Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc.
Newsletter Issue #16 - March 2016
"To do all things
necessary or proper to
aid in improving the
education, economic opportunities, living
environment and general
welfare of the people........"
March 2016 - In This Issue:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) mental illness is defined as collectively all
diagnosable mental disorders" or "health conditions that
are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or
some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired
functioning. Depression is the most common type of mental illness,
affecting more than 26% of the U.S. adult population. It has been
estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second
leading cause of disability throughout the world, trailing only
ischemic heart disease (www.cdc.gov).
that goes along with mental illness can often be embarrassing for
individuals who have been diagnosed and can often go untreated due
to self and societal perceptions.
as pregnancy, child birth, genetic, biological, environmental, and
societal issues can all cause varied levels of mental depression;
however, many of them are treatable. A diagnosis for mental illness
can be determined by testing measures such as a physical exam, lab
tests and a psychological evaluation (www.mayoclinic.org).
It is often difficult to determine the type of mental illness that
an individual may be experiencing; however, testing is definitely
important to determine accurate treatment methodologies.
step is for one to recognize and admit that something is not right
with themselves or for others to identify major behavioral changes
in their loved ones. The Mayo Clinic suggest the following
noticeable symptoms for mental illness:
sad or down
thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
mood changes of highs and lows
from friends and activities
tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
to cope with daily problems or stress
understanding and relating to situations and to people
or drug abuse
changes in eating habits
anger, hostility or violence
possible that in our field of Community Action our clients may
experience related issues as they cope with socioeconomic stressors
such as poverty. In our roles, we should take these warnings very
seriously and guide them to professionals that can help.
Additionally, we must pay closer attention to those in our home and
in the workplace. Sometimes abnormal behavior is just a cry for
help and what's important is that we as community professionals do
not turn a "deaf ear" to the problem, rather offer
solutions through the appropriate referrals. I have heard of so
many related stories where people have noticed unusual behavior in
an individual and no one truly pays attention until a tragedy
occurs and it's too late. Let us be more aware and pay closer
attention to those we serve. We could very well be the link between
their illness and their wellness.
A thank you letter from one of the many we've served
I would like to thank Southeastern Community &
Family Services for the assistance I've received. I was a certified
nursing assistance who always had goals of providing a great life for
my family. I worked part-time, while attending college, and gained a
medical assistant certification. Then I completed my Associate's
degree in Arts from Richmond Community College and also graduated
with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from UNCP. I must say, I love
the career I chose. I now work as a social worker within the medical
field. I received the opportunity to start my new career 3 months
after I graduated.
For my next goal, I desire my Master's degree in
social work. Once you have that dream/goal in mind, and understand
you have a purpose keep in mind, be inspired and motivated to know
that nothing is impossible. Mrs. Brown within the facility is a great
person. I believe she was dedicated to see me thrive and succeed. She
was a great assistance on my behalf. She never looked down on me; she
has given me the upmost respect and kindness when handling my cases.
I am thankful for the opportunity provided for my family while I
accomplished my goals. Coming off the program is not a feeling of
loss, but of gratitude. The assistance provided by SCFS presents a
bridge over a barrier so tough to overcome. Most of all, Christ
deserves all the glory in my life. Without my faith, I would not know
to stay guided. He is the source that provides all the resources!
Thanks for it all, and many blessings to the
staff/recipients on the program. There are no limitations in
succeeding. Trust and believe what you have in you.
you, it brings me great pleasure to introduce myself. My name is
Connie Canery. I was born on February 8th, 1949 to the union of Mr.
Donnie and Nannie "Skippy" Campbell Thompson. I attended
the inner city schools of Fairmont, North Carolina as a child. Which,
later lead me to attend Robeson Community College where I received my
Associates of Applied Science degree. I am the proud mother of five
children of my own, Valerie, Donald, Danny, Dewayne, and Danin
Thompson of which my son Danin went on to be with the Lord, seven
beautiful grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. This experience
of such a great tragedy caused me to adapt closer relationships with
my surviving children individually and collectively. Not stopping
there I began volunteering with the Head Start program and many
different local community organizations. To date I raised a total of
thirty seven children outside of my very own. I guess you can agree
that I really love children. It was my desire to be an example and
inspiration to my children and all children so I took a leap of faith
and went back to college and received my Bachelors of Science in
Early Childhood Education from Mount Olive College. From passions of
all children and my children I began my start with the Head Start
program as a parent volunteer. This change of pace adapted my
character to start working as a Family Service Worker on January 2,
1972. Certainly there was no stopping there I soon became the Shared
Center Manager and then the Center Manager, which I currently still
hold .Within the Head Start program I attended several North Caroline
Associations. I spear headed many partnerships with community
involvement such as coaching many Softball and Baseball Recreational
activities year round receiving awards from Laymen League for special
recognition for youth role modeling of my Church. This opportunity
was my way of bridging the gap between parents and children in the
community building relationships and community involvement. There's a
saying that you're only as old as you feel. With that being said I
figured I'm still a thriving young lady. Upon the death of my sister
I gained three amazingly gifted young boys, who were diagnosed as
ADHD. They have played a major role in my activeness giving them a
loving environment and encouragement that they too can become
anything that they desire. Many people are to be thanked for my major
success over the years. Truly I can't take full credit, without God,
prayers, and support of so many people all around me. Over the years
I have served on several boards as the chairperson in my community.
