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Group Homes and Components of Mental Health

Group Homes and Components of Mental Health

PROSOCIAL RISKS AND HELPING YOUTH TRANSITION

One of the most important things a parent can do for their children to help transition into adulthood, is help them discern and take prosocial risks that sometimes lead to failure, then show their children that they are loved for their efforts, not just their outcomes.

What does that action translate into in light of our parental role in social services raising youth in Group Homes?

During an online workshop presented by Dave Redekopp and Michael Huston of Mental Health-Informed Services, discussed the Components of Mental Health.

FIVE COMPONENTS OF MENTAL HEALTH

The subject matter led me to ask, are we striving to incorporate these components in our Group Homes throughout the Province of Saskatchewan? Can we link them to outcomes we can measure? This is critical, because—as we all know—what gets measured gets done.

Here are the common components of Mental Health identified in the presentation:

1.Meaning/purpose

2.Contribution to society 

3.Satisfaction/happiness

4.Relationships

5.Mastery/coping

If we are to raise healthy, thriving adults, we need to pay attention to these factors, it just makes sense that if they are the components of a mentally healthy adults, we should be growing them in our young people beginning as children and continuing through adolescence. 

TRAINING AND SELF-REPORTING

One simple form of measurement would be to ask young people to self-report on these items. Of course, that would mean we take the time to discuss the meaning of each item in terms a tween could understand. This also means training adults to help young people understand the terminology and importance behind a common standard for measuring mental health.

We should pay special attention to items 2 and 5, because they each involve some level of personal risk. We don’t grow as humans unless we are moved beyond our comfort zone. Adolescents thrive on risk and if there is no prosocial risk in their lives, they will seek antisocial risk.

MASTERY THROUGH SUPPORTED FAILURE

Sadly, it’s far too common for adults to lack a belief that young people have anything to contribute or they must be taught BEFORE they can be shown mastery. We each attain mastery through failure. It is far more important for our youth to be able to reasonably fail within a supportive environment than to be coddled by people who don’t have any expectations in their ability.

We’re far more likely to be the Helicopter Parent in Social Services than the parent who helps their child attempt safe risks along the path to growth. The results of Helicopter Parenting are in; it leads to increased anxiety and stress in young adults lives.

AT LEAST ONE ADULT WHO BELIEVED

Because young people are so innovative and have so many more neurons connecting than adults, they tend to see outside our rote responses to life’s challenges. This is why there are an increasing number of young people making a difference in the social sector. But each one of them has two things in common; at least one adult who believed in them and supported them through failure.

REFERENCE

Mental Health-Informed Services, Saskatchewan, Human Service Ministries Deputy Ministers Meeting,?April 24, 2020,?Dave Redekopp & Michael Huston 

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