We at TAMA have noticed that this month is designated Mental Health Awareness month. I think my mental health is pretty important during the other 11 months, but it is nice that what goes on between our ears is getting some attention.
I and my colleagues Kevin and Tina are big fans of psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is to notice what works and what doesn’t work to get you where you want to go. Kevin and colleagues said in The Essential Guide to the ACT Matrix, “ Over twenty years of international ACT research suggests that psychological flexibility is key to mental health and optimal living.”
What this means from our perspective is that the best way we know of to promote our mental health and the mental health of those we serve is to make a loop around the Matrix.
Somebody can make a Mental Health Matrix Loop anywhere. You could be stuck in traffic, sitting at your desk, having a coffee break, or out for a stroll. If it helps you draw the two...
According to both the American Psychological Association and the Center for Disease Control, there is an overwhelming demand for psychological services for school-age children.
This translates into millions of children with severe underlying issues that stem from many sources, not the least of which is the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
Many initiatives are underway to send more mental health professionals into our educational institutions. As someone who has worked in the field for many years, I know that there are not enough of them to meet the need.
School-based mental health specialists (psychologists, social workers, counselors, SEL coordinators) have traditionally been called on to provide services and consultation for all students. They and the classroom teachers are the first service responders students and parents encounter when difficulties arise. They are uniquely positioned to effect change and make a difference in mental health and wellness....
This guide has been over 10 years in the making and was developed from the daily interactions of teachers and learners. It allows you to dive into social-emotional learning with no additional training or expertise. That is because it quickly establishes an engaging point-of-view with a simple diagram and a few respectful questions. It is for the busy professional, youth worker, assistant, or other specialist working to make a difference.
The ACT Matrix Guide transforms social-emotional learning by building self-awareness, self-regulation, and prosocial behavior in real-time with no need for downloads or manuals. It is meant to be used alongside whatever you do that works. With a little practice, you will help others move toward shared purposes, valued actions, and common goals. You will reduce your stress and spend more time influencing and less time managing.
It is available through National Professional Resources, a leader in resources for busy professionals. ...
I have partnered with National Professional Resources to create the first ACT Matrix Guide for use in education, buisness and other organizations.
NPR is a leader in professional development resources and guides for educators. “The ACT Matrix: A Mindful Process for SEL, Mental Health, Collaboration, and Achievement,” is a laminated guide for use for and with learners of all ages and will be available in late February of 2020. It is also an excellent teaching and training tool to use with those you serve.
NPR is offering a pre-order discount before the guide is available. Just click HERE
Last week my family and I went to see the new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. It is a tale based on true life events of how a cynical journalist develops a friendship with children’s television icon Fred Rogers. If you check it out bring tissues :)
Mr. Rogers was a beloved TV personality who invited his young viewers into his “neighborhood” for 895 episodes to talk about what goes on inside of us. He trusted that when children felt invested in by adults they could learn the lessons they needed and apply them in their lives.
The genius of Fred Rogers is that he met his young viewers right where they were. He had three simple rules:
1. Be Kind
2. Be Kind
3. Be Kind
He used his show to convey that they were worthwhile, special and could share whatever they were going through. When he told them all feelings were mentionable and manageable, he was handing them the keys to their own social and emotional learning.
Now, this can be a...
Much is made in educational circles these days about social-emotional learning and intelligence (SEL). Schools everywhere are scrambling to address the social and emotional needs of youth, developing and implementing curriculums, and creating policies. The workplace is also getting on board as more and more businesses are realizing that the key to a successfully run organization is having employees who can solve problems independently and possess solid interpersonal skills.
I think schools, however, get a bad rap. Increasingly, they are asked to do more with less. Everyone wants our students to achieve their full potential. Educators are faced with the awesome and daunting task of providing learners with the skills for success. There is a lot of emphasis on what we need to teach but very little on how to do it. How do you engage, inspire and lead students through the maze of stuff that is thrown at them and help them make sense of it? How do you help them retain what is...
October 10 is World Mental Health Day. According to the World Federation for Mental Health, it is a day to “celebrate awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change.”
My contribution to the cause is to use and show people the ACT Matrix so they can promote their own mental health and show it to others.
To do that, you can do the mental health loop.
Draw this diagram, otherwise known as the ACT Matrix.
Ask yourself, “Who is important to me?” Recall your important people and jot them down in the lower right. Next ask, “What kinds of yucky stuff (like fear and anger) shows up inside of me and gets in the way of what I want to be doing?”. Jot that down in the lower left. Now ask yourself, “well, what do I do to get away from that yucky stuff...