Engaging fathers in the behavioral health recovery process for youth
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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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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


Engaging fathers in the behavioral health recovery process for youth

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Engaging fathers in the behavioral health recovery process for youth

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Why stress out

Why stress out?

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    • Mark Twain

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Men are from mars

Men are from Mars

  • 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

  • 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?

  • “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?

  • “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?

  • 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 Without Intervention

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Intervention opportunities

Intervention Opportunities

Education

+

Encouragement

= Empowerment

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Male therapists an endangered minority

Male Therapists An ‘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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • “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

  • Meet a new friend

  • Make a personal connection

  • Maintain occasional contact

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Buddy system info exchange

Buddy System Info Exchange

  • 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

  • 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

  • Choose someone to stay in touch with

    • Similar challenges

    • Geographically close

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Recent weekend data

Recent Weekend Data

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Enlistment

Enlistment

  • “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

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

  • 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


Engaging fathers in the behavioral health recovery process for youth

Washington dads

Explore what otherdads have done

EMPOWER

EDUCATE

&

ENGAGE

WASHINGTON DADS - 2012


Contact information

Contact Information

  • 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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