Make-up for 10/14/98 class : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Reaction/make-up paper for the class held on 10/14/98. Subject: "Suicide and Depression Among Youth and Young Adults: Warning Signs, Intervention and Referral Resources, Prevention Strategies Everyone Should Know". (I was absent because I was attending the Education Minnesota Conference, St. Paul, MN.) The handout entitled, "What Makes My Teen Tick?" by Willard L. Johnson, Ph.D., from Koochiching Counseling Center was informative. The handout will be a reference to questions about child development and recognizing at risk behavior. There was another handout reprinted from Ruth Teeter's book, "Adolescent Health Care," (New York: Academic Press, 1982), entitled "Counseling the Adolescent in Crisis". Under the section on "Needs," Ms. Teeter states that a youth needs to have a sense of self, to feel signigficant, unique and then interact with others inorder to have a sense of belonging. The ideas of "love and be loved, trust and be trusted, respect and be respected" are three ideals that we as educators are always trying to get across to students. If we all lived by ideals there would be more harmony, responsible behavior and integrity, and students, parents and teachers would be more in tune with each other. But that is the "ideal" world, and we seem to be hit with a huge dose of the "real" world lately. Student need to learn that it is great to be able to reflect and talk through their feelings, however, many students need to find that certain someone who will listen and creates a valuable relationship. The teenage years are the oddest that a body and mind has to go through. Teens need to go through them and experience them, but it would be so much better for them if each had a support system of family and community. Too often, the teenager feels that their only support is their friends, peers or gangs, but when the friends, peers and gangs totally replace the support system of the family and community, there is trouble. It is said that we learn from our mistakes, but when the mistakes involve addictions and harm to yourself or others, the mistakes are so harmful that professional help is needed. Our community does have professional services available through the Koochiching Counseling Services. The services they provide are a vital and valuable part of our community. I don't know what our community would do without them. Families, adults, teens and children value their service, help, professionalism, and confidence. More now than in years past, I see students and adults being more open and accepting about having appointments there, and I think that is great because it means that they are strong enough to seek out help. The school system in International Falls has a Crisis Team in place with members on it from many professions in our community and school staff. The Crisis Team has been a great help. Just to have someone to be able to call on as a resource is great. I am a member of the team and we meet periodically to review our plan and discuss new procedures and ideas. I have gone through four unexpected, untimely deaths of students in the 15 years that I have taught, and that is four to many. Each time, members of the Crisis Team came into the school and were available for students and staff. However, the circumstances and the time and class that the teacher is dealing with at the moment determines so much. Many times I felt that I was still having to make it up as I went along, even with the Team there assisting me. The video of the class recorded on 10/14/98, was very hard to understand, as to the sound, and the video was not complete because the battery ran out. A few of the things that I got from the presenter, Bill Johnson, and the discussion that I watched, are to observe how students handle anger, watch if a student is withdrawn, watch how a student handles rejection or failure, listen if a student is making odd plans or statements, watch for signs of physical abuse, either self inflicted or from another, and watch if a student is extremely manipulative. Suggestions were made by Bill Johnson from Kooch Counseling Services, as to how to try and get a student to talk. Some suggestions were to ask open ended questions, ask multiple choice questions, listen and last, but not least, try to get across the idea that every one is special, unique and deserves a future.

-- Anonymous, November 28, 1998

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