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January 2021 Newsletter

Last year was a long, difficult 366 days. It both crept along and flew by. With 2021 dawning and the third anniversary of the MSD tragedy coming soon, Professionals United for Parkland felt it was time to talk about mental wellness. 2020 spawned many memes touting “wine o’clock,” bubble baths and scented candles for self-care. While those strategies help in the short term, prolonged mental wellness requires more.

Mental wellness is the total combination of all the aspects of your life – social, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual, combining together for an overall sense of well-being. Mental health issues can grow stronger when we are not taking care of our mental wellness. Imagine fueling your car with high quality gasoline while at the same time the oil is sludgy, brake fluid nonexistent, tires are bald and you’ve long since run out of windshield wiper fluid. By only focusing on one aspect of our lives, we can have serious problems crop up elsewhere.

Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the big picture of mental wellness. Each part of our lives deserves our attention. Our physical well-being is a great place to start. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, decreasing our alcohol and smoking consumption all combine to create physically wellness. Humans are social creatures. Even introverts need time with others! Spending time virtually, in person socially distanced, writing letters or texting with family and friends ensures that our social cup remains full. Setting aside time aside to reflect on the day, create a gratitude list, seeking support from friends, family or therapists to keep your emotional wellness balanced. Spending time in nature, contemplating your spiritual or religious beliefs and practices ensure that you will feel tied to the world around you. Learning a new skill or language, considering other points of view, participating in activities that push your intellectual limits keeps your mind nimble and growing.

On this New Year Day, we know many of you have made (and broken) your resolutions for wellness. Rather, each day we need to strive to do our best at building a mentally well lifestyle. Start small and build more competencies each week. By taking the time and working towards wellness, you are creating a structure for increasing your resilience to everything life throws at you. As 2020 has shown us, we need all the resilience we can get! Follow along on our social media each week for more tips on creating a mentally well life.

Professionals United for Parkland was founded to help address the long-term effects of communal trauma. Help is available – please reach out today.


Honoring the 17

During the month of January, Professionals United for Parkland is remembering, Christopher Hixon, who died a hero on February 14, 2018. From the website created in his honor, "Chris was an Athletic Director, Coach, and Campus Monitor. During his 20+ year career within Broward County Public Schools, he was a proud faculty member of Blanche Ely High School, South Broward High School, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Chris Hixon was also a retired U.S. Navy Machinist Mate First Class having served 27 honorable years, 5 active duty and 22 reserve, in support of our nation. His love for his student-athletes was well known. He always went the extra mile to ensure they were taken care of. To continue his legacy and continue to take care of student-athletes, we have created a scholarship in his name for student-athletes at his three former schools."

For more information, including how to donate to the fund or apply for the scholarship,


PU4P  Updates Interested in joining our trauma trained therapists (licensed only) - please take a few moments of your time and join the PU4P referral directory. The  MSD community will need services for the long run.  PU4P links those in need with a vetted list of trauma therapists. We ask for a commitment of 2 pro-bono clients a year. For more information or questions, please contact Please support PU4P by designating it as your charity with The AmazonSmile Foundation. They will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases. Don't forget to check our Facebook page for the most current events, updates, and information about PU4P!  Thank you for your support of PU4P and your dedication to the Parkland community.

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