"On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how depressed are you?"
"On a scale of 1-10, how much do you think about leaving this earth?"
I had to fight back tears as I listened in on a session with a social worker, and my mentee. She asked me to accompany her to the meeting for support, but I am not sure how much of a support I was if I could barely handle the answers to those questions. As she continued to share, I wondered how many other students were just like her, but did not feel safe enough to tell an adult what they were experiencing.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-14, which means many children do not feel comfortable or safe enough to be vulnerable with adults. Now that we know this, we have to make sure the adults working with kids are adequately prepared to not only handle trauma in kids, but to guide them to the resources available to them.
Here are a few tips that can aid this process:
The tips shared above do not come overnight, and need to be developed, but when we recognize the mental health crisis we are in, we take a different responsibility with ourselves, our students, and our community as a whole.
So you're in the classroom and everything is going great until a child unintentionally triggers you into an unexpected emotional meltdown! Embarrassing! How could this little being with their pretty predictable behaviors, launch you into an emotional response that takes you by surprise?
Well that’s kind of how it works! Getting triggered is not something you typically plan for, but it is something that happens a lot, to all of us. This blog isn't just for teachers, look we all get triggered, probably more than we'd like to admit. So this is for everyone out there who’d like to get a better handle on their emotions!
The first step in managing how you react to triggers is knowing what gets you upset, bothered, or emotional in the first place. By the time you finish completing this activity we want you to know exactly what it is that gets you hot and bothered, so that you can avoid these places and situations or apply healthy coping skills when needed.
There are three areas you will need to look at to develop this level of self-awareness.
But here comes the actual work, you MUST study yourself!
Comment below with your email, and we will send you a treasure, THE TRIGGER TRACKER, which will allow you to use the next week to study what really grinds your gears, why, and note how you deal with it. After about a week pay close attention to what you see in the trigger column, and ask yourself what patterns do I see emerging?
Once you are empowered with this knowledge, you can begin to develop healthy ways to cope with your stress. This completed activity is a great tool to share with your therapist who can also help you to create healthy ways for coping with stress.
As your tracking this week feel free to let us know how it’s going! Shoot us an email, (email@example.com), leave a comment below, or find us on social media, we’d love to support and encourage you!