Updated: Apr 1
Holding Space In The New Year
Anthony Naguiat, LMHC, MCAP
We’d like to offer a sincere thank you for your continued support of Professionals United For Parkland. 2021 was another long year to navigate. Many of you likely spent a lot of time holding space for others during the year and throughout the holidays as well. While the holidays can be a happy time for a lot of people, for others they can be very draining or bring up intense stress or emotions. This is an important reason we need to learn to hold and create space for ourselves as well, especially as our community approaches the 4th anniversary of the MSD tragedy.
As each New Year comes around, people will develop resolutions and goals, especially ones that center around taking care of ourselves better physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, etc. These are often short-lived or too broad to maintain throughout the year. What can be more helpful in creating space for ourselves is to be intentional in setting short-term and measurable goals for self-care, while helping to alleviate stressors and allow us to be more grounded. After all, we can only be truly effective in helping and supporting others when we take care of ourselves as well.
Get into a healthy routine: Some people tend to find stress in not doing enough while others pack their schedules so full, they don’t even notice the stress they’re experiencing. Finding a healthier balance in our lives is very important. whether it relate to exercise, healthier eating, social activities, work, social media, personal downtime, etc. There isn’t always a perfect balance, and it will differ for everyone, sometimes it’s about trying your best which can vary from day to day. Approach these days with kindness and self-compassion as you’d likely do with others.
Curate news feeds and social media: This can be done by setting time limits for how long or often you check news/social media apps, deleting the apps temporarily, suspending or logging out from accounts, unfollowing or unfriending accounts that increase stress, or using the block/snooze functions on certain posts. This can be especially important given the constant news around politics, the pandemic, or community violence around the country. As our community nears the 4th anniversary of the MSD tragedy, taking this step may be crucial to supporting your mental health. It’s okay to be informed, but it can be easy to become overwhelmed by a constant stream of information.
Seek support: Sometimes we all need a little help or guidance in taking care of ourselves, especially if we’ve been through difficult experiences, losses, or recent life changes. This may look like reaching out to others you trust. This could also mean seeking out services like support groups, speaking to a therapist, or connecting to a local/national organization around specific needs for resources (NAMI), AFSP, SAMHSA, or the Crisis Text Line or National Suicide Prevention hotline, for example).
We hope you have a great start to the New Year.
If you should find yourself or someone you know in immediate crisis or need for help, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Some other resources for immediate crisis support include:
211 – In Florida, and many areas, most counties will have a dedicated 211 resource hotline. Dial 211 from your phone to be connected to your local 211 branch. This may depend on where you’re calling from if it’s from your Cell Phone.
Crisis Text Line – Text any word (Help, Talk, etc.) to 741741 to be connected via text to a trained crisis counselor.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline – Until the 3-digit hotline number is active later in 2022, the original number will still be the one to use – 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Our Mission: “Professionals United for Parkland was created to identify and meet the short and long-term needs related to mental health/well-being of the South Florida community in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy through evidence-based services including education for the general community and professionals, clinical training, clinical services, support for clinicians, and more. We work alongside other local organizations and groups to ensure that we identify gaps in current services and that the needs of our community are being adequately addressed. We are entirely non-political.”
During the month of January, Professionals United for Parkland remembers Alyssa Alhadeff. Donations in Alyssa’s memory can be made to MakeOurSchoolsSafe.org. The nonprofit was started by the Alhadeff family and seeks to improve school safety nationwide. On Feb. 6, Alyssa’s Law mandating silent panic alarms in New Jersey public schools was signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Spurred by her daughter’s death, Lori Alhadeff was elected to the Broward School Board.
To learn more: https://makeourschoolssafe.org/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 smile.amazon.com 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.