The DSB Buzz
Summer 2022 Edition
- The History of Disability and Mental Health
- 10 Things I Do to Take Care of My Mental Health as a Visually Impaired Student
- How Can You Help Someone Else with Their Mental Health
- Careers in Mental Health
- What's new with DSB Youth Services?
- We Will be Hiring New Newsletter Editors for Next Year!
This Issue’s Theme: Mental Health
Hello readers! This issue of the DSB Buzz is focused on mental health and how it relates to disability. These topics are frequently interconnected, especially when it comes to their influence on our daily life. Thank you so much for reading our newsletter, your support means the world to us.
The History of Disability and Mental Health
By Theorius Wheeler
The DSB Buzz Reporter
Throughout America's history, mental health and disability have been intertwined. Starting with the creation of asylums and mental institutions, disabled people have frequently been receiving care alongside those with mental health issues. Over time the public realized that asylums and institutions were typically overcrowded and dirty, and eventually they were done away with. However, this happened after countless tragedies and mistreatments had already occurred.
In the last century there has been a push for widespread disability rights, which has greatly improved the living situation for disabled people across the country. This is not a catch-all solution though, because it is still reported that many disabled people struggle with their mental health. Since the start of the pandemic, many disabled people have been isolated, disconnected, had their routines disrupted, and suffered from diminished health services. Now that we are starting to emerge from the pandemic, it is important that we prioritize mental health care and support.
10 Things I Do to Take Care of My Mental Health as a Visually Impaired Student
By Theorius Wheeler
The DSB Buzz Reporter
It’s especially important to take care of your mental health as our society slowly eases its way back to pre-pandemic life. Stress is a huge factor in caring for your mental health, so here are ten ways you can de-stress and unwind:
- Do something you’re good at. Confidence plays a huge role in how we interact with the world and complicated emotions. Taking some time to feel awesome about yourself and your abilities before doing a tough task can help you feel prepared for whatever is thrown your way.
How Can You Help Someone Else with Their Mental Health
By May Tran
The DSB Buzz Reporter
Although mental health is typically a personal journey, you should never feel discouraged from seeking advice from others. On the flipside, you may one day find yourself in a position where someone else is seeking help from you. Everyone faces personal struggles in some way or another, and oftentimes these stressors can accumulate and impact our emotional and mental wellbeing. Although you may not be a trained and licensed professional, you too can play a role in helping others with their mental health. However, it is important to remember that this role should be taken appropriately – for instances where the health, safety, and security of the individual is at risk, it may be better to advise whoever is confiding in you to seek professional help.
How can you help someone else with their mental health?
Imagine that your friend is struggling with a lot of stress in their life right now. They have an intense course load at school, had just received a low score on a midterm, and have been receiving a lot of pressure from their parents at home. They decide to confide in you – opening up about their situation and their current mental health. How can you show support to your friend to the best of your ability?
Once again, it is crucial to remember that in instances where your friend’s safety, security, and health are at risk, it is always better to suggest the help of professional assistance long-term. This is especially true if you notice that your own mental health is starting to decline as a result. In most circumstances, it is always best for you to ensure that your own mental health is stable enough for you to help others with their mental health.
Careers in Mental Health
By May Tran
The DSB Buzz Reporter
Contrary to popular belief, careers in mental health aren’t just limited to therapy; mental health is a broad and evolving field that shapes our understanding of ourselves as well as our understanding of the people around us. As it becomes increasingly valuable to the public eye, it is important to note that although mental health can be – and should be – a personal journey for everyone, it is also something that can be turned into a professional career. Occupations in mental health are unique in that they specialize in the psychological and emotional well-being of others; they serve as opportunities to help those around us. This, in turn, expands the professional field of mental health, allowing a diverse distribution of roles that you can take on as you consider the different career paths ahead of you.
What do careers in mental health look like?
