Last Saturday, I spent the day in Bunker Hill, Indiana at the Lighthouse! It is an organization of community members who work with at-risk youth in a number of ways to help them, teach them, and give them opportunities to just be kids and grow into good, productive adults. This group is fantastic! I love that their mission is to ensure that the youth, who will be the leaders of tomorrow, have every opportunity to learn to live good lives and have a safe environment to grow up in.
On Saturday, I was able to train them in a blended version of YOUTH Mental Health First Aid, my first blended class of 2021! First, they did a 2-hour, online series of pre-work before they came to class. Then, on Saturday, we practiced applying the ALGEE Action Plan in a number of scenarios and through activitties and discussions starting with identifying newly developing mental health challenges through identifying and helping youth get help when they are in crisis.
It was a wonderful way to spend a day training a wonderful group of people! The Lighthouse now has 23 certified YOUTH Mental Health First Aiders, ready to help the youth of their community in yet another way!
I am ready to bring Mental Health First Aid (adult or Youth) to your organization or business! MHFA@educationwellness.lorg
So while trying to decide on which November Awareness Month topic to write on, it struck me that November has too many great things to write about to be aware of to just pick one. It might be more difficult, this month, to choose just one or two, so I am going to mention several and let you decide what you want to learn about on your own. We just may have to write more than just one or two updates, this month, just to make sure we cover some major topics. With that said, what are some of the most important awareness topics for the month of November… at least to me? Well, November is:
National Diabetes Awareness Month and National Diabetic Eye Health Month, National Career Development Month and National Train-Your-Employees Month, Red Ribbon (Drunk Driving) Awareness Month, Vegan Awareness Month and Try-New-Veggies Month and Pepper Awareness Month, National Long-Term Care Awareness Month and Family Caregivers Awareness Month, National Hunger Awareness Month and Good Nutrition Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month and COPD Awareness Month, as well as other full-month awareness items that you may be aware of.
In addition, there are some special days, beginning with Veterans Day and Election Day in the United States. Since I am a veteran who cares about the health and welfare of other veterans, these days are very important to me. Another important day is November 21st, which is International Survivors of Suicide Day, and we pray for all of those who survive suicide (not only those who attempt, but those who are left behind). How about the Great American Smoke-out which is on November 19th, this year and will feature lots of events like a local “kick butts soccer tournament” to raise funds for the American Lung Association.
With all of these observances, I think there is one more that I might point out that should be important to everyone: On November 26, 2020, we will be observing National Family Health History Awareness Day. Do you know your family’s health history? Have you noted your health history for the health and wellness for your future generations? It is important for families to know what genetics can and will bring and how signs and symptoms will manifest through your family history, so treatments can start early, if necessary. You can save the lives of your family members with knowledge and the attitude that it is okay to get help at the first signs.
That is not November in a nutshell, because there is so much more, but for today, it will have to do. We begin the holiday season with some things to be aware of and will talk about things as we move forward. Happy November to you, friends and neighbors!