Resiliency Technologies and the Sharpen platform, along with our partners at United Way of the Piedmont and SC Foster Parent Association, are releasing a 5 hour course designed to boost foster parent resilience.
Access the course here or navigate from www.SCFPalms.com to "Partner Courses" / "Sharpen Minds."
"Rejuvenation Revelation" is a 5 hour course featuring over 40 documentary films that highlight best practices for improving mental health literacy, stress management and self-care skills in order to create more resilient SC foster parents.
SC FPA parents will receive 5 contact hours for this course which will enable participants to identify and understand the ways to improve their own mental and emotional wellbeing. In particular, participants will learn:
1. The four pillars of a mental health literacy framework (Kutcher and colleagues, 2016). The course provides participants with an overview of the protective factors for mental wellness, training on various mental health topics, history of mental health stigma, and best practices for assisting a child or loved one who is struggling.
2. Stress and brain functioning and how to can get ahead of challenges using evidence-based strategies.
3. Basics of mindfulness and sample “5 Minute Mindfulness” activities from the evidence-based curriculum which is rooted in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and yoga practices that have been deployed in Resilient Schools for 5+ years in South Carolina
4. Guidelines and best practices for working with youth who come from traumatic backgrounds with a focus on supporting someone who may be struggling, highlighting the shared protective factors for resilience.
Mental health literacy interventions can provide both adolescents and adults with the tools they need to reduce stress, such as coping mechanisms and improved awareness surrounding mental illness (Riebschleger et al., 2019). Protective factors, such as those that ‘buffer’ or ‘protect’ one from the effects of negative life experiences, risk factors, or other life stressors, can reduce the likelihood of an adolescent developing a mental health disorder and improve resiliency (Riebschleger et al., 2019). Common protective factors may include but are not limited to, the problem-solving skills of the child/adolescent, close parental relationships, nurturing from parents and psycho-education, etc. (Riebschleger et al., 2019).
Studies with the Sharpen Mental Health Literacy program have shown to decrease shame and stigma around mental disorders (Fadel et al, 2022) and have evolved six qualitative themes from the training effectiveness feedback including: 1) Help-Seeking, 2) Stress Management, 3) Tailored Guidance to Resources, 4) Understanding Warning Signs, 5) Body Image Awareness, and 6) Engaging with Mentees (Biber et al, 2022).
Sampling of experts featured in the course:
Dr. Mary Bartlett, clinical psychologist and suicidologist
Dr. Cynthia Bulik, UNC Chapel Hill expert on body image and eating disorders
Dr. Craig Burnette, retired VA psychologist and Vietnam era veteran
Suzy Cole, former Executive Director, Spartanburg Child Advocacy Center and child protection attorney
Dr. JuliSu DiMucci-Ward, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas
Dr. Natalie Fadel, clinical psychologist
Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, UC Berkeley Department of Psychology
Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT, Sharpen Founder and CEO
Naomi Lett, President & CEO United Way Association of South Carolina and former foster child
Alesia Lowe-Jenkins, licensed psychotherapist
Dr. Rahul Mehra, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Rhonda, foster parent
TJ Rumler, LCSW, licensed psychotherapist and post 911 era veteran
Dr. Nicole Siegfried, clinical psychologist
Dr. Cathy Sparks, clinical psychologist and certified play therapist
R. Todd Stephens, director of Spartanburg County Public Libraries and adoptive parent
Dr. Alexis Stoner, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas
Ida Thompson, expert on early childhood development and foster parent
Roger Williams, Executive Director of Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center, foster parent