Tag - Johnson State College

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From Flowers to Leaves
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Lamoille County Mental Health: 50 Years in the Making
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Which ‘P’ Do You Choose to Be?

From Flowers to Leaves

By: Michele Whitmore

Personally, I find it difficult to transition from summer mode to fall mode. I am sure some of this has to do with my career. Working in higher ed, the transition means much more than a wardrobe change. My lifestyle changes a bit. The work goes from planning to responding (sometimes reacting), from being able to binge watch the newest series on Netflix till the break of dawn, to making sure I am in bed by 9 so I can be in the office and prepared for that 8:30 am meeting.

I am sure many of you can relate to this transition as well. I absolutely love summertime and need to annually remind myself of the importance of appreciating those last summer days and being excited for what fall has to offer. Here are some tips that I use to help in this transition. For those who can relate, I invite you to give these a try:

Embrace the change: It’s going to happen whether you want it to or not, so let go and give yourself time to slowly transition your mindset.

Remember the highlights: Hoodies! Pumpkin Spice! Bonfires with flannel and hot cocoa! And don’t forget about the amazing colors of fall – especially in New England. We are very lucky to be surrounded by such beauty.

It’s not over: Summer fun can continue in the fall. You can continue to do many of your favorite summer activities in the fall. Like biking? Check out a spin class; enjoy fresh fruits and veggies? You can “can” almost anything and enjoy the taste of summer even in the fall. Enjoy picnicking with friends and family? A harvest dinner also brings friends and family together to enjoy a hearty meal.

Bucket List: In the spring, I always create a summer bucket list. This summer, I created one for fall. Maybe I’ll see you at a high school football game or at a haunted (but not *too* haunted) forest, the great corn maze in Dansville, or at the local church’s chicken and biscuit dinner.  There are many hidden gems to do in the fall. Look around, do some research and start your list now.

Lastly, be grateful that you are here, alive and able to enjoy the last days of summer and the upcoming fall adventures. In the fall, reminisce about the June outdoor concert you attended and be glad that you had the opportunity to experience it. And in the Winter, you can reminisce about the Fall Fest gathering at your friend’s house where everyone brought their signature dish to pass and beverage to share while sitting around a nice bonfire with your favorite flannel and jeans.

 

 …And all at once, Summer collapsed into Fall – Oliver Wilde

 


Michele Whitmore is the Associate Dean of Students at Johnson State College. She works closely with Student Service Departments within the College to provide purposeful events to students that will strengthen their professional leadership, personal growth, life skills development and social engagement. Thus far, the College has provided educational programs that cover LGBTQ issues, alcohol and drug use, sexual assault prevention, socio-economic struggles, and healthy choices related to eating well and being fit, to name a few.

Michele writes about the outreach and program opportunities that enhance the wellness of a campus community.

 

 

Lamoille County Mental Health: 50 Years in the Making

By: Savi Van Sluytman, CEO, Lamoille County Mental Health Services

A half-century ago, Lamoille County Mental Health opened its doors to serve the community.  Like you, we know that our neighbors have good days and bad days, ups and downs. It is our commitment that when our neighbors need help, we will be there to reach out a hand.

In the 50 years that we have been serving the Lamoille Valley, the way we respond to the needs of our neighbors has drastically changed. Much of our work happens right in the communities where our consumers live—in their homes, in their schools, in their child care programs, in their jobs.  We know that the best path to health and wellness is the one that ensures a full, meaningful life. A steady job, success in school, strong relationships and good friends, good nutrition and healthy exercise, feeling the sun on our faces and clean, fresh air in our lungs.

Every day at Lamoille County Mental Health, we are taking steps to ensure that no one in our community falls through the cracks. We provide the safety net that so many Vermonters need at some point in their lives. Many of us live here because, yes, it’s a place of rare and often breathtaking beauty, but also because we hold common values: that when a neighbor slides off the road on a snowy afternoon, we stop to help. When someone is struggling with an internal battle, we reach out a hand. Every Vermonter should be able to live healthy, productive lives.

We provide the safety net that so many Vermonters need at some point in their lives. In a state such as this, no one should go hungry, which is why we have a food shelf that on any given week is stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and non-perishable items.

If someone is struggling with the confidence they need to get back to work, we bridge that gap, empowering them to find and keep a job. We help them with every step where they need a guiding hand, and when they are ready to take the next step alone, we step back—but not away.

When someone is struggling with homelessness, we fight fiercely to find housing for them.  When transportation is a barrier to work, our supported employment dispatch team ensures that they can get there. We combat isolation by bringing people together for music and yoga classes, lunch, Special Olympics teams and support groups. After a few athletes in our community expressed interest in creating a Special Olympics swim team this fall, we found a head coach and we are scouring the community for assistant coaches and swim partners to accompany athletes in the pool, as well as a sponsor to cover the cost of using the pool at Johnson State College—please reach out if you are interested!

As we look to 2018 and our 51st year, we are thrilled to bridge community partnerships as we work to implement a capital campaign to support community needs. Our 2018 capital campaign goals are to:

  • Build an Imagination Center to benefit children with autism, behavioral and learning disabilities, as well as for elders with dementia;
  • Fund the Tiny House Project. Build four independent living “tiny houses” for people with developmental disabilities on the Oasis House property;
  • Provide matching funds to support the creation of affordable housing for people at risk of homelessness in community centers where it does not currently exist.

With these efforts, we seek to better serve the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.  To learn more, visit www.lamoille.org.

 

Which ‘P’ Do You Choose to Be?

By: Michele Whitmore

I am a positive person. In fact, people often ask me how I stay so positive. My response is that I choose to be. There are days when it would be much easier to choose the other ‘P’ (pessimism), but as I have learned from many others, the easy way is not always the right way or the best way when making a decision. Here are a few tips that I have used to help me stay on the positive path.

  • Whether your day will be a positive one or not is a choice we all make before getting out of bed. So, first thing in the morning, make the decision to have a positive day. Sure, some things may go south, but try not to let that impact the rest of your day.
  • Live life simply. Don’t try to keep up with anyone but yourself.
  • If your life is feeling a bit dysfunctional, remember: we all have our own challenges or dysfunctions. It’s kinda normal. And it’s ok.
  • Find time for self-reflection or self-improvement. Our lives are busy; we often over–schedule ourselves. It’s important to take time each day to “meet with ourselves” – check in, breathe deep, shut off your mind for a few minutes, and just be.

We all have this choice to make every day. Choose wisely and own it.


Michele Whitmore is the Associate Dean of Students at Johnson State College. She works closely with Student Service Departments within the College to provide purposeful events to students that will strengthen their professional leadership, personal growth, life skills development and social engagement. Thus far, the College has provided educational programs that cover LGBTQ issues, alcohol and drug use, sexual assault prevention, socio-economic struggles, and healthy choices related to eating well and being fit, to name a few.

Michele writes about the outreach and program opportunities that enhance the wellness of a campus community.