In mental health treatment, talk therapy has been proven effective time and time again. While it helps to talk through mental distress, therapy can do much more than provide a verbal outlet.
One important element that is used in various therapeutic techniques is the development of valuable life skills. Life skills education is an approach that equips individuals with the necessary tools for their well-being.
What Is Life Skills Education?
Adolescence is a crucial time period in life where individuals must learn vital developmental skills. Many adolescents are unable to learn these skills, or strengthen them to their fullest potential, for many different reasons like preexisting mental health problems or lack of access to treatment and wellness resources. Life skills education and training is a valuable approach that works to combat various issues that adolescents go through in their crucial developmental years.
Life skills education is effective in teaching adolescents to be responsible for their unique role within society. This approach focuses heavily on cultivating personal life skills. It empowers youth to reflect, understand, and meet their own needs and the needs of their surrounding environments.
Examples of Focus Areas in Life Skills Education
Every treatment center and treatment program will highlight different focus areas in life skills education. In mental health centers, many focus areas involve further developing and strengthening emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal skills.
In a broad sense, life skills education aims to influence and strengthen self-sufficiency skills. This may include increasing personal traits such as emotional stability, determination, and optimism.
In a more specific sense, some examples of focus areas in life skills education include:
- Being able to ask for help when needed
- Overcoming ambivalent feelings surrounding change
- Strengthening feelings of self-control
- Learning critical thinking skills
- Learning how to make healthy decisions that involve self-assurance
- Learning healthy ways to manage and cope with stress
- Learning effective communication techniques
This approach works to help clients learn and manage their mental health while learning necessary daily living skills that can foster greater independence and improved general well-being. Every client has the opportunity to take an active role in their health and healing by defining personal goals, aspirations, and wishes so that client care is individualized.
Why Is Life Skills Education Important?
When individuals struggle with mental health, even the most basic of tasks can be difficult to accomplish. Individuals that struggle from intense symptoms of mental distress often struggle socializing, staying involved in activities, and taking care of themselves.
Life skills help to reteach some skills necessary for daily living. While some skills seem basic to others, all skills learned in life skills education are crucial to promoting self-reliance. It is essential that individuals with mental health distress have educational opportunities that allow them to learn how to manage various areas in life.
Life Skills Education At SoCal
SoCal Mental Health uses specific elements of life skills education when focusing on mental health recovery. There are five general categories that are seen as critical focus areas when creating a peaceful and productive life. These categories include:
#1. Health Management
This focus area teaches clients how to manage their physical and mental health conditions and associated symptoms. It teaches clients how to manage prescription medications and empowers clients to understand the importance of seeking/asking for help. A specific example of a skill learned in this focus area is making sure that clients know and are aware of the side effects of a specific medication that they are taking.
#2. Core/Basic Skills
This focus area teaches clients how to manage finances, educating them on skills like budgeting and paying bills on time. It also teaches clients safety and personal hygiene skills. An example of a skill learned in this focus area is proper handwashing, bathing, and teeth brushing.
#3. Daily Living
This focus area teaches clients how to manage personal responsibilities that are next to basic skills. It teaches clients how to manage household responsibilities, dieting and nutrition, and how to shop and plan ahead. An example of a skill learned in this focus area might include learning how to meal plan and prepare food.
#4. Social Skills
This focus area teaches clients necessary interpersonal skills. A client would learn how to navigate conflict, build support networks and social relationships, and understand healthy recreational activities. An example of a skill learned in this focus area would be learning how to navigate a relationship with an uninvolved parent.
#5. Vocational Skills
This focus area teaches clients how to engage in job searches, sustain employment, and navigate the workplace. An example of a skill learned in this focus area would be how to write a resume and land an interview.
Life skills education is an approach to mental health treatment that helps individuals to develop necessary life skills involved in daily living. Life skills education works to teach, reteach, and strengthen skills that help to promote self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and overall communication. SoCal Mental Health offers education in life skills that are essential in achieving long-term recovery from mental health conditions. The life skills taught in our treatment programs help to promote the overall wellbeing of all of our clients. We offer instruction to explore all areas of life that would require further education and development, especially pertaining to specific ages of clients. We work to individualize life skills education so that every client is able to address their subjective needs and goals for healing. For more information on our life skills education program, or to hear more about the services we offer, give SoCal Mental Health a call today at 949-502-2041.