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Engaging Fathers in the Behavioral Health Recovery Process for Youth. A Practical Perspective. Washington Dads. Mission: To Educate and empower Dad, Families and Communities to Improve Behavioral Health for Children, Youth and their Families.

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Engaging fathers in the behavioral health recovery process for youth

Engaging Fathers in the Behavioral Health Recovery Process for Youth

A Practical Perspective

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Washington dads
Washington Dads for Youth

  • Mission: To Educate and empower Dad, Families and Communities to Improve Behavioral Health for Children, Youth and their Families.

  • Vision: Washington Dads is the Premier Organization Supporting Male Care Givers for Behavioral Health

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Objectives
Objectives for Youth

  • Explore the perspective and challenges of men who are raising behaviorally challenging children

  • Discover helpful practices to engage men in positive collaboration in the recovery process for children and their families.

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


True or false
True or False? for Youth

  • Behavioral health challenges create stress among family members

  • Men and women respond differently to stress

  • Different responses justify different solutions

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Situations creating stress
Situations creating stress for Youth

  • Parenting practices aren’t working

  • Frequent calls from school staff

  • Balancing work/home responsibilities

  • Limited insurance benefits

  • Costly property repairs

  • Family safety concerns

  • Transition to adulthood

  • Criminal activity

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012




Why stress out
Why stress out? for Youth

  • Fathers feel responsible

    • Dads are role models

  • Built to fix the problem and move on

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Male response to stress
Male Response to Stress for Youth

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging of men and women under stress showed neuroscientists how their brains differed in response to stressful situations. In men, increased blood flow to the left orbit frontal cortex suggested activation of the "fight or flight" response. In women, stress activated the limbic system, which is associated with emotional responses.

    • ScienceDaily.com

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


The fight response
The Fight Response for Youth

  • Numerous studies have shown that there is no real difference in the way men and women experience anger. All people feel anger, and most feel angry about the same things. However, men and women (and boys and girls) express their anger in different ways. Men tend to be more physically aggressive, to engage in passive-aggressive behavior more often, and to be more impulsive in expressing anger.

    • FamilyEducation.com

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Poor advice abounds
Poor Advice Abounds for Youth

  • When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear

    • Mark Twain

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Men are from mars
Men are from Mars for Youth

  • Men have their own caves on which the sign states "Please do not disturb." Men like to retreat into their own world where they feel they are in control. Women also have caves but the sign on their caves is "I need to talk".

    • Learning From Dr. John Gray's Seminar on Relationship Enrichment, Men are From Mars Women are From Venus.

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Fathers experience isolation
Fathers experience isolation for Youth

  • People have difficulty interacting with those they don’t understand

  • Repeated exposure to crisis impacts ability to participate

  • Social isolation has a significant impact upon mental and physical health, and should be classed among smoking and obesity as a major risk factor to health

    • WorldHealth.net Anti-aging news

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Do fathers experience stigma
Do fathers experience stigma? for Youth

  • “Being the parent of a bipolar child has not made me popular. My child has been passed over for parties and had his own invitations declined. Other parents who only know my child by the stories they hear from their own kids are quick to label him as a bad seed. And if he’s a bad seed, surely he must come from bad parents.”

    • website

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Do fathers experience stigma1
Do fathers experience stigma? for Youth

  • “People fear what they don’t understand. Many people don’t understand mental illness. Some of them are closer than you think—friends and family members you never expected to do or say hurtful things”

    • website

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Do fathers experience stigma2
Do fathers experience stigma? for Youth

  • Stigmatization of people with mental disorders is manifested by bias, distrust, stereotyping, fear, embarrassment, anger, and/or avoidance. – U.S. Surgeon General

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Downward spiral without intervention
Downward Spiral for YouthWithout Intervention

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Intervention opportunities
Intervention Opportunities for Youth

Education

+

Encouragement

= Empowerment

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Male therapists an endangered minority
Male Therapists for YouthAn ‘endangered minority’

  • Men earn only 20% of all master’s degrees in psychology – down from 50% in 1970

  • “Some men, I think, prefer to talk about that – the joy of being a father, the stress, how it’s impacting them – with a therapist who’s had the same experience” – psychologist at University of Texas

    • Seattle Times article 2011

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Recovery as it applies to fathers
Recovery as it applies to fathers for Youth

  • Fathers are recovering from the condition of feeling isolated & powerless to help a child or youth with emerging mental health needs

  • Peer support is a promising part of the recovery revolution

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Four elements of one recovery model
Four elements of one recovery model for Youth

  • Hope

    • The driving force to keep going

  • Empowerment

    • A sense of some ability to influence my future

  • Self Responsibility

    • Personal action steps carry great weight

  • Meaningful Roles

    • Competency in assisting recovery

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Support groups are they effective
Support groups – are they effective? for Youth

  • Men need to trust the group before letting down the guard

    • Can these people understand me?

