Meeting Summary for November 2022:
The following is a summary of the presentation from our November meeting. A recording of the presentation will be available on our YouTube page. Handouts and meeting minutes are usually posted on icsew.wa.gov within seven business days following each meeting.
Behavioral Health Recovery from COVID 19
Dr. Kira Mauseth, Department of Health, gave a presentation on recovery from the COVID pandemic. Her presentation explains the science of how being in prolonged “emergency response mode” can impact our brains and outward behavior. She also explained that the “flight or fight” response behaviors can vary between children, teens and adults. She mentioned some youths have had a particularly rough time transitioning back to school as an example, particularly at different stages of brain development. For example, over the two plus years of the pandemic, some students missed transitions (for example, from middle school to high school) and might exhibit frustration or anxiety as they re-learn to socialize with peers.
Mauseth said since we’ve been in emergency response mode for so long, our brains can react to everyday situations like they do to an addiction and, collectively, and it’s not uncommon for us to have trouble creating work-life and school-life balances in our lives.
To help us, Mauseth encouraged us to slow down and evaluate the criticality of a task or job to determine whether it really needs to be completed “right now.” She said we should develop a routine for tuning in to the present moment as well as create and maintain healthier boundaries around our time.
Some of her tips include:
- Resilience can be developed, encouraged, and supported in others as well as ourselves. We should try to reconnect with things that have meaning and redefine what we want to be and do going forward. Connections are root of our existence. We need to go out of our way to prioritize connections in our lives but ensure to focus on healthy relationships.
- Transparency – model best practices.
- Healthy engagement – having clear boundaries and taking care of yourself allows you to fully engage.
- Respect – listen to different voices, inquire about alternative approaches to things, seek new opinions.
- Integration – team cohesion results in positive mental outcomes.
- Values – bring your core values to your interactions with others.
- Effort – ask people how they like to be appreciated. Celebrate progress and accomplishments regularly.
To view Mauseth’s presentation, please visit ICSEW’s document library Click on the “presentations and handouts” folder.