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Child & Youth Mental Health Algorithm - GPSC

Child & Youth Mental Health Algorithm - GPSC

Imagine a thermometer

Imagine a thermometer marked from 0-10. The highest number 10, represents the mostanxious you have ever felt, 0 is the calmest, and 5 represents midway. This is your anxietythermometer.The numbers 8,9,10 represent an anxiety level that is only appropriate for the most severeproblems and situations. These would be situations that realistically involve a disaster thatis about to happen or has already happened, such as serious accidents, fires, and illness.Events that warrant 8-10 are quite rare in most peoplThe numbers 5, 6, 7, are appropriate for moderately serious events that may havesignificant consequences, such as missing a job interview or your car breaking down on thehighway at night. Even events that warrant 5-7 on the anxiety thermometer are still fairlyunusual.Most of the things we get anxious about on a daily basis are not serious enough to beworth high levels of anxiety. Realistically, everyday events would be somewhere between1 and 4 on the thermometer. They may feel more intense to anxious people because theytend to react on a much higher level, even to minor events.Level 8-10 situations can be thought of as crisis and level 1-7 as different sized hassles.The next time you feel your anxiety rising, stop and ask yourself these two questions tohelp you calm down by putting the event in a realistic context:1. How serious is this, really, in terms of life and death?2. 109 Crisis876 Serious543 Minor21

MindfulnessMindfulness originally came from Buddhist teachings, which advocated that one should establish mindfulnessin one's day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one's body, feelings, thoughtsand perceptions. Being mindful of yourself and your surroundings is being aware of the wisdom within yourselfand all around you. It isn’t cutting yourself off in order to ‘fit in’ when something doesn’t feel right, or ignoringyour emotions in order to ‘just get on with it.’ It’s about learning to listen to your body, your mind and you soul’sdesires, your deep passions and motivations and acting in ways that honor this.PurposeMindfulness is experiencing the present moment in a non-judgmental way. it is paying attention with awelcoming and allowing attitude … noticing whatever we are experiencing in our thoughts, behaviour,and feelings.Making changes in our life begins with awareness. Awareness means paying attention to what weare doing, thinking and feeling. We then have the option to either accept things or change things.Practicing mindfulness teaches us to relax and remain alert in the midst of the problems and joys oflife. It encourages us to pause in the moment and respond to life with curiosity and a welcomingattitude.Being mindful teaches you how to tell the difference between reality and irrational or destructivethinking, what decisions appear fine and which could hurt you later on. It’s about valuing yourself andkeeping things in perspective when stress puts extra demands on how we think and functionProcess• The practice of mindfulness focuses on three areas: mindfulness of bodily sensations, of feelings, and ofthoughts.A good place to begin the practice is to become aware of your breath, simply noticing its sensations inthe nose, throat, lungs, or belly. Follow the breath just as it is — long or short, deep or shallow. Thegoal is not to change it but only to observe and to be mindful of each breath.Mindfulness can then extend to noticing:- sensations in the body, noticing pain, pleasure, heat, cold, tension, relaxation.- emotions you may be experiencing such as fear, anger, sadness, happiness, etc.- thoughts that arise in the mind in the form of sentences, words, fragments, or images.The point is to fully experience and be aware of whatever may arise within you.This type of practice can then continue as you move through your day, being moreand more aware ofyour reactions and responses in all of your activities.CBIS MANUAL | ADOLESCENT VERSION | SEPTEMBER 2011 19

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