Building Resilience Newsletter 11/2018

An arm from the elbow up emerging from a breaking wave and giving the "thumbs up". BounceBack Traemark appears in the corner.

Our Newsletter will be posted for the last time as of 12/2018.

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As 2018 comes to a close, we are feeling grateful for a productive year and optimistic that good things are yet to come. We thank all of you for your ongoing support and encouragement as we continue to pursue our goals.

Continue reading “Building Resilience Newsletter 11/2018”

Building Resilience Newsletter

Hand appearing above a breaking ocean wave and giving the "thumbs up."

What’s New?

Building Resilience, L.L.C., Train-the-Trainer Program

We are currently developing a new training program targeting students from middle school to the post-secondary level. The student training content will come from the challenges presented in our premier tool, BounceBack. BounceBack is a serious game, a tool to help build mental toughness by asking people to respond to real-world challenges, using the Skills & Attitudes of resilience. BounceBack was developed as a tool to practice responding to life’s challenges. It’s very simple. It’s practice. Continue reading “Building Resilience Newsletter”

Terrorism

The plight of the disenfranchised in our country.

Mass shootings and acts of violence are daily occurrences in our country. Most of these are committed by individuals who have lived in this country for many years and are often third and fourth generation Americans. Very few of these acts of violence have been committed by immigrants or foreign saboteurs. They are domestic terrorists. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to want to talk about or deal with these folks, and the present Administration would rather focus on building walls and expelling foreigners from this country. That, unfortunately, will not keep us safe.

There are many young people in America, some of them new arrivals, but many are third and fourth generation Americans who feel disenfranchised by this country, who do not feel a part of their communities. They indeed share many similarities with adolescents who have recently moved to a new community or school either from another part of this country or from another part of the world. Unfortunately, many of them lack the skills and attitudes necessary to become integrated into their communities.

One of the programs that we’ve been working on at Building Resilience would teach the skills and the attitudes of resilience that are necessary for their integration into our society. This program would focus on the empowerment of educators and students who would be actively involved in the creation of the program. Through increasing proficiency in these skills, such as connecting with others, communicating effectively, being flexible, being able to problem solve, manage strong feelings, and developed a sense of purpose, we would seek to increase self-esteem and integration. And most importantly, we would seek to decrease the likelihood of these young people becoming more disenchanted, isolated, dysfunctional, and radicalized. We do not need any more Sandy Hooks or Columbine shootings, or Boston Marathon bombings.

Better regulation of gun sales is important. And certainly, there is a need for better services for persons with a mental disorder. But more mental health services will not solve this problem. Research indicates that most of these individuals do not fit neatly into a diagnostic category of being mentally ill. What is clear is that most, whether they are from here or from another country, do not feel they have a viable role or place in our society. They are isolated and are easy targets for radicalization. We need to look at what we are doing to radicalize these young people and what we can do to make them a part of our society.

Dr. Ron Breazeale

Ron Breazeale, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

 

An Addict Among Us: Part Six

People standing in line along a sidewalk. shown from the waist down.

In the last five posts, we have been discussing the opioid crisis. An epidemic that has taken thousands of lives and devastated thousands of families. Interdiction has not worked very well at all. Physicians limiting the prescriptions that they write for opioids and using other strategies for dealing with pain may have an impact on the epidemic. But what are we doing about the demand for these drugs? Continue reading “An Addict Among Us: Part Six”

An Addict Among Us: Part Five

Country road with a keep out sign.

One of the strategies in dealing with addiction is Harm Reduction. This is a strategy that has been practiced in Europe for many years. There is, however, still much resistance to doing this in our country. The strategy involves doing such things as giving people with addictions clean needles and a safe place to use. Critics say the strategy encourages and supports the addiction. The research that has been done on these programs seems to contradict that argument. Studies point out that the strategy reduces death and disease among those addicted and can encourage them to become involved in treatment programs. Continue reading “An Addict Among Us: Part Five”

An Addict Among Us: Part Four

The interior corner of a stone wall against a blue sky.

Our president recommended building a wall on our southern border to keep illegal drugs out. Unfortunately, the problem is not that easy to solve. Much of the illegal drugs coming into this country come by sea or air. And a large quantity of the drugs being abused are prescription medications bought and sold on the streets of this country. Interdiction efforts have not been that successful. Many doubt they will be in the future. Continue reading “An Addict Among Us: Part Four”

An Addict Among Us: Part Three

ubber duck dressed in nursing uniform.

As we have discussed in the previous blog post, addiction, especially opioid addiction, is a major issue for our society. And this is not just the abuse of drugs like heroin. Prescription medications are frequently abused. Patients become addicted to them very quickly when they are prescribed in large quantities for the treatment of pain. Unfortunately, medications such as oxycodone and OxyContin may be very effective in treating acute pain, but often don’t work that well for the long-term treatment of chronic pain. These prescription medications are refined to such a degree that addiction to them may come faster than addiction to heroin. Continue reading “An Addict Among Us: Part Three”

An Addict Among Us: Part Two

An armed police officer walking in the shadows.

Addiction to opioids is a major issue in Maine as it is in most states. More people die from addiction overdoses than they do in car accidents. One of the problems that have been identified that we are attempting to address is in the area of public education. Many people still do not understand that addiction is a disease, not a matter of character or moral weakness. As long as this attitude continues in our society it will continue to prevent people from seeking treatment and the epidemic will grow. Continue reading “An Addict Among Us: Part Two”

An Addict Among Us: Part One

cell phone laid face down in a dark room. Multi-colored light shows around the edges.

In the state of Maine 400 overdose deaths occurred in 2017. This year it is likely that the number will be matched or exceeded. To say the least, opioid addiction is a major problem for our society. I recently attended a conference in Maine that focused on opioid addiction among veterans. Some of the problems identified were the fragmentation of the system of care and the limited resources for treating addiction. A major issue we talked about was the lack of understanding that the general public has about addiction. Many still view it as a moral issue and believe that those who become addicted are weak. The stigma of being addicted keeps people from seeking treatment. The skills and attitudes of resilience are ones that our society in general needs to combat a variety of problems including addiction. One of the tools that we have developed to educate the public about the different struggles that we are facing is Bounce Back, a serious game that asks participants to respond to challenges using the skills and attitudes of resilience. Continue reading “An Addict Among Us: Part One”