Rowan Tree Helps Members Be Well through Mental Health Workshops

 In RT Blog, RT News

ABOUT 1 IN 5 ADULTS IN THE U.S. IN A GIVEN YEAR HAS A DIAGNOSABLE MENTAL ILLNESS.   – National Alliance on Mental Illness

It Started with a Conversation on a Dark, Cold Day.

A few weeks ago, our members were sitting and coworking in our Community Hub. In this area of our space, it’s known that you get a mix of work and conversation in. It’s where our members connect. It’s where the ideas fly, plant, and sprout.

What makes these ideas different though, is that often they are rooted in real life needs as much as they are professional needs.

On this day, we saw a member who we hadn’t seen in some time. We began discussing how tough it can be to get out of the house, especially during those dark and cold days in winter. Soon, a group of members was gathered around a table as we talked about depression, stress, anxiety, and even suicide. We learned that many of us are affected in some way — be it ourselves or someone(s) we care about.

It turned out — a lot of us feel lost around dealing with mental health issues. How do we handle a kid who has depression? Is it okay to medicate? What are normal behaviors and what aren’t, especially when you have a pre-teen or teenager on your hands? What do I do if I’m the one depressed? How do I get out of bed? How do I help? How do I GET help?

Pretty soon, the casual conversation that started between two grew into an intense discussion with most of the people coworking in our space that day.

We Noticed the Reaction. And We Responded.

At Rowan Tree, we strive to create programming (or Rowgramming, as we call it) that meets the needs of our members. We are more than a place to work. We foster growth and nourish our minds and selves through workshops that help us professionally — and personally.

We are lucky enough to have several members who are mental health professionals, and they are helping us navigate these difficult issues.

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we decided to add in several mental-health focused workshops that will equip us with knowledge and tools to help us recognize and support ourselves and others when a mental health crisis is on the horizon or already in effect:

Dealing with Angst…and How to Get Un-Stuck. While a low level of anxiety can help propel us, too much angst can make for unproductive inner struggle: we can’t get it done, begin to question ourselves, our adequacy and self-worth. Our Rowan Tree member Laurie Levine, LCSW, offered to lead a session that helps us reflect upon that angst and inner struggles to recognize where we are stuck — and provide exercises to help us get back in control.

Sparking Professional Passion and Resilience. So many of us experience a sense of burnout as we try to do it all — especially when pouring ourselves into our work. Our members will have the opportunity to join Betsy Doud, MSW with Re-Up Trainings to learn how the 3C’s of Communication, Culture and Connection can support resilience and spark passion in their professional mission.

Administering Mental Health First Aid. And finally, going back to that conversation where it all started: We are honored to host a Mental Health First Aid class, a public education program offered by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. In this 8-hour course, attendees will learn key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis as well as receive a certification from the county.

In addition, Rowan Tree is supplementing these workshops with wellness and creative sessions to help make sure members are receiving support from all different perspectives.

At Rowan Tree, we strive to create and nurture a community where our members can connect with others on a level that goes way beyond networking or a casual conversation. We must be able to tend to our minds and souls…and be empowered to not just help ourselves but also help others in our life. In a time when we are bombarded by external pressures through social media, the news, politics, and unrealistic expectations, it is incredibly important that we are aware of the dangers surrounding mental illness and can recognize the warning signs. We are proud to offer such valuable programming.

If you’d like more information about the Mental Health First Aid Training, you can learn more here.

For more information on our Rowgramming, visit our events calendar or contact us anytime.

Rowan Tree is a coworking and cogrowth community focused on women but open to all. It is located in Herndon, VA nestled in Sunset Business Park.

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