As with most of the world, I was watching the first Presidential Debate last evening. There was a moment that completely resonated with me: When Hillary Clinton explained how we can combat racial divide and discrimination by examining our own implicit biases.
I completely agree.
We cannot simply blame racism on other people--we need to examine our own thoughts/feelings/biases. We need to look within and challenge ourselves. By doing so, we can live the change we want to see in the world around us.
We can also teach our children to embrace diversity. We should talk about diversity with our children. We should celebrate diversity in our communities. We can and should make respecting differences a core value in our lives.
It is with these goals in mind that I wrote "What Makes Us Unique? Our First Talk About Diversity." It was published today.
Together, let's make a real difference in our world!
Dr. Jillian Roberts
I wanted to tell you about a little boy I am involved with in Kisumu, Kenya.
I received a request for help via my public Facebook profile from the GreenHills Orphanage in Kisumu. In order to confirm the legitimacy of the request, I turned to the Kenyan Red Cross. Kassam Jnr Victor then referred me to Dr. Evans Odhiambo. Both of these gentlemen are now Facebook friends :)
The people of the orphanage transported the boy to the hospital.
The boy arrived yesterday, and has begun medical treatment. I have been receiving regular updates from the Orphanage, Red Cross and medical team.
Sometimes, social media can really help those in need.
I ask that you keep this little boy and his family in your prayers.
Dr. Jillian Roberts
I am pleased to announce the additional of Ida Díaz Posada,
Child Psychotherapist, to my practice.
Ida specializes in the work of the very young (i.e., as early as 3 years old) and she uses drama/art/music techniques in her work.
For nearly 20 years, I have taught courses in inclusive education within the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. One of the points I share with my students is the need to use "people first language." This means that when referring to a person with a disability, we try to not use the disability as a qualifier; because when doing so, the disability becomes the defining characteristic of the person.
People with disabilities live with their disabilities, but their disabilities do not define them.
So, for example, we try to say "child with Down's syndrome" instead of "Down's child" or "child with Autism" instead of "autistic child." Other examples include: "child with a learning disability" instead of "learning disabled child" or "person with a mental illness" rather than "mentally ill person."
I believe that those working with people with disabilities like teachers, psychologists, principals, and medical professionals need to lead by example. The same is true for the media.
Together, let's be powerful and effective advocates for people with disabilities!
For more information, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People-first_language
Dr. Jillian Roberts is the author of the best-selling “Just Enough Series” published by Orca Book Publishers. The next book in the series is “What Makes Us Unique? Our First Talk About Diversity” which launches September 27th.
Current research indicates that mental health issues most commonly appear in young people. With this fact in mind, it is especially important for young people to be educated and well informed about mental health issues. This includes understanding predispositions, triggers, symptoms, and resources for support and treatment. This is especially important to understand before kids head off to university; where most likely they are experiencing independence for the first time.
There is so much to look forward to when heading off to university but young people need to be aware of that fact that there is a lot of transition, change, and responsibility that goes along with it. This major transition can create an unexpected upheaval in an environment of stress and worry which can lead to mental health problems. If students aren’t prepared for this possibility and are unaware of how to detect and deal with mental health issues, their problems are more likely to become worse than they need to be. Most students are not even aware of the multitude of support resources that many (if not all) universities have. Seeking help right at the get-go can be so crucial for an individual’s well-being.
So what needs to be acknowledged about mental health before kids go to university? Students need to know that mental health issues are very common among their age group, can sometimes be serious, but are highly treatable. They should know about and be aware of the possible warning signs and not to ignore or deny them! Some of these signs can include:
“True strength is not pretending that everything is OK when it’s not. It’s being able to say these three words when necessary: I need help.”
To learn more about this topic, check out David Sack’s article “The Talk You Must Have Before Your Child Goes to College”.