that more next week).

While I appreciate the Stages of Change model, I also want to include Virginia Satirs model of change, which is all about changing the status quo. There is our current status quo, which will remain constant until we take action. 

After taking action, the foreign element, uncomfortable chaos ensues as we begin to navigate the change we are trying to make. It’s difficult. Things often get worse before they get better when we incorporate change. But when we have our epiphany and the change transforms us, we reach a new, better, status quo. There is always hope.

Making changes are difficult. You don’t have to do them alone. There are several self help groups in the community: https://ekass.com/storage/literature/Self%20Help%20Group%20Schedule-March%202021_TsFlUN8.pdf


27 August 2021

10 (+2) Board Games that Counsellors Should Have

It amazes me as I meet with different counsellors that our board game, or card game selection in our offices are rather standard: Connect four, Trouble, Jenga, a deck of cards, and similar 15-minute games.

I won't bash these games, they have value in helping create safety and familiarity in a strangers counselling office. Plus most of those games children and youth already know how to play, so it is easy to bring the game off the shelf and play.

As an example of how useful those games can be in a therapeutic setting, Jenga. While not clinical, Jenga is a great game to experience how a child or youth experience and handle anxiety, fear, and stress.

However, I think it's worthwhile looking at games (some pinterest finds), that can further create opportunities to build relationships, explore feelings, understand body language, be insightful, and create safety in a counselling setting.

So, let's get down to business.