Creating a positive and exciting Club experience takes a dedicated team. Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County team members now have a new tool to help them support kids who may be struggling from time to time.
They’re carrying emotion cards on their lanyards so they have easy access to tools that can help. There are already “Zones of Regulation” posters around the clubhouses that help kids identify the emotions they’re feeling and solutions to help them work through them.
“They’re really designed for kids who are non-verbal at the time, but it can be for any kids who are struggling or simply want to share how they are feeling with a team member,” said Director of Mental Health Services Natasha Lantz.
On the back of the cards are basic coping strategies for the team members to do on the spot with the goal of helping the child regulate their emotion. Lantz has been working with Elkhart Club Mental Health Specialist Alexa Ponce, social work intern Rosa Medina and AmeriCorps volunteer Paola Lopez on the cards.
“What we’re really trying to do is spread the word that it’s OK to talk about emotions and de-stigmatize that discussion. We also want this accessible, so the principles of the program are understood throughout the Club,” Lantz said.
The cards are designed to give team members another tool to recognize an emotion and offer help before a struggling member even asks for help.
“It’s another way we’re trying to help kids self-regulate in the club, so everyone has a positive experience,” Lantz said.