There are times in life that bring unimaginable challenges, grief, and pain. We at the NEA Health Information Network know that the children, families, NEA members, and residents of Oklahoma are facing those issues today. We share in their sorrows, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies and firm commitment to help.
NEA HIN has contacted our affiliate in Oklahoma, and we are offering crisis information and support. We are moved by the dedication of Oklahoma Education Association members and their devotion to their students and community. Once again, we hear of how educators protected children as best they could and how they walked door-to-door to help their neighbors. Their dedication exemplifies their courage and professionalism and offers hope and the promise of renewal to an otherwise devastating moment.
In the coming weeks, NEA HIN will stand strong with OEA members, their families, and their neighbors in Oklahoma as they rebuild their lives. Today, we extend our hand to share the burden of sorrow and offer the comfort of friendship
May is Mental Health month and NEA HIN knows that many educators are experiencing high levels of stress. In 2012, NEA members asked NEA HIN produce new resources on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and educators. These new resources are now available.
While schools are generally safe places for students and staff, we know they are not immune to violence, tragedy, and loss. School staff are often in the position of first responder when it comes to helping students. More than 75% of us will experiences one or more traumatic events in our lifetimes and will likely experience stress symptoms as a result. This is normal and we human beings have an amazing capacity for resilience. Most of us will get better.
Some people will develop acute stress disorder, which has symptoms that are similar to PTSD. The big difference is that these symptoms get better over time. When this normal response continues over a month or does not go away then the problem may be PTSD. Only about 10% of people who experience a trauma will develop PTSD and with help most of those will get better as well.
Resilience is the amazing human ability to cope with stress and can be built Schools play a big role in helping students build resilience through positive connections. Adults can also build resilience through positive connections as well as other strategies for self care. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but the flight attendant is right. Put your own mask on first!
So as we come to the end of Mental Health Month, take a few minutes to take care of yourself. Tell us how you manage stress and build resilience.