Relationships are a major part of our lives. It is perfectly normal for some relationships to ebb and flow as dynamics change with different school years, shifting of hobbies or afterschool activities, etc. And as we grow and change as individuals, it is important to be mindful of the health of our relationships. This includes how we communicate with one another.
- Healthy relationships depend on healthy communication. This is a skill that we learn and practice starting at a young age, and further develop over time. We encourage you to implement healthy communication in your relationships by:
- Using assertive communication: Clearly state your thoughts, opinions and feelings using “I” statements and calm, clear, but direct tone and body language.
- Actively listening: Communication goes both ways. It is important to listen to hear, not to respond. When others talk, pay attention; avoid automatically dismissing or discounting their feelings. The other person is the expert about their own thoughts and feelings, just as you are with yours.
- Setting boundaries: It can be hard to say “no” and put your own needs first, especially if it won’t please others, but you have the right to do what you feel comfortable with.
- Resolving conflict: Conflict happens in every relationship. It is important to resolve it in a timely manner in order to prevent it from turning into unresolved conflict that can damage your relationship.
February is Black History Month. This month is dedicated to honoring Black history and celebrating Black culture by recognizing the many achievements and contributions Black people have had across the U.S. Additionally, this month helps recognize the struggles faced by the Black community both historically and presently. Here are some ways you can celebrate and honor this Black History Month and beyond:
- Support Black-owned businesses and restaurants. Here is a link to locate Minnesota Black-Owned Businesses.
- Educate yourself on the history of American slavery by listening to ‘1619,’ a Podcast From The New York Times. This podcast highlights the links between slavery, economics, and the obstacles that Black people have faced and continue to experience when attempting to access healthcare and landownership rights.
- Donate to Black organizations and charities. Here is a list of non-profit organizations that are working to advance Black rights and support Black youth:
Tell Us About Your Experience Supporting Youth Through Substance Abuse
Are you a parent, caregiver, or youth supporting professional? Have you engaged the youth in your life in conversations about substance use prevention, or would like to? Do you have ideas on how Change to Chill can help you do so?
If so, please take a 5-minute survey sharing your experiences. This is part of a project aimed at identifying tools, resources, and programs that increase adults’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage and support middle school youth to delay or reduce substance use. Click here to participate by Friday, March 3rd.
Your feedback will help inform resource development for the Change to Chill program. Thank you for your participation!
Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
Escape the Vape Video Challenge
Change to Chill is honored to sponsor the 2023 Escape the Vape Video Challenge, a contest where Minnesota middle and high school students can use their voice to raise awareness about the dangers of vaping. Now through the end of February, the contest will be accepting submissions a 30 second public service announcement (PSA) to educate their peers, schools, families, and community on the risks of vaping nicotine. Change to Chill swag will be included in school promotional kits and prize kits for those who submit PSAs before the March 1st deadline. Learn more about the Escape the Vape PSA video contest.
Did you submit a video and receive a kit from Allina Health? Show us how you’re enjoying the items by tagging @allinahealth, @changetochill, @hello4health, and using #mnjointheescape on social media!
Change to Chill Partnership Highlighted in New Article
Since 2020, Change to Chill has partnered with Hennepin County Public Health to provide culturally specific mental health resources to teens most impacted by COVID-19, focusing specifically on teens identifying as Black or African American, Native or Indigenous, Latinx, and/or LGBTQ+. The partnership is supported by Hennepin County CARES Act funding to improve mental well-being and resiliency among youth throughout Hennepin County. The new resources that have come out of this partnership include:
Click here to read the article and learn more about our partnership and this work.
Well-being Resources for All Ages
Did you know that Allina Health has well-being resources for folks of all ages? In addition to Change to Chill, which focuses on youth ages 13-19, Allina Health has two sister programs we encourage you to check out!
Hello4Health is a resource for adults, with tools and activities to help build or strengthen social connections.
Health Powered Kids is a resource for youth ages 5-14, with lesson plans to help kids Be Active, Keep Clean, Find Balance and Eat Well.