Here’s a visual/cartoon with a nice message, despite the outdated language.
And here’s some late-breaking news related to Montana Schools.
Next Monday and Tuesday (June 6 and 7), in Billings, I’m partnering with the amazing Dr. Emily Sallee to offer a two-day workshop for the Montana Association of School Psychologists. This is an in-person workshop—which is pretty darn exciting, especially because COVID cases in Billings right now are low.
The workshop is titled,Weaving Evidence-Based Happiness Interventions into Suicide Assessment & Treatment Planning .
Here’s the description:
In this 2-day workshop you will build your skills for providing evidence-based suicide assessment and treatment. Using a strengths-based foundation, this workshop includes a critique of traditional suicide assessment, a review of an alternative assessment approach for determining “happiness potential,” and skill-building activities on how to use more nuanced and therapeutic approaches to assessment. We will view video clips and engage in active practice of strategies for building hope from the bottom up, safety-planning and other essential interventions. Throughout the workshop, we will explore how to integrate evidence-based happiness and wellness strategies into suicide assessment, treatment, and professional self-care.
Tonight I have the honor of offering a public lecture in Billings. Situated as a part of a series of community suicide-related talks, my title is “Psychological Well-Being and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I suspect somewhere between 3 and 30 people will be in attendance. Although I’m hoping for 30, I’m realistically assuming that Rita and the program’s host will show. Counting me, that makes three!
To help get attendance over 3, someone suggested I edit this post to include the time and location. I’m on at 7pm till 8:30pm on the second floor of the MSU-B library, room 231. Hope to see you there.
Below, I’m pasting the handout for tonight. Being in the green lane, I’m trying to save paper and make these products available online. Here you go!
Psychological Well-Being and the Pursuit of Happiness
John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D.
Following is a summary of key points for John Sommers-Flanagan’s presentation for the Big Sky Youth Empowerment Program and Montana Social Scientists, LLC, Billings, MT – November 7, 2019
Introduction: Happiness can run very fast. So, let’s chase well-being instead
The Many Roads to Well-Being. You can find well-being on emotional, mental, social, physical, spiritual/cultural, behavioral, and environmental roadways.
It’s Natural, but not Helpful, to do the Opposite of What Creates Well-Being. If we want to catch well-being, we need to actively plan and pursue it.
The Pennebaker Studies. Writing or talking about deeper emotions and thoughts will make you healthier (better immune functioning) and happier. Choking off our emotions is inadvisable.
The Cherries Story. It’s not what happens to us . . . but what we think about what happens to us . . . that increases or decreases our misery. Focusing on your good qualities can be difficult, but doing so helps build a strong foundation.
Savoring. Use the power of your mind to extend and expand positive experiences.
Why Children (and Adults) Misbehave. When people feel a deep sense of belonging and socially useful, the need to misbehave and feelings of suicide diminish.
Exercise is the Solution (No matter the question). Exercise reduces depression in youth and offsets the genetic predisposition toward depression in adults. You can stretch or lift or do cardio, but get moving!
Holding Hands and Hugging is a Chemical Gift (or not). Consent, timing, and desirable companionship are foundational to whether touch contributes to health.
If You Can’t Catch Happiness or Well-Being, Start Chasing Meaning. Regular involvement in spiritual, cultural, religious, or social justice groups will feel so good that you might experience happiness and well-being along the way.
Remember gratitude. All too often we forget to notice and express gratitude. Put it on your planner; both you and the person who receives your gratitude will thank you for it.
John Sommers-Flanagan is a Professor of Counseling at the University of Montana. For more information, go to his blog at johnsommersflanagan.com. John is solely responsible for the content of this handout. Good luck in your pursuit of wellness.
I had a nice time today with the Student Health and Student Support staff of Montana State University Billings. Not only were they awesome, they were also awesomely dedicated to suicide prevention on their campus. Given that Spring is coming, that’s an excellent thing.
A link to the powerpoint for today’s talk is below: