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The SCCoop
Words on Wellness

mid-January 2019
From the Presidents...
UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES! Since our last SCCoop, we have a date correction, a date update, and a date night! Tickets now on sale for Lynn Lyons' talk on Reducing Anxiety on April 1.

We are co-sponsoring a program on Teen Trafficking with the Woman's Club of McLean and the New Dominion Women's Club, and we are holding a CEU and networking event for mental health providers. School Liaisons meet later this week. We hope to see many of you at these events!

Looking ahead, our annual Sixth Grade Ethics Days are coming up in March. The Safe Community Coalition is very appreciative of the generous financial support from our local donors, which helps underwrite the program for all 6th graders in the McLean and Langley school pyramids. These are volunteer-intensive events, and we count on the community for help! Sign up is below.

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 
SCC in the Community

Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety
An IndieFlix Original Documentary
Thursday, February 28 at 7 pm 
Langley High School Auditorium   

All teens experience some amount of anxiety – it’s a normal reaction to stress. But when temporary worries or fears become pervasive and interfere with relationships, schoolwork and health, anxiety disorders are at play. Anxiety disorders are highly common and highly treatable, yet most who suffer don’t seek assistance. How can we as a community recognize the signs of this mental health epidemic and what resources are available? In a yearlong focus on youth anxiety, the Safe Community Coalition, in conjunction with the Langley High School PTSA, is hosting a free showing of the IndieFlix Original Film  Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. in the Langley High School auditorium. This important, eye-opening documentary features students affected by anxiety, mental health professionals and Olympic athlete and mental health advocate Michael Phelps in opening up the conversation and providing hope around a topic many find difficult to discuss.  

Following the movie, a panel of mental health professionals from Langley High School and the community will lead a panel discussion and question and answer session to provide further information.

This event is free and recommended for adults and students in 6 th grade and up.
Not Just Someone Else's Problem: Teen Trafficking

Trafficking and exploitation of teens is appallingly prevalent and underreported in Fairfax County. Help us eradicate teen trafficking locally by learning what makes children vulnerable, how to identify the signs of a possible victim, and what to do if you suspect a teen is being exploited. Knowledge is the most powerful weapon against a predator. Together we can protect our families and our community.  

To learn how you can help, please join us Tuesday, January 29, 7-8:30 pm at the McLean Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall for a 90-minute panel presentation by the Just Ask Prevention Project with Audience Q&A addressing our teens’ vulnerability to the imminent danger of human trafficking.

This is a free event, but please RSVP HERE . For additional information, contact

Just Ask is a 501(c)(3) based in McLean with a team of multidisciplinary experts who bring an unmatched level of knowledge to fight human trafficking and exploitation.
Woman’s Club of McLean, New Dominion Women’s Club, and Safe Community Coalition are honored to commemorate National Human Trafficking Prevention Month with a panel presentation featuring Just Ask Prevention Project.
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 .
Upcoming Events
School Liaison Meeting Rescheduled

We look forward to seeing you on January 24th! There is a lot going on this time of year so please try to send a representative if you aren’t able to make it. Topics include:

  • Spring speaker coming on April 1
  • Organizing book talks on our speaker’s book on anxiety
  • Ethics Days to be held in March
  • A spring showing of Angst at Langley High School

Let Elizabeth Hale know whether you are coming.
Sixth Grade Ethics Days

This program serves all 6th graders in the McLean and Langley school pyramids, with the goal of helping students navigate difficult ethical situations that may arise as they progress through middle school, high school and beyond. During the program, students are provided with an ethical decision-making model called “Could, Should, Would” in a group setting with adult leaders. New this year is a small group program on anti-bullying called “One Person Many Roles” presented by the Anti Defamation League and also featuring their adult leaders. Ethics Days are half-day events and lunch is provided.

Volunteers are needed to serve as table leaders for small groups of students from 9am-1pm on the following dates: March 1, 8, 15 & 29. No prior experience is needed, and training is provided. Click  HERE   to volunteer. For more information, contact  Maria Barnett .
Book Talk with Katherine Reynolds Lewis

As heard on NPR's Morning Edition and seen on The Doctors, Katherine Reynolds Lewis will speak about her book,  The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever-And What to Do About It . She will be in-conversation with Kristy Rodriguez, certified health coach, childbirth educator, and founder of Pure Nurture, an in-person and online community that helps give new and aspiring moms information and the inspiration they need on their personal journeys into motherhood. At the end of the talk, Katherine will sign copies of her book.

This event will be held at  Bards Alley Bookstore , 110 Church St NW, Vienna, VA on Sunday, January 27 at 2 pm, and it is sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center (PRC). This event is free to attend with no registration required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Please contact the FCPS Parent Resource Center with questions.
Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope

Join Early Childhood Identification & Services for a free screening of this award-winning documentary followed by a panel interview of early childhood experts on February 12 (and again April 9) at the Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042.

Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope chronicles the birth a a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators, and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addition, and disease. "The child may not remember, but the body remembers."

The event is free but advance registration is required. Call 571-423-4121 to register.
Coming This Spring
Tickets Now Available ! Reducing Anxiety: Strategies to Interrupt the Worry Cycle

April 1, 7 pm
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.
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, counselor at McLean High School, will lead three book talks in the pyramid throughout the year. Two have already taken place, but on Wednesday, March 20, 7-8:30 pm, we'll hear from William Stixrud and Ned Johnson in McLean's auditorium . Even if you don't have time to read the entire book or didn't come to the previous book talks, you will learn valuable parenting strategies that will help your child develop the skills to succeed!
The Challenge Success New Years Resolution  

According to data from the  Challenge Success Student Survey  administered to over 175,000 students, the average high school student reports getting 6.5 hours of sleep on an average school night, while middle schoolers do slightly better with 7.8 hours. These are both lower than the 8-10 hours recommended for 13-18-year-olds by the  American Academy of Sleep Medicine . When parents are asked about their students’ sleep in our Parent Survey, they believe their kids get, on average, an hour more than the students say they do!

We often hear stories of students sacrificing sleep to study for a test or finish their homework. But, research shows that  memory consolidation , an important part of the learning process, actually takes place during sleep. Getting enough sleep on a consistent basis is an essential part of physical and emotional well-being and sets students up to be active, engaged learners. Of course, this applies to parents and educators too!

Home Activity: Do your own survey to see how many hours you and your family members typically sleep, and discuss ways that you can reprioritize your schedule to get more sleep!

Tips to Support a Sane Bedtime 

Excerpt from blog post by Madeline Levine, " Back to School Alert: The Necessity of a Sane Bedtime "

1. Set a consistent bedtime. Kids who have a consistent and appropriate bedtime learn the basics of “sleep hygiene” or good sleep habits early in life. You can’t force a child to sleep (a real problem with teens whose biological rhythms are at odds with their school schedules). However, you can optimize the chances of sleep by making sure kids are lying down in a quiet and dim room.

2. Make sure kids have a half hour or so before bedtime to “unwind.” Figure out with your children what relaxes them – a hot shower, a good book or a backrub. It’s hard to go from full throttle to sleep without some winding down. Learning to relax has many benefits from easing your children into sleep, to learning how to calm down before a test, to knowing how to soothe themselves when they are upset.

3. No electronics in the bedroom. Kids do not need one more iteration of the day’s drama before trying to go to sleep. So no cell or texting. The light thrown off by computers has been shown to stimulate the retina and make sleep more difficult. Younger kids in particular should not have a computer in the bedroom.

Read the full blog post  here .