    • Takes time to build rapport

  • Environment is important

    • Non-judgmental

    • Devoid of distractions

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


A promising recovery process
A promising recovery process for Youth

  • Transformational Dads Weekend

  • Engagement – listen to shared experiences

  • Education – provide resources and practical instruction

  • Empowerment– support and encourage

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Setting the stage first evening
Setting the stage – First evening for Youth

  • Expectations

    • None

    • Not sure what to expect

  • Leading questions

    • How do you wish things were different at home?

    • What makes you feel powerless?

    • What would you change about mental health system?

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Engage
Engage for Youth

  • Place to vent feelings

    • Powerlessness

    • Fatigue

    • Crushed Dreams

  • Place to discuss challenges

    • Limited resources to help kids

    • Education plans not working

    • Home environment is not functional

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


First impressions
First Impressions for Youth

  • “I came expecting nothing…”

  • "I started losing hope - felt beat down. You mean I'm not alone?”

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Education new enlightening information
Education – New Enlightening Information for Youth

  • Individualized Education Programs

  • Maintaining Peace At Home

    • Collaborative Problem Solving

  • Behavioral Health Resources

  • Building a Community Support System

  • Transitioning Youth to Adulthood

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Relaxation realization
Relaxation & Realization for Youth

  • Downtime provides an opportunity to connect with others

    • Perceive what we have in common

    • Understand that we do not struggle alone

  • “You know what I'm going through”

  • “I have had a chance to recharge myself, discuss other suggestions and ideas, talk about what is or isn’t working in other families.”

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Empowerment
Empowerment for Youth

  • “I appreciate the opportunity to spend the weekend with these special Dads.”

  • “I have a more positive outlook on our son’s issues. I have never given up hope for improvement, but my hope level has been raised immensely.”

  • Recovery System Element # 1 Hope

    • The driving force to keep going

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Transformation
Transformation for Youth

  • “I feel like a huge brick just got pulled of my shoulder.”

  • "I came expecting nothing. I came away with everything.“

  • Recovery System Element # 2 - Empowerment

    • A sense of some ability to influence my future

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


The buddy system
The Buddy system for Youth

  • Meet a new friend

  • Make a personal connection

  • Maintain occasional contact

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Buddy system info exchange
Buddy System Info Exchange for Youth

  • First Name – ___________________________________________________________

  • City of Residence – ______________________________________________________

  • Current County of Residence for Youth.This location is important if it is different from the caregiver’s and corresponds to a service region within the state.

  • _______________________________________________________________________

  • Best times and days to reach by phone. List the times and days that someone will be most likely to be able to reach you by phone.

  • _______________________________________________________________________

  • Most available phone number. This should be the number you are most reachable at the times specified above.

  • _______________________________________________________________________

  • Actively utilized email address. List an email address that is active and that you check regularly.

  • _______________________________________________________________________

  • Primary language spoken at home - __________________________________________

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Buddy system info exchange1
Buddy System Info Exchange for Youth

  • I know for sure that I could use help with:

  • Locating mental, substance abuse or behavioral health services in my area

  • Life skill training for youth (job, independent living, etc.)

  • Relationship with school district

  • Behavioral concerns at school

  • Developing an Individualize Education Plan (IEP)

  • Truancy

  • Understanding state law (education, disabilities, criminal, etc.)

  • Managing conflict in the home

  • Working with law enforcement

  • Keeping a dependent from running

  • Healthy socializing skills for youth

  • Juvenile justice issues

  • Reducing stress

  • Other - ____________________________

  • Unlisted concerns

  • Not sure what I need help with

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


The buddy wall
The Buddy Wall for Youth

  • Choose someone to stay in touch with

    • Similar challenges

    • Geographically close

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Recent weekend data
Recent Weekend Data for Youth

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Enlistment
Enlistment for Youth

  • “I want to pay it forward”

  • Greater dads participation

    • Families, IEP Meetings, Conferences, Trainings, Leadership, Advocacy

  • Recovery System Element # 3 - Self Responsibility

    • Personal action steps carry great weight

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Roles for dads in systems of care
Roles for Dads in Systems of Care for Youth

Evaluators & Research

Advocates & Policy Makers

Educators & Consultants

Service Providers

Partners in the Treatment Process

Targets for Change

Providing Context

  • Recovery System Element # 4 - Meaningful Roles

    • Competency in assisting recovery

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Recovery model recap
Recovery Model Recap for Youth

  • Hope

    • The driving force to keep going

  • Empowerment

    • A sense of some ability to influence my future

  • Self Responsibility

    • Personal action steps carry great weight

  • Meaningful Roles

    • Competency in assisting recovery

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Washington dads for Youth

Explore what otherdads have done

EMPOWER

EDUCATE

&

ENGAGE

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Contact information
Contact Information for Youth

  • Washington Dads

    • www.wadads.org

    • 877-847-3050

    • P. O. Box 14336, Mill Creek

    • Washington 98082-2336

    • Robert Haffner

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


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