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The Principal as the Custodian of Mental Health

January 28, 2016

In my workshops to parents of elementary and high schools last year, what I heard most was concern about children’s mental health. In talking with these parents it was clear that not only are their children suffering, but so too are the parents. Anxiety and depression were chief among their concerns and issues.

The school is the microcosm to the macrocosm of students and families. What is experienced out there is also experienced within the school setting by staff. As school staff is addressing students and their families issues so too are staff addressing their own issues of mental health.

At the helm is the principal who too may have his or her own personal challenges to address.

How does one cope with this complexity of issues?
How does one balance one’s own needs and issues with the competing needs and issues of the staff group, let alone students and their families?

When it all gets confusing, it is important to sort out who owns what and to have strategies and services in place to address competing needs. It also behooves the principal to be able to manage him/herself a midst the challenges of the other.

Tomorrow I am providing a workshop to school principals of a local school district.

Within this workshop, we will address this complexity of issues and determine when listening is sufficient to meeting ones needs or when a referral for mental health service may be appropriate. Strategies for presenting concerns to a staff member will also be provided.

I am looking forward to working with this group.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

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