Mental Health Awareness Month. The value of “Trauma Informed Care”

37 Years of romance and adventure! Judy and Steve Sparks, Depoe Bay, Oregon…
Judy and Steve Sparks
Children and Families in Life After Trauma

https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month

I didn’t know one thing about mental health or Trauma Informed Care (TIC) 37 years ago April. I was in the prime of my career in IT back then. Judy was a IT professional too. We were so excited about our life together…

Soon after our marriage and the birth of our child, my mental health seemed to be going south, way south. The healing journey would be a tough road as I look back. Not only for me, but for our family as a whole…

When there is too much trauma in a person’s life, the trash and baggage pile up just like a overflowing dumpster that sits for weeks on end. Think of that for a moment before reading on…

I wrote this article in June 2020 after starting to see a TIC clinical therapist. I didn’t know then how wonderful it would feel, after a very long year emptying my overflowing dumpster.

It has been a tough road over these many decades. But my mind seems to be getting rid of enough baggage and trash that peach of mind seems like a gift from heaven.

I never knew about how important this robust specialized therapy was until now. It seems living in the moment slows my mind down enough to see the clouds, sea, rivers, mountains, even birds and Bees.

I used to hang around for a few minutes then go on to something else… No more! It’s a gift at a time in my life when we both, Judy and me, need it the most…

Celebrate Mental Health Awareness month of May by sharing this post with friends, family and colleagues. It feels even better when we reach out to others for support. It feels especially good to make a difference for others…

I serve on the traumainformedoregon.org/ Steering Committee. We are a team of 22 professionals representing Counties in Oregon. I am honored and privileged to serve Lincoln County Oregon.

My work in our community also includes serving on the Lincoln County Behavioral Health Community Advisory Committee. I have been honored to serve on this committee since 2015…

https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/mhac

Think about how you can make a difference this month in helping others who suffer from mental illness, just like me. Help others become more aware of the value of TIC. Help yourself and others you love get help…

My friends, colleagues and loved ones helped me over the years to heal. I love each and everyone of them for that. Lincoln County cares, indeed! I know this to be sure…

Please order my new book! The sales will help us fund this popular platform for

Mindfulness Meditation Moments…

Mental Health FirstAid USA…Local Communities and Technology Lead…

ALGEE the Koala Bear…Mental Health FirstAid USA Mascot

Mental Health First Aid USA training in your local community…

For more than 60 years, May has been nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Mental wellness is essential for peak cognitive and physical performance and ensures the readiness of our service members. Military Health System (MHS) focuses on the mental wellness of service members, their families, retirees, and DoD civilians. We will highlight the tools and resources available for the prevention and treatment of the DoD community’s overall mental wellness.”

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I’m pleased to share that Mental Health First Aid training has become a standard in Lincoln County Oregon and all over America!  A gift to a caring and healing community culture. As City Councilor in 2015, I was happy to take the lead to bring Mental Health 1st Aid training to our City of Depoe Bay, Oregon with the help of Lincoln County Health & Human Services.  This what has happened since then…the early days… We have come along way as a Trauma Informed Oregon community! Technology makes it possible to deliver programs instantly without waiting for a trainer…a kickstart if you will. Take a listen…

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Mental Health First Aid

is an in-person training that teaches you how to help people developing a mental illness or in a crisis.

Mental Health First Aid teaches you:

  •  Signs of addictions and mental illnesses
  •  5-step action plan to assess a situation and help 
  •  Impact of mental and substance use disorders
  •  Local resources and where to turn for help

The State of Oregon is making mental health a top priority going forward with a campaign  slogan, “Can’t We Do More?”  It is the responsibility of local and county government, private, and public leadership to take advantage of this training. I have written previously in this blog about the need to do more in rural communities for mental health awareness... click on highlighted text for more…

You can make a difference in your own community all year by taking a look at the Mental Health First Aid program for your own needs as a business, school or public service organization.  Please review the references and resources available and take action.  Mental Health 1st Aid is just as critical as getting training for first-aid best practices in general.  Lives are saved through a higher level of awareness of all health and wellness challenges in local communities everywhere.

When I was traineded and certified as a Mental Health First Aid Adult Trainer in the fall of 2016, the increased awarenes changed my life forever. I could not only understand my own behavioral health better, I developed a much higher sensitivity, compassion and empathy for those who suffer among us with mental health challenges. As co-workers, peers, and managers, a little kindness and understanding, a calming influence from a culture of caring in the work place will save lives. In my view, ‘suicide prevention’ is the highest priority in Mental Health FirstAid USA. You can make a difference!

Steve and Judy Sparks, Children and Family Advocates. Click
here for my author page…