National Mental Health Awareness Month

Since 1949 the month of May has been recognized as National Mental Awareness Month in the United States. Every year The Mental Health America Organization reaches out to American citizens through seminars, word of mouth, events, and the media to raise awareness about the prevention of mental illness and stresses. It is common for people feel stress and anxious when trying to better themselves. The organization hopes to teach people that it is important to be mindful of one’s own mental health. During times of change and major stress it is easy to lose track of control and happiness. Living with better life choices and knowledge can help prevent any of these issues before they even start.

The National Children’s Mental Health Organization is another group striving to inform people to be conscious of mental illness. No child should be left behind for any reason and in this day and age we have the education to help ease the lives of children and adults suffering from mental illness. Depression, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar disorders are more common now than they have ever been. These organizations are taking the time to educate the masses in order to help remove the stigma related to physiological disorders. Please do the same with your families to start conversations about these topics. The earlier parents talk to their kids about mental illness the more likely it is for children to be expressive about their concerns and emotional issues in the future

Safety and comfort are highly important components to every lessons we offer at our facilities. At Waterworks Aquatics our trainers are sensitive to your children’s special needs in and out of the water. Water can be the perfect environment for exercise for persons with mental illness struggles. Treatment and exercise in the water can have therapeutic benefits while promoting fitness, physical rehabilitation, and relaxation. Our water at Waterworks Aquatics is heated to ensure comfort in the water and minimize shock and distraction from cold temperatures. Trainers stay in the water with their students 100% of the time and give constant attention to their students. Stress and anxiety can be one of the leading catalysts of mental illness; luckily for swim students exercise can increase the amount of endorphins in a person’s brain. Endorphins help stimulate happiness and work great mood booster. Our swim teachers at Waterworks know these benefits and educate students and parents throughout their lessons.

Trainers stay in the water with their students 100% of the time and give constant attention to their students. Interaction with special needs students is important. it can take patience and a different level of connection. Our trainers stay positive as they introduce themselves to these new students. It is important to introduce one’s role “I am your swim teacher, let’s have some fun!” Avoiding too many questions is a strategy our trainers use because this can be stressful. Waterworks instructors are great leaders and can observe a student’s comfort level and adjust accordingly. Waterworks Aquatics has a 12 step curriculum that is followed for skill growth that acts as “plan A,” sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and use a “plan B” teaching style which may be a little slower paces and brings things back to basics to ensure confidence building at each skill set. Our trainers use visual and auditory cues to act as aids during swim lessons. Anything from a special expression a particular student likes when they do a great job or playing “turtle games” or various other toy-based play activities as rewards can make all the difference in a special needs lesson. Private lessons are a great place for your children to have a mentor figure in their life. Our trainers talk to their students and get to know them. These early friendships and conversations are great building blocks for open communication in the future. Talk to your children and share your experiences as examples.

Happy swimming!

Written By: Daniel Patronilo