Spectrum Health was honored to be part of the annual anti-bullying event on presented on October 15 by The Training Edge Martial Arts School in Williamsville. Spectrum Health’s Bob Cannata was there representing our C.A.R.E.S. program, along with Christine Ziemba, Spectrum Health’s project coordinator for NY Project Hope. Together they chatted with parents and kids and shared information about Spectrum Health programs.
The opportunity to engage around an anti-bullying night for youth is an appealing connection to our agency’s commitment to supporting a community’s mental wellness. “Bullying is more mental than physical,” said David, one of The Training Edge instructors. “We teach kids how to defend themselves against bullying without being a bully themselves.”
Helping kids defend themselves against a bully relies on three key things: creating awareness; encouraging communication; and appropriate self-defense. Kids should feel comfortable in reporting any bullying behavior to a parent, teacher, or adult who can help. Walking away from the bully is a super power created by the perfect kryptonite of confidence, inner strength, and self-determination which are all inherent in martial arts practice.
“COVID 19, in many cases, has led youth to attend school in a different way. Anxiety, Stress, Frustration, Fear are all normal reactions to deal with uncertainty of COVID. Teaching youth, coping skills to assist with the feelings that may come up as a result of this as they re-enter school is really important,” said Ziemba.
“I was so impressed with seeing that The Training Edge incorporates mental wellness and how to respond to bullying without using physical force in their classes. The students really look up to the instructors—who are great role models! And the staff and students at The Training Edge were very receptive to hearing about our C.A.R.E.S team being available 24/7 to youth under 18 years old and their families who may be experiencing a crisis.”, said Cannata.
Thank you to Jeff and his team at The Training Edge for reaching out to Spectrum Health for this opportunity.