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The SCCoop
Words on Wellness

December 2018
From the Presidents...
We'd like to wish you and your families a Happy Holidays from all of us at the Safe Community Coalition! We hope you are able to have some quality down time, enjoy your children, get some good sleep, and can begin the new year in good (mental) health!

As alw ays,  let us know  how the SCC can help in your community, school, and home!

Brad Kuebler, President, and Elizabeth Hale, President Elect 
Upcoming Events
Coming this Spring! Reducing Anxiety: Strategies to Interrupt the Worry Cycle

April 1, 7 P.M.
McLean Community Center Alden Theater

Anxiety is a very persistent master; when it moves into families, it takes over daily routines, schoolwork, bedtime, and recreation. Join us to learn strategies for breaking the worry cycle so we can raise courageous and independent children and improve the emotional functioning of our families.

Licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Lynn Lyons will discuss concrete strategies parents and educators can use with children and teens to handle current anxiety and also to prevent the development of anxiety and depression later in life.

Lynn is the co-author with Reid Wilson of  Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children  and the companion book  Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids . She presents internationally to mental health and medical providers, educators, school nurses, and parents. She is regularly featured on television and public radio, including Katie Couric and Morning Edition. Books and DVDs will be available for purchase.
Mental Health Networking Event and Ethics Workshop with Dr. Mary Alice Fisher

3 CEUs
February 8th, 8am-12pm
  • 8-8:30 am Networking
  • 9 am-12 pm CEU Program
Location: Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland St, Falls Church
Fee: $100

Ethical challenges arise in every clinical setting. They can arise because of the physical setting itself, or they can be created by the behaviors of others (including clients, non-clinical staff, or clinical colleagues). Ethical challenges can also originate in our clinical work (including diffcult issues about informed consent, boundaries, multiple relationships, confidentiality, and ethical-legal conflicts). Business practices can create ethical challenges (including those related to forms, record keeping, billing, electronic communications, social media, etc.). Finally, ethical challenges can be created by our own personal and professional issues (including those caused by overwork or burnout). Sometimes such challenges can be avoided with forethought and planning. Even the unavoidable ones can sometimes be lessened with forethought and planning. But sometimes we need the support of others to confront the challenges or to create the necessary changes in the setting or in ourselves. This workshop deals with the first step in the change process: Recognizing the ethical challenges in your own practice and setting.

Learning objectives:
  1. Name three ethical challenges that arise in my own practice setting.
  2. Describe some ways those might be avoided or resolved.
  3. Describe the support I might need for avoiding or resolving those challenges

To register and pay for the workshop, please click here .
SCC in the Community
Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety
What did you think of “Angst”? We are thrilled with such a great turnout! Let’s continue the conversation! McLean area elementary teacher and mom Maria Pike shared this on social media:

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending a screening of “Angst” put on by the Safe Community Coalition…Here are some of the big takeaways for me from the film and panel conversation:
  1. Anxiety disorders are treatable.
  2. Neuroplasticity of the brain is real. You can change the way you think about something.
  3. NAME IT TO TAME IT! Openly discuss exactly what you are feeling in order to bring down your anxiety.
  4. Parent modeling is SO important!! Tell your children when you are feeling anxiety/shame/fear and let them know that you are human too! Discuss ways that you manage your own anxiety.
  5. Exercise (!!!) and sleep (!!!!!) are so important for teenagers to help manage their angst.

Thanks , Maria!
Thank you to WUSA9’s Peggy Fox for moderating our panel. And thanks to our panelists McLean therapists Jennifer Weaver and Dr. Adrian Brown, McLean HS School Psychologist Beth Werfel and School Social Worker Marly Jerome-Featherson, and Kent Gardens ES School Psychologist Kayla Callister! Thank you to McLean High School and the PTSA for co-hosting with us!

We are looking for another venue in the McLean, as we purchased the film for two screenings. We’re hearing that other area high schools outside of McLean will be showing it and hope that we have helped pave the way a bit.

And check out our article in the McLean Connection: Safe Community Coalition Shines a Light on Youth Anxiety !

More than 250 people turned out at McLean High School Dec. 6 to see the film “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” sponsored by the Safe Community Coalition of McLean. Peggy Fox of WUSA 9 moderated a panel discussion following the film.
Note to School Liaisons
Don't forget our next School Liaison meeting on January 17. It’s difficult to find time that doesn’t conflict with some other meeting or event and we understand that! But try to send a representative if you cannot make it.

