Calm, Cool, & Colt-Connected
A student mental health & wellness newsletter...
September 21, 2020
About Colt Connection...
Colt Connection School-Based Youth Service Program
The School Based Youth Services Program (SBYSP) initiative was started throughout the State of New Jersey in 1987 to help young people navigate their adolescent years, finish their education, obtain skills leading to employment or continuing education, and graduate healthy and drug free.
Adolescents have numerous concerns and problems. Since a substantial number of teenagers have multiple problems that call for several different services, SBYSP provides an array of employment, health, and social services. Services are available to all youth and recreation is provided. In addition to the following core services, each site develops services which respond to local needs, such as on-site child care, so that teen parents can stay in school.
The major services are:
Mental health and family services
Healthy youth development
Access to primary and preventative health services
Substance abuse counseling
Pregnancy prevention programs
Learning support services
Referrals to community based services
SBYSP sites, which are located in each of the 21 counties in or near schools in urban, rural, and suburban communities, are open to all youth ages 10-19, and provide services before, during, and after school, as well as throughout the summer. The comprehensive "one-stop shopping" design helps break down barriers and bureaucratic roadblocks that too often prevent young people from obtaining services and supports. School-Based Youth Service Programs exist in about 100 schools throughout the state of New Jersey
Tips For Overcoming Toxic Relationships!
It Feels Like Love — But Is It?
It's totally normal to look at the world through rose-colored glasses in the early stages of a relationship. But for some people, those rose-colored glasses turn into blinders that keep them from seeing that a relationship isn't as healthy as it should be.
What Makes a Healthy Relationship?
Hopefully, you and your significant other are treating each other well. Not sure if that's the case? Take a step back from the dizzying sensation of being swept off your feet and think about whether your relationship has these qualities:
- Mutual respect. Does he or she get how great you are and why? Make sure your BF or GF is into you for who you are. Does your partner listen when you say you're not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person values the other and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.
- Trust. You're talking with a guy from French class and your boyfriend walks by. Does he completely lose his cool or keep walking because he knows you'd never cheat on him? It's OK to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
- Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone when one of you isn't being honest. Have you ever caught your girlfriend in a major lie? Like she told you that she had to work on Friday night but it turned out she was at the movies with her friends? The next time she says she has to work, you'll have a lot more trouble believing her and the trust will be on shaky ground.
- Support. It's not just in bad times that your partner should support you. Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but not that interested in hearing about the good things in your life. In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on when you find out your parents are getting divorced and to celebrate with you when you get the lead in a play.
- Fairness/equality. You need to have give-and-take in your relationship. Do you take turns choosing which new movie to see? As a couple, do you hang out with your partner's friends as often as you hang out with yours? You'll know if it isn't a pretty fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.
- Separate identities. In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. But that doesn't mean you should feel like you're losing out on being yourself. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn't change. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don't, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.
- Good communication. Can you talk to each other and share feelings that are important to you? Don't keep feelings bottled up because you're afraid it's not what your BF or GF wants to hear. And if you need some time to think something through before you're ready to talk about it, the right person will give you some space to do that.
What's an Unhealthy Relationship?
A relationship is unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful, controlling, or abusive behavior. Some people live in homes with parents who fight a lot or abuse each other — emotionally, verbally, or physically. For some people who have grown up around this kind of behavior it can almost seem normal or OK. It's not!
Many of us learn from watching and imitating the people close to us. So someone who has lived around violent or disrespectful behavior may not have learned how to treat others with kindness and respect or how to expect the same treatment.
Qualities like kindness and respect are absolute requirements for a healthy relationship. Someone who doesn't yet have this part down may need to work on it with a trained therapist before he or she is ready for a relationship.
Meanwhile, even though you might feel bad or feel for someone who's been mistreated, you need to take care of yourself — it's not healthy to stay in a relationship that involves abusive behavior of any kind.
When a boyfriend or girlfriend uses verbal insults, mean language, nasty putdowns, gets physical by hitting or slapping, or forces someone into sexual activity, it's a sign of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
Ask yourself, does my boyfriend or girlfriend:
- get angry when I don't drop everything for him or her?
- criticize the way I look or dress, and say I'll never be able to find anyone else who would date me?
- keep me from seeing friends or from talking to other guys or girls?
- want me to quit an activity, even though I love it?
- ever raise a hand when angry, like he or she is about to hit me?
- try to force me to go further sexually than I want to?
These aren't the only questions you can ask yourself. If you can think of any way in which your boyfriend or girlfriend is trying to control you, make you feel bad about yourself, isolate you from the rest of your world, or — this is a big one — harm you physically or sexually, then it's time to get out, fast. Let a trusted friend or family member know what's going on and make sure you're safe.
