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Oct 24

[ARCHIVED] September 2019 Edition Newsletter

The original item was published from October 14, 2019 8:23 AM to October 24, 2019 8:55 AM

Director's Message
The Art of Self-Care
In recent years, all the buzz seems to be around the concept of self-care as people are recognizing that you can’t give more than what you have within. Self-care is intentional activities to support our physical, mental, and emotional health. Admittedly, I came to the glaring revelation that I haven’t been a prize student in the art of self-care. Thankfully, all it took was a few unsettling numbers on a recent wellness screening to shine a light on my less than-healthy habits. I don’t take for granted that I’m lucky to have a chance to prioritize my self-care moving forward. Based on the nature of our work, I am sure that I’m not the only one who may need to improve in this area. As I work to chart my own course to self care, here are a few nuggets that have helped me: 

Determine your why. For me it was a brutally frank discussion with my medical provider. For others it may be the desire to be your best self for family. It might be because you want the energy to continue to accomplish more at work. Your why is your own. Just get you one. 

Go back to the basics. Self-care may be a challenge in practice, but you know what to do. Eat right. Exercise daily. Get regular checkups. Step away from that desk for a bit. Turn off those emails at night. There are lots of cool and innovative self-care tools. When in doubt, keep it simple, stick to the basics. 

Get an accountability partner. When I shared my struggles, coworkers immediately jumped in with real actions to help me achieve my goals. I now have a standing date to walk for a few minutes after work. I’m asked daily, not just what I ate, but did I eat at all. Even my parents have gotten in on holding me accountable by insisting that they “tuck me in” by phone at night, ensuring I get some sleep (a little extreme, but I love their commitment to keeping me honest). Bottom line: there are people who care about you and are happy to motivate you on your path. Use them. 

Be intentional. Self-care by definition requires intentionality. There are plenty of excuses to not make the time. Work, family obligations, community involvement. Whenever you go down this path of thinking, remember none of those get done if you aren’t okay. 

This is a journey. The only way that we’ll reap the benefits of self care is to ensure that it’s core to daily life. Just weeks of ignoring self-care can have negative consequences. Start with slow, sustainable change rather than doing too much and later abandoning it. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

I am hopeful that anyone else who is at a crossroads in improving their health will take some real action steps in the right direction. Fortunately, if you need a little inspiration to kick start your journey, the Division is being more intentional about offering opportunities. In the coming weeks, we will share information, host training, and provide hands on activities to encourage a culture of self-care here at work. Stay tuned. As we strive every day to support individuals, children, and families towards their goals, we can only do that if we ourselves are whole. I look forward to being on this journey with each of you. 

Dorcas Young Griffin 
Director, Division of Community Services

Pursuit Center Opens to Reduce Recidivism 

The Pursuit Center is open! The second installation of an Evening Reporting Center (ERC) model within Shelby County, the Pursuit Center is a way to reduce the rate of recidivism in juvenile offenders. The Evening Reporting Centers reflect Mayor Lee Harris’ commitment to identifying ways to address the needs of justice-involved youth at various points along the continuum of the juvenile Justice system.

At the Pursuit Center, court appointed youth with pending court cases are offered an experience grounded in shifting the youth’s paradigmCapture1 on positive social relationships, academic plans, and job readiness skill building. Otherwise detained in the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) within Juvenile Court, the youth at the Pursuit Center will experience programming in small groups in twenty-day cycles. During a cycle, participants meet daily between 3pm-8pm. Youth will be transported to the ERC and home every evening, receive a snack and dinner, and will be exposed to life-altering sessions to further enhance academic, life, and conflict resolution skills. The program consists of tutoring in core academic areas such as English and Math; mental health and intensive mentoring services aimed at cultivating positive social interaction; and diverting the students from destructive behaviors.

?The Division of Community Services recently attended the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the ‘Pursuit Center’ at Carver High School in South Memphis, which was attended by our Division Director, Mayor Harris, Judge Dan Michael from Juvenile Court, Shelby County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Joris Ray, and Shelby County Sherriff Floyd Bonner and a host of community supporters.

The Pursuit Center’s ERC is a community-based alternative detention site that operates in partnerships established between the Juvenile Court, Memphis and Shelby County Government, and Shelby County Schools Division of Alternative Education (DAE).Managed by Shelby County Schools Division of Alternative Education, the Center is located at G.W. Carver School.