Nurse's Office

 

A message from Mrs. Z, our school nurse:

 

Mental Health First Aid in times of social isolation

 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has imposed changes and restrictions on social interactions. We have been instructed to stay at home and to keep spatial distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. However, what are the consequences of social isolation on our mental health and how can we better manage it?

Social isolation impacts people in different ways: anxiety from being indoors 24-7, feelings of depression, fear of the future (no-one is in direct control of this situation), or panic attacks that originate in the uncertain context we’re in. Some of these reactions are normal and expected.

 

However, there are other signs that could help you identify when you or a loved one is struggling and needs help. Extreme emotional reactions, struggling to get out of bed, excessive drinking or use of drugs, sleeping all day, are some examples of behaviors of someone having problems not coping with social isolation and the added stresses of this situation. So here are some tips to cope better with isolation:

 

  • Limit your media exposure: Watching, reading, or listening to ongoing coverage can leave you feeling further isolated and depressed, and can increase symptoms of acute stress. Give yourself large breaks from COVID-19 related coverage, including through social media channels.

  • Daily routine: Create a routine that prioritises things you enjoy and even things you have been meaning to do but haven’t had enough time. Read that book, watch that show, take up that new hobby.

  • Keep yourself busy and connected, while social distancing: Take the time to practice self-care when isolated. Do the things you love – cook, read, or connect with others (virtually). Even if you are physically restricted, support is available over the phone or online.

  • Don’t let your feelings overwhelm you: Worrying about worst-case scenarios only adds to stress. Keep things in perspective, and work on what you can control – such as following expert advice, social distancing, and practising good hygiene.

  • Seek support: You may also wish to seek professional help from your PCP or a qualified counselor.

  • Be generous to others: Giving to others in times of need not only helps the recipient, but it also enhances your wellbeing too.

  • Stay connected with your values: Don’t let fear or anxiety drive your interactions with others. We are all in this together!

 

Remember even though we have to practice social distancing, you’re not alone!

 

Always here to chat!

Mrs. Z

 

 

 

 
The nurse’s office is open during the regular school hours, 7:45 am-2:15 pm.
Phone messages can be left at any time at our extension: 3116. 
Fax number:  (603) 249-0711
 
Mrs. ZoltkoNurse: Diana Zoltko, MSN, RN, NCSN, SNIII :
 
Diana Zoltko (otherwise known as Mrs. Z) has joined Milford High School as our new school nurse. Diana is a resident of Milford and has been a registered nurse for many years. She worked in the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative School District for 10 years as their school nurse. She is also a nursing instructor, and has taught undergraduate and graduate nursing courses at Rivier University and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Nurse aide: Sandy Lafleur, RA
 
Sandy Lafleur, RA, has worked at MHS for 25 years! She is also the faculty advisor for the Earth Club, and teaches Appalachian dulcimer out of her home in Wilton and at music festivals all over New England and New York. For the past ten years, she has called contra dances locally and around New England. Before coming to MHS, she drove a bus for the Amherst School District for nine years, and worked as a floral designer and extension agent for the Green Thumb Program of Southern NH Services. Sandy holds an Associate’s Degree in Applied Plant Science from the Thompson School at UNH, and is an American Heart Association certified CPR/AED Instructor. Her hope for the students at Milford High School is that they come to understand the strong connection between what they do and how they feel, and that they also understand that health issues are not always solved with a medication. Good nutrition and exercise, sufficient and restful sleep, healthy relationships, and finding one’s joy are key to good health both during the teenage years and on to adulthood. She believes in the power of shared experiences shaped by participants, particularly in music.
 
Definition of School Nursing
 
School nursing, a specialized practice of nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential. Adopted by the NASN Board of Directors February 2017