It can be tempting to make excuses or misinterpret violence, possessiveness, or anger as an expression of love. But even if you know that the person hurting you loves you, it is not healthy. No one deserves to be hit, shoved, or forced into anything they don't want to do.
Why Are Some Relationships So Difficult?
Ever heard about how it's hard for someone to love you when you don't love yourself? It's a big relationship roadblock when one or both people struggle with self-esteem problems. Your girlfriend or boyfriend isn't there to make you feel good about yourself if you can't do that on your own. Focus on being happy with yourself, and don't take on the responsibility of worrying about someone else's happiness.
What if you feel that your girlfriend or boyfriend needs too much from you? If the relationship feels like a burden or a drag instead of a joy, it might be time to think about whether it's a healthy match for you. Someone who's not happy or secure may have trouble being a healthy relationship partner.
Also, intense relationships can be hard for some teens. Some are so focused on their own developing feelings and responsibilities that they don't have the emotional energy it takes to respond to someone else's feelings and needs in a close relationship. Don't worry if you're just not ready yet. You will be, and you can take all the time you need.
Ever notice that some teen relationships don't last very long? It's no wonder — you're both still growing and changing every day. You might seem perfect for each other at first, but that can change. If you try to hold on to the relationship anyway, there's a good chance it will turn sour. Better to part as friends than to stay in something that you've outgrown or that no longer feels right for one or both of you. And before you go looking for amour from that hottie from French class, respect your current beau by breaking things off before you make your move.
Relationships can be full of fun, romance, excitement, intense feelings, and occasional heartache, too. Whether you're single or in a relationship, remember that it's good to be choosy about who you get close to. If you're still waiting, take your time and get to know plenty of people.
Think about the qualities you value in a friendship and see how they match up with the ingredients of a healthy relationship. Work on developing those good qualities in yourself — they make you a lot more attractive to others. And if you're already part of a pair, make sure the relationship you're in brings out the best in both of you.
URGENT - SAVE COLT CONNECTION! Colt Connection, the School-Based Youth Service Program at Cumberland Regional High School, will be eliminated this year if we don’t inspire our legislators to save the funding. Members of the Cumberland Regional community are asked to please read about this situation and contact their legislators to help us continue providing our students with vital services!
Healthy Eating & Exercise for FALL!
Mrs. Colleen Prater, Support Counselor
Fall is a perfect time to get outside & try new foods!
Whether it is walking, biking, or trying a class online or at a gym. Try to make it a new part of your day – 30 minutes is all you need
As the season changes the air becomes crisp, leaves become filled with color, and there are new activities to go experience. Maybe go to a fall festival, go on a hayride, or a hike in the woods to see how the leaves are changing.
One of the healthy ways to eat is by the season meaning: eat what naturally grows during that time of year.
Fall Season foods are delicious!
Apples, pomegranates, beets, squashes, and a variety of lettuces just to name a few.
Challenge yourself to try one new vegetable or fruit each week. I bet you will find several new favorites.
Exploring First Job Opportunities!
Mrs. Colleen Kennedy, Employment Specialist
Before you look for that perfect job, you may want to create a resume.
Microsoft Word has several templates to help you create one.
Make sure to put your full address and phone number where they can reach you. You may not have a lot of experience to add to your resume, but think about adding babysitting jobs, cutting lawns for friends and family, and volunteer work you may have done.
Add your current school, again no abbreviations and make sure it is spelled correctly. If your grades are good, consider putting them on your resume. Add honor roll if you have earned it!
After you have finished, it's a good idea to have some proofread it to check for errors.
When looking for a job there are several job posting sites, such as indeed and snagajob, however, I find indeed easier.
You can also look directly on the company website under the careers section. When I was a teen, I found several of my jobs through word of mouth, so go ahead and ask everyone you know if they know of anywhere is hiring.
If you get an interview, prepare yourself. Search the internet for interview questions. Indeed.com has resources to help you practice for an interview.
On the day of the interview, dress appropriately, don't chew gum, don't swear and try to answer the questions with complete sentences, not one-word answers. For instance, "what's your favorite subject? I really enjoy physics, because I like the hands-on experiments and learning how to figure out how things work. "
Make sure to shake their hand and thank them for meeting with you. Try to get a business card and send them a follow up email thanking them again.
Once you get the job, make sure you arrive on time, dress appropriate and be friendly and willing to learn as much as you can. The better employee you are the more hours and responsibility they will give you and that equals more money!!