MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS FOR STUDENTS – WENDY BLANCHARD, MS, CHHC

Today I worked with my student through my social emotional learning curriculum. This young man is burdened with so much at age 15 and he shared his story of deep emotional pain and loss with me.
From the beginning, I could see the sweetness beneath the daily inappropriate behavior, cutting class and anger, and I knew if I remained consistent and offered compassion and empathy, with boundaries, I would create a safe space and begin to build trust with this young man.

When I asked him today if he had anyone at home who could offer support and guidance, he said he did not. When I asked him if he had anyone here at school that he felt he could trust and talk to, he looked up at me and said, “you.“ I touched his arm and said, “yes, you have me.”

I had to hold back the tears. Of joy for a profound breakthrough, and of heartbreak for him and all he has endured. Of gratitude that I am able to be of loving support, and to offer tools to my student that will offer him healthier choices that will enhance his life. To offer him an opportunity to learn, to grow and to experience success. To help him to foster a positive mindset and sense of self. My “We are limitless “ mindset resonated with him today. I saw hope come alive.
We talked about how his self care and healthy practices including being self aware, having the ability to identify and express his feelings and emotions, self regulation and social awareness, and making healthy decisions will offer him positive outcomes and promote wellness body, mind and spirit. We discussed how once we work on and begin to implement this new mindset with specific tools and strategies, he will be ready to help his family in meaningful ways that will be life changing for everyone. He loved that thought.

They say that teachers make a difference, but today my student taught me so much, and reminded me of how I lived through so much of the same pain and trauma that he is living at his age, and I believe God has put me here for a purpose. My student made the difference today.

Working as a mental health educator from a holistic perspective and implementing social emotional awareness into my reading curriculum is one of the most exciting and meaningful positions I’ve had the honor of creating. A Gift.
This is a newly created position that feels like it was tailor made for me with all of my former education and training in mental health and youth mental health.

I’m excited to work with more students every day where I have the blessed opportunity to be of service in offering solutions through teaching Mental Health and Wellness at the high school level.

And…this teacher always remains the student. Willing to learn, to grow and to evolve.

Love and blessings,

Wendy

 

 

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