Kaupapa - About
Hello Calm services have evolved out of the growing need for support being sought for children and young people experiencing anxiety.
...almost one in five meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder by age 19 - New Zealand Mental Health Foundation (2014)
What is often considered ongoing unacceptable behaviour in our young people, is generally the sign of an overloaded stress response system, which when dysregulated, is easily triggered, rapidly ramping up into fight or flight mode, however there are also many young people who go unnoticed with their natural propensity to respond with the freeze or fawn state, who are also misunderstood and require additional supports.
Bad Behaviour or Dysregulation?
For many, what often starts with in-class punishments, detentions, stand-downs and exclusions, can lead down a pathway of shame and low self-esteem to delinquency as a means of escape and self-abuse; drinking, drugs and ultimately crime. Overseas this trend is referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline and unfortunately it is equally real for us here in Aotearoa. Sadly, unless we change our approaches, the trajectory of these young people is extremely unlikely to change either. However, it can be hard to know just what it is we need to do.
Just as scary as this, if not more so, is the silent epidemic of those who err towards the much quieter, withdrawn freeze state; those who tend to go under the radar and risk the potential to fall into the depths of depression unnoticed. And then there are those whose tendency is through the lesser known fawn response, increasing the risk of those who survive through appeasing others, being more vulnerable to manipulation, and at its worst, potential predation.
Thankfully it's not all doom and gloom; there is hope! With the knowledge of what to look for, along with the necessary skills and tools to support regulation and healing, we can shift our kid's trajectories, empowering young people and their families to enjoy life more, and be better equipped for a brighter future.
This is the mission of Hello Calm, and the very reason for it's inception.
Kohikohia ngā kākano, whakaritea te pārekereke kia pūawai ngā hua.
Regardless of the expression of ongoing toxic stress, together understanding, care and consistency weave the safety net which keep these kid's self-esteem from declining; to boost a positive sense of self and identity through making sure each and every young person knows they are accepted, cared for and supported. From there, we, all those who play a support role, have an opportunity to work along-side the young person, serving to develop their resilience through the specific interventions which strengthen brain architecture, and development of skills through targeted teaching and support.
Do you know the signs of a dysregulated response system?
Take the quiz.
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