President of the PTA for the Head Start program, Director of
Recreation Departments in Fairmont, North Carolina, Life Guard for my
Church Pool; I was also a top contender in the Dancing with the Stars
fundraiser for the United Way organization. I also enjoy singing in
my church choir and strongly supporting our church youth department
in all endeavors. So many awards and certificates have been presented
in my honor over the years but of them all the greatest achievement
was receiving guidance from my previous supervisor Ms. Nancy Griffin,
for she taught me how to be efficient in my job. Special thanks to
Ms. Carol Ward for giving me my position, and Emily Oxendine for
encouraging me to persevere. Such gratitude comes to heart for my
former pastor Dr. J. Johnson for believing in me and teaching me the
foundations of knowing that I could do all things through Christ that
strengthens me, and our very own Lucille Olige and Denita Campbell
for being such an amazing spiritual motherly influence reminding me
to remain prayerful, and relying solely on God for direction and
answers. For children was much more than a mere idea, it is my
passion, it is my life, and it is my calling.
Mrs. Canery pictured with Patricia Beier, The North
Carolina Head Start Association President.
Mrs. Canery was awarded for the NCHSA Support Staff of
the Year. Mrs. Canery was recognized at the NCHSA banquet on March 17
in Raleigh. We are very proud of her and she serves as shining
examples of the quality of our staff.
to the 16th edition of our newsletter. If you remember, our
January Newsletter theme was "Invest in your Health". We
focused on the 6 types of health
conditions: physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual,
and environmental. This month we chose to focus on two closely
related types: emotional and mental. From young children to the
most senior adult, we are affected by these 6 types of health
conditions. It is our goal to go in depth so that we all have the
knowledge to make necessary changes in our lives. It is believed that
there is be no greater investment than in our health and having
more information can only help us, our communities, and our families.
the school year of 1989-1990, my son entered Northwest Head Start and
I became a parent volunteer at the center. Through
volunteering, I was hired as a substitute worker. While in this
position, I gained experience and won the confidence of the Lead Teacher
as a reliable worker. When the position of Kitchen Manager became
vacant, I substituted until I was hired full-time. In
1995 I was transferred to the position of Social Service/Health Aide
(which is now titled Family Service Worker) at Ransom Head Start
Center. During school year 2012-13 I was transferred to
Baltimore Head Start Center where I continue to serve as the Family
My education level upon entering Head Start employment
was 1.5 years of college transfer credits at Bladen Community
College. I have since earned two Associate degrees, one in
General Education and the other in Early Childhood Education.
With the General Education degree I was able to transfer to
UNC-Wilmington and I am currently a Senior working toward my degree
in Social Work. Other credentials that I have earned are the NC
Family Support Credential, NC Administration Level 2, and the NC
Early Educator Certificate Level Ten.
In 2003 I met the love of my life, Perry F. Williams,
and we became "one" in 2005. We
share 3 sons, 1 daughter and 3 granddaughters. Our
church family is Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, where I usher
on the 1st and 5th Sunday. We are avid sports fans of the Carolina
Panthers and Atlanta Hawks. My son, Choyce lives in Atlanta, Georgia
and during Easter break we attended a Hawks game.
I give all the praise to Jesus Christ for He is my
Williams pictured with Patricia Beier, The North Carolina Head
Start Association President.
Mrs. Williams was awarded for the NCHSA Family Advocate
of the Year. She was recognized for her accomplishment at the NCHSA
banquet on March 17 in Raleigh. We are very proud of her and
she serves as shining examples of the quality of our staff.
Importance of Emotional and Mental Health
What is Mental and Emotional Health?