If your school is planning a 2019-2020 curriculum night in the winter please think about inviting the SCC to set up an information table. We have materials we can display about our spring speaker. It’s a great way to promote a book talk at your school. Are you thinking about scheduling a book talk? Take a look at your school’s space availability and plan ahead. Testing always takes priority for space, as you know, and we want to get those book talks on the calendars! 
Coming This Spring
Sixth Grade Ethics Days
After months of searching for a new host (our usual host is undergoing construction), we are pleased to announce that Sixth Grade Ethics Days will be taking place again this year! Our host, Holy Trinity Church at the corner of Balls Hill and Georgetown Pike, is sharing its space with us for each of the five Fridays in March. Mark your calendars! As always we'll be seeking volunteers. We have almost all local elementary schools scheduled!

Reading List
Community Read
The McLean HS PTSA is partnering with MHS Student Services to offer a Pyramid-Wide book talk series and author event on  The Self-Driven Child, The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives  by William Stixrud, PhD, and Ned Johnson. The Self-Driven Child  empowers parents with practical tools to help their children reduce stress and anxiety, while building capacity for resilience, success, and optimal development. The strategies shared in the book are relevant for parents of children of ALL ages.

Kathleen Otal, M.Ed., a former elementary school counselor and current counselor at McLean High School, will lead three book talks in the pyramid throughout the year.  In addition, the authors of the book will speak at McLean High School in the spring. Even if you don't have time to read the entire book, you will learn valuable parenting strategies that will help your child develop the skills to succeed!

The first meeting to discuss chapters 1-5 had a terrific turnout. Please join us for our next meeting to discuss chapters 6-9 on Wednesday, January 9, 7 pm at Chesterbrook Elementary. You will learn:
  • Why downtime is essential for children to develop resiliency. 
  • How to teach children to stay in charge of technology without it taking over their lives.
  • How to encourage your child to take their sense of control to school.
Community Discussion
"Talk. They Hear You" is an education campaign by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board's Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention team for parents of 9 to 15-year-olds and adults who work with them. According to Fairfax County Youth Survey data, about 16.1 percent of eighth grade students say they have tried alcohol; by grade 12, that number jumps to 54.3 percent. Small, ongoing conversations can do a lot to prevent underage drinking.

This presentation is for parents of 9 to 15-year-olds and adults who work with them. Learn:
  • How to tell if your child is drinking alcohol.
  • Consequences of underage drinking.
  • What you can do to prevent your child from drinking.
  • Why small conversations make a big impression.
  • Why you should talk with your child about alcohol.
  • Why your child might start drinking.

The discussion will be held Thursday, January 31, 6-7:30 pm. Admission is free, but preregistration is required through the McLean Community Center (Activity No. 1001.319) .
Community Speaker
Langley High School recently brought former NBA player Chris Herren speak about drug and alcohol addition. Woodson, McLean, and Langley High Schools PTSAsand the McLean and Langley High School Athletic Departments, along with FCPS worked together to sponsor Herren’s visit.

Angst Weekly Tip from Angst Weekly

Living with mental illness is challenging, especially if you are living through the tumultuous days of high school. Here are 5 important things to keep in mind as you, your kids, or your friends are getting through this time. 
  1. You are not alone. Sometimes it may feel like you are the only one who is struggling. Many people, including possibly yourself, might be hiding the fact they are struggling with mental illness. It is more common than you think and you have nothing to be ashamed of if you have one. It also is important to realize that you never know what someone might be going through.
  2. There are adults who want to help and can relate to what you’re going through. Adults may seem like they are in a whole different realm as you. But it's more than likely they might have experienced similar feelings. And most importantly, they can help and offer advice. 
  3. Start the conversation. Don't be afraid to speak up if you believe your school might benefit from raising awareness around mental health. The conversation has to start somewhere. 
  4. If your mental illness affects your grades, it is not a personal failure. Mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Living with a mental health issue can affect the way we work, focus, study, practice, etc. By accepting the fact that it might take a little more intention or focus to get things done, you are one step closer to your goals. 
  5. Reach out. The most important thing you can do. If you are struggling or if you see someone else struggling, tell someone. Even if you aren't sure it's the right person, they can help direct you to someone who can help. Someone will always be there to help in times of need. 

Read the   article   featured in The Mighty. (Main ideas by  The Mighty )