When people think about jobs in mental health, many think of the stereotypical therapist; a licensed professional in a room, clipboard in hand, listening to a client sitting across from them on a couch. Although therapy plays a critical role in the mental health field, careers in mental health aren’t solely limited to jobs of this nature and in this setting. There are countless ways to get involved! Below are some careers that you may want to consider:
- School Social Work: Going beyond the couch-in-a-room setting, school social workers are responsible for providing specialized assistance to students, their families, and the teachers. Schools will seek help from school social workers when student-specific issues arise; they take on areas concerning the social, behavioral, and emotional wellbeing of students. These areas may include social withdrawal, behavioral concerns such as over aggressiveness and/or rebelliousness, truancy, and any significant stressors posed to the students mental wellbeing.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology: IO Psychologists specialize in the behavior and performance of employees in the workplace. The workplace environment plays a critical role in the mental wellbeing of employees; thus IO Psychologists aim to improve the workplace environment by using psychological principles, research, and strategies to improve worker safety, professional satisfaction, interpersonal worker relations, and overall performance.
- Psychiatry: Psychiatrists bridge the gap between the science of medication and the psychology of mental health. As doctors, they are responsible for assessing both the mental and physical conditions of various psychological disorders. Psychiatrists are licensed to diagnose disorders, prescribe medication, and develop treatment plans – all while interacting with and observing with patients.
The careers listed above are only three of the countless career paths in mental health. As you can see, mental health practices can be applied in any professional setting – from schools, to businesses, to hospitals. It is worth considering all of the possible ways in which you can bring mental health into the lives of others, so that individuals from all lifestyles and backgrounds are able to nurture their emotional wellbeing.
How do I know a career in mental health is for me?
As mentioned previously, most jobs in the mental health field are designed to serve those seeking or needing help with their emotional well-being. With this purpose, a broad skill set is required to ensure that not only are you prepared to pursue a job in mental health, but that you are able to serve those around you effectively and productively. Some of these skills and strengths include, but are not limited to:
Of course, there are countless other foundational skills that compose the diverse work of mental health professionals. However, the above three are key skills that can be used to improve performance in all careers in the field. Regardless of where you stand in these given skills, it is important to remember that all skills have room for improvement – with the right intentions and level of passion, simply by pursuing any role in mental health will enable you to acquire and refine all sorts of valuable skills.
What's new with DSB Youth Services?
By Jen Scheel
DSB Youth Services Specialist
Hello everyone! Your DSB youth services team is busy getting ready for summer programs, our first time doing them in person since 2019! Please read on to see what else we are up to!
There is still time to sign up for LEAP! LEAP is our program for students age 14-21 who have additional disabilities to visual impairments. LEAP will be virtual this year. We will focus on resume building, career exploration and building social and communication skills. To find out if LEAP is appropriate for you or your child, please reach out Jen Scheel or Jazmin Rials.
Are you or your child a blind or visually impaired student in Washington between the ages of 9-13? Join us for a week of fun activities focused on building daily living skills, social skills and career exploration! Skills is our weeklong day camp and will be in three locations this summer; tri-cities, Tacoma and Everett. For more details on dates, locations and the program please contact Jen Scheel.
Our last Good Vibe Friday’s virtual social hour will be June 11th! This space has been a awesome space for blind and visually impaired teens to come together, form community, talk about important topics and play fun games. Our last session will be a celebration of the end of the year, and we will spend most of our time playing Spyfall. Haven’t played Spyfall? Don’t worry, we will teach you! If you would like to join, please reach out to Jen Scheel or Janet George.
Our last tech talk of the year will be June 27! Tech talks is a space for youth to share their favorite technology techs, hacks, and trends! If you are a 12 or older and interested in technology, this is the space for you! For more information, please reach out to Janet George.
We Will be Hiring New Newsletter Editors for Next Year!
Are you a blind or visually impaired student age 16-21? Are you interested in marketing, communication, and/or journalism? You should apply to be one of our DSB youth service newsletter editors!
This is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen your writing and communication skills while you gain work experience and a paycheck! Students must be able to work up to 15 hours a month in addition to their school schedule. The job will last a full calendar year and you will work under the guidance of the DSB youth services department staff. Please be on the lookout for more information and a job posting in August!