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.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for our Followers

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We would like your feedback. So much of what went into creating and updating BounceBack has been based on direct input/feedback from those of you who have shown interest in and/or purchased our tool.

In order to gather more valuable information, we have created two short surveys. One addresses marketing issues and the second communications. We posted the first to our webpage and social media sites last week. The second is now ready for completion.

We know that your time is valuable. May we ask that you take a few minutes to tell us what you think?

Please follow this link to our Marketing Survey

and

Please follow this link to our Communications Survey

Thank you for your support.

Dealing With Anger

In many ways, anger is a normal reaction.

In this blog post, we’re going to present another challenge from one of the decks of challenges we have created for the game “Bounce Back.” The challenges in the series that we have created on health deal with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These decks are part of a serious game called “Bounce Back” that we have developed to teach the skills and the attitudes of resilience. The game presents the players with situations that they or someone close to them might encounter and asks them to choose the skills and the attitudes of resilience they would use or would recommend others to use to deal with the challenge.

Here is the challenge: Some days you’re angry. Some days you’re depressed. Some days you feel like you just don’t want to live with the pain anymore. You don’t really think about suicide seriously because it would solve no problem. But after a particularly sleepless and pain-filled night, you crawl out of bed at 4:15 a.m. to make some coffee. Your wife comes down the stairs with her usual, “What’s wrong, honey?” You’re tired of this persistently stupid question and you jam the pot into the coffeemaker a bit too hard. You’re shocked when it shatters and your knuckles begin to bleed.

Anger is a very normal reaction to all of the frustration and difficulties that a chronic healthcare problem presents. What do you believe you would do in this situation?  Think about it and talk with friends and family. Perhaps they have dealt with a similar problem. Many chronic illnesses, such as cancer and diabetes, involve chronic pain.

Here are some of the things that we would suggest. Connecting with others and communicating is important. Your wife was trying to do this. Perhaps she needs some direction from you. Maybe you need to talk with her more about how you’re feeling.

Managing all of the feelings that you have, especially the anger, is hard. But you’ll find better ways of dealing with it if you let some of it out in constructive ways. Find some ways to discharge it. Talking about it is one of those. Doing something physical, such as punching a pillow or a punching bag, exercising, etc., may help.  Even though you’re angry, and you may be angry with yourself, take care of yourself and take care of those around you.

Try to see the bigger picture. Things will change, perhaps for the better. Things will not remain the same. Get some help professionally in dealing with the anger. Medication is not always the answer. It can be part of a helpful program of treatment, but having someone to talk with and work on these issues may do even more to change things for the better.

Ron Breazeale  Ron Breazeale, Ph.D

How do we Combat Loneliness?

Isolation of one individual.

I just finished an article entitled Loneliness Rivals Obesity, Smoking as Heath Risk by Nick Tate. A survey was conducted by Cigna and Tate reports that,

“Douglas Nemecek, MD, Cigna’s chief medical officer for behavioral health, said the findings of the study suggest that the problem has reached “epidemic” proportions, rivaling the risks posed by tobaccoand the nation’s ever-expanding waistline.

‘Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity,’ he said in releasing the report.”

Continue reading “How do we Combat Loneliness?”

Why Peer Coaching?

Open hands reaching skyward through bed of flowers.

“A man falls into a hole so deep he can’t get out. A doctor walks by, and the man calls for help. The doctor writes a prescription, tosses it into the hole, and walks on. A priest walks by, and the man tries again. The priest writes a prayer, tosses it into the hole, and walks on. Finally, a friend walks by, and again the man asks for help. To his surprise, the friend jumps in with him. “Why did you do that?” the man asks. “Now we’re both in the hole.” “Yes,” the friend responds. “But I’ve been in this hole before, and I know the way out.”

—Rebecca Clay, SAMHSA News 2004

Continue reading “Why Peer Coaching?”

Southern Maine Resilience Task Force

The palms of two hands painted with the world map against a blue cloudy sky.

Resilience is about more than strengthening our infrastructure, stabilizing our environment and emergency preparedness. It’s about building individual and community resilience.

We are creatures of habit. The more we practice a skill the better we become at using it. Attitudes are a settled way of thinking that reflects in our behavior. Individual and community resilience comes with a change in attitude from helplessness and pessimism to self-confidence and optimism and a good set of strategies in our toolboxes. Practice applying new Skills & Attitudes to everyday challenges successfully is how we get to self-confidence and optimism. Continue reading “Southern Maine Resilience Task Force”

Responding to School Shooters

Young person in a darkened hiding place peering through a hole at a threatening individual.

Our children are being slaughtered. Despite this, no actions are being taken to limit access to guns. I could go on for hours about this. But I know in my heart that this is an issue that clearly will not come into focus for many any time soon. How many dead children will it take? The answer is already too many. Waiting around helplessly to see how many more will die is more than I can bear. Continue reading “Responding to School Shooters”

Why BounceBack?

Today we celebrate the availability of BounceBack online. These are my thoughts.

A Path to Resilience

I worked in the human/social services field for forty-four years. I tried everything on the menu from non-profits to educational and medical institutions, self-employment, and government service. I was searching for the system that wasn’t flawed and/or broken. There was always something blocking the path to consistently effective service. Lack of funding, lack of staffing. Inadequate training or inconsistent support from co-workers, supervisors and/or the community. And then there are the unexpected (and sometimes tragic) changes that are implemented by unknowing bureaucrats in terms of how much and what type of services they determine necessary. Try as I may I never found the system that wasn’t flawed. Many were in fact broken. Continue reading “Why BounceBack?”