Resources for Mentors in light of Recent Events
Dear BBBS matches,
This is the fifth installment in a weekly series of addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our BBBS family. This week, we'd like to focus on the stressors that bring people to make decisions that may hurt others.

We welcome your feedback and questions, and we thank you for your time and intentionality!
Past DEI Emails:
Understanding Stress Responses
  1. Humans (cops, BLM protestors, mentors, mentees, etc) have brains.
  2. That brain is wired to work in particular ways.
  3. For instance, when we feel stressed, out of control, scared, or attacked, our "rational-thinking-good-decisions brain" turns off, and our FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE survival instincts turn on.
  4. If a person grows up with enough conscious and subconscious lessons that certain stimuli are dangerous OR are ASSOCIATED with dangerous things, they may not even be aware that their survival responses are being triggered.
  5. The answer, then, is NOT to argue, attack, punish, or lecture (increasing or prolonging the stress response) but RATHER to calmly, empathetically and reasonably / patiently educate and discuss with the other person your alternate suggestions.
Click here if you'd like to sign your Little / Child up to be able to talk with some of our Bigs who are police officers, if we arrange an event around this.
De-escalation; some tips and tools
  1. Cultivate self-care and your own coping skills / stress-lowering techniques.
  2. Have the right goal: NOT to win but RATHER to de-escalate anger by reducing the stress response of the other, enabling discussion
  3. Be self-aware: Am I in the right mindset to perform an intervention? Or am I in my own stress response?
  4. Consider: Is this the right time to be having this conversation? Am I the right person who's most likely to get through to this person?
  5. Take a deep breath
  6. Use a calm voice
  7. Appear calm, centered and self-assured even if you're not
  8. Give the person plenty of room to move / space between you and him/her
  9. Be open rather than defensive; avoid communications barriers such as making assumptions about the other person's background or politics based on their one opinion about one topic.
  10. Simply listen / empathize with the other person; approach with the posture of understanding / appreciating them.
  11. Distract the other person / refocus them on something positive / change the subject
  12. Use humor (sparingly) to lighten the mood (be careful with this!)
  13. Motivate the other person
  14. Give choices
  15. Be very respectful even when firmly setting limits or calling for help
I would like to attend a special training on Stress Responses and Trauma
Maybe, depending on when / where, etc.
I feel that this is not relevant to me / my child's match
More Resources:
A prosecutor's vision for a better justice system - Adam Foss
Explaining stress responses to others using Dan Siegel's hand model of the brain
Thank you for all you do, and please don't hesitate to reach out to us at 260-456-1600.
260.456.1600 | www.bbbsnei.org