Mental and emotional health refers to you overall
psychological well-being. It includes the way you feel about
yourself, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to
manage your feelings and deal with difficulties. In other words it's
really important. Being mentally and emotionally healthy is much more
than being free of depression, anxiety, etc. Just simply not feeling
bad is not the same as feeling good. While some people may
not have negative feelings, they still need to do things that make them
feel positive in order to achieve a good status of mental and
emotional health. People who are emotionally and mentally healthy
have: a sense of contentment, the ability to laugh and have fun, the
capability to deal with stress, a sense of meaning and purpose in all
aspects of their lives, the ability to adapt, a balance, the ability
to build and maintain relationships, and self-confidence.
Just because one is emotionally and mentally healthy
doesn't mean never going through bad times. We all go through
disappointments, loss, and change. These are normal parts of life.
But, they can still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress. The
difference is found where people with good emotional health have an
ability to bounce back. This ability is called resilience.
People who are emotionally and mentally healthy have the tools for
coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook.
They remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as
good. One of the key factors in resilience is the ability to balance
stress and your emotions. The ability to recognize your emotions and
express them appropriately helps you avoid getting stuck in
depression, anxiety, etc. Another key factor is having a strong
support network. Having trusted people you can turn to for
encouragement and support will boost your resilience in tough times.
Risks for Poor Mental and Emotional Health
Your mental and emotional health has been and will
continue to be shaped by your experiences. Early childhood
experiences are especially significant. There are several risk
factors that can damage mental and emotional health.
- Poor connection or
attachment to your primary caretaker early in life: Feeling lonely, isolated, unsafe,
confused, or abused as an infant or young child.
- Traumas or serious
losses, especially early in life: Death of a parent or other traumatic
experiences such as war or hospitalization.
- Learned helplessness. Negative experiences that lead to a
belief that you're helpless and that you have little control
over the situations in your life.
- Illness: especially when it's chronic,
disabling, or isolates you from others.
- Side effects of
medications: This is
especially true for older people who may be taking a variety of
- Substance abuse: Alcohol and drug abuse can both cause
mental health problems and make preexisting mental or emotional
In order to maintain and strengthen your mental and
emotional health, it's important to pay attention to your own needs
and feelings. Don't let stress and negative emotions build up. Try to
maintain a balance between your daily responsibilities and the things
you enjoy. If you take care of yourself, you'll be better prepared to
deal with challenges if, and when, they arise.
- Do things that
positively impact others. Being
useful to others and being valued for what you do can help build
self-discipline. Self-control naturally leads to a sense of
hopefulness and can help you overcome despair, helplessness, and
other negative thoughts.
- Learn or discover new
things. Think of it as
"intellectual candy." Try taking an adult education
class, join a book club, visit a museum, learn a new language,
or simply travel somewhere new.
- Enjoy the beauty of
nature or art. Studies show
that simply walking through a garden can lower blood pressure
and reduce stress.
- Manage your stress
levels. Stress takes a
heavy toll on mental and emotional health, so it's important to
keep it under control. While not all stressors can be avoided,
stress management strategies can help you bring things back into
©Helpguide.org. All rights reserved.
Smith, Melinda, Robert Segal, and Jeanne Segal.
"Improving Emotional Health."Help Guide.
2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
I was born in Lumberton, Robeson County, NC, to the
late Zeb and Bulah Locklear. I was one of twelve children, and
have seven brothers and four sisters.
My husband is Mitchell Lowery. We have been
married for 32 wonderful years and have two sons. The eldest,
Dennis, an engineer, and his wife Charlotte teaches Science at
Lumberton High School. Our youngest son is Travis Lowery, who
is employed as a Line Technician, and his wife Montana is an
assistant pharmacist in Lumberton. We have one grandchild,
Kadon Lowery, who at fourteen months old is my pride and joy. I
am a member of Hoke County Church of God, where I serve as a member
of the choir and as a Young Adult Sunday School teacher. I
enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, and cooking.
I started working at Sara Lee Knitting as a machine
operator in 1987. My passion was always to work with
children. After five years in the textile field, I applied for
the Assistant Teacher's position at Duffie Head Start Center in 1993.
I accepted the Associate Teacher position after my first year as an
Assistant Teacher. When the opportunity arose for me to go back
to school, I enrolled at Robeson Community College and received my
Associates degree in Early Childhood Education in 2004. In 2005
I was promoted to Assistant Center Manager at Red Springs Head Start
Center. In August 2005, I made the decision to further my
education and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in 2010
from the University of North Carolina - Pembroke. I worked in
the position of Assistant Center Manager for seven years and then
went back to my first love - the classroom.
I have enjoyed working for the past twenty-two years
with the children. I want to be a role model for my students
and to help promote their learning abilities.
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