Living Your Life During Challenging
We live in unsettling times. Ongoing wars,
threat of terrorism, and an economic downturn combined with
our own personal struggles and challenges can cause stress,
fear and anxiety about the future. Such feelings can have
a cumulative effect on the mental health of Americans. How
can people cope and lead "normal lives" in these
We all react differently to news of disturbing
events, but there are common feelings many of us experience.
Disbelief, fear, difficulty making decisions, nervousness
and irritability, sadness and depression and powerlessness
are just a few.
Here are some things
you can do to cope and maintain a
sense of "normalcy":
If your anxious or "down" feelings don't go away
or are so intense that they interfere with your daily life,
seek the help of a mental health professional. This may be
especially important for those who live with depression, substance
abuse problems, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Talking with Your Children
About Traumatic Events
Here are some tips for talking with your children
when they have witnessed or heard about traumatic events:
Listen to your children: Ask your children
what they have heard about the traumatic event. What do they
think happened? Let them tell you in their own words and answer
their questions. Do not assume you know what they are feeling
or what their questions will be. The easiest way to have this
conversation might be while they are engaged in an activity:
drawing, sitting on a swing, or driving with you in the car.
Details that may be obvious to adults may not be to children.
Be truthful, but don't tell them more information than they
can handle for their age.
Focus on their safety: Once you understand
their perception of the traumatic event, be clear that you
will keep them safe and let them know adults (school, police,
etc.) are working hard to make sure they will stay safe.
Pay attention to your reactions: Your children
will be watching you carefully and taking their cues from
you. If you can manage your anxiety about the traumatic event,
your children will be more easily reassured.
Monitor your child's access to media: It
will help if young children do not watch news reports or see
the front page of the newspaper. Young children who watch
a traumatic event on the TV news may think the event is still
ongoing or happening again.
Watch for behavior changes: Your children
may show you through their behavior that they are still struggling
with what they have heard or seen. They may have physical
complaints or regressive behaviors often including nightmares,
insomnia, or bedwetting. They may feel guilty that they are
responsible for the event, and need to be reassured that they
are not responsible.
Maintain your routines: Sticking to your
daily structure of activities - mealtimes, betime rituals,
etc. - reduces anxiety and helps children feel more in control.
Keep the door open: Encourage your children
to come to you with any questions or concerns and do not assume
the questions will stop after a few days or even a few weeks.
Let them know their fears and questions are normal and you
will always make time for them. Remind them all questions
Consider this a teachable moment: For older
children, this traumatic event may lead to a discussion about
ways they can help others who have experienced a tragedy.
You can also ask them if they know how to keep themselves
safe when they are away from home. Traumatic events make us
feel like we have lost contro, so any constructive activities
we engage in make us feel less vulnerable.
2013 Mental Health America / formerly known as the National
Mental Health Association
The Recovering Power of Resiliency
Challenge and change are a fact of life. How
do you deal with unexpected or stressful times? Resiliency
is the emotional strength that helps you recover quickly
and thoroughly from change and bounce back after any adversity.
It is a skill that can be applied to any area of life. The
following are 7 main qualities of a resilient person:
by Sense of Purpose
- Maximize Strengths
Resilience is more than
just coping. It is excelling in the little and large challenges
of life, and coming through them even stronger than before.
Just as spring flowers are able to pop up and thrive after
winter, so can the resilient person bounce back after a
difficult event. But just as the grass needs water, sun,
food, and nurturing to become green again, we need these
seven vital qualities to recover from adversity. With the
power of resiliency even through "dry spells"
or "heavy rains" or "strong winds" can
grab some petals from the "stem," life renews,
bounces back, and even thrives.
If you find yourself
having trouble bouncing back or if stressful feelings disrupt
your life or go on too long, there may be a bigger problem.
You may want to seek professional counseling or gain more
insight by taking a free, confidential mental health screening
here to take a CONFIDENTIAL and FREE screening.
know that no specific information about individuals is collected.
INVITED FOR COMMENDATION AWARDS
Since 1987, the Human
Services Committee has presented annual commendation awards
to individuals, organizations, agencies, groups, coalitions,
partnerships who have been active in human service work. The
committee presents the awards each year to those individuals
or organizations that, over time, have alleviated human suffering
that results from such factors as poverty, physical and/or
mental handicaps, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, lack
of health insurance, anxiety and stress, crime and violence,
overcrowded housing or lack of housing, and any other condition
that creates suffering.
Anyone who knows someone
who has been working over and above the call of duty, performing
extraordinary volunteer services, providing exceptional leadership
and similar note worthy contributions to Falmouth and its
residents, should stop by or click below for nomination forms.
All nominations that
are received by the deadline of January 20, 2014, will be
reviewed and given full consideration. Nomination forms may
be mailed to Falmouth Human Services. Because each entry undergoes
considerable deliberation, the review process takes several
months, culminating in an awards ceremony held in May 2014
Click here if you wish to nominate an individual or an organization
for the 2014 Human Services Committee Commendations award*
Human Services is a department of the Town
of Falmouth whose mission is to enhance the quality of life
of all Falmouth residents by ensuring the availability of
a comprehensive range of health and human services.
Our licensed, professional
staff provide a broad range of individual, couples, family
and group counseling; outreach, advocacy, information and
referral services for problems, crisis, or situational life
difficulties. These services are free of charge
and available to all Falmouth residents with priority given
to those without health insurance or ability to pay for counseling
Furthermore, the department
provides consultation and technical assistance to local community
organizations, federal and state legislators, and regional
human service providers in order to promote and enhance the
development of needed community services.