For more than 100 years, the 11th day of the 11th month has been set aside as a day to recognize and honor America’s servicemembers—it’s a day to publicly say “thank you” to all living veterans—all ages, all ranks, all branches, all years.
At PAR, we recognize that freedom is not free and we thank America’s service members for their dedication, bravery, and courage. We would also like to acknowledge PAR employees who have spent time in uniform: Adam Barrett-Clarke, Teri Lyon, Mike Nolan, and Greg Schmitt.
We know veterans can face unique obstacles while serving and after separation or retirement from the military. Several of our assessment tools can help you better serve those clients and patients. The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) evaluates a broad range of disorders, including PTSD, anxiety and depression, and substance use. The Trauma Symptom Inventory-2 (TSI-2) evaluates the effects of traumatic events including combat, sexual and physical assault, abuse and neglect, and more. And for those service members who aren’t sure how they should follow their military careers, this Veteran SDS white paper can help you help them find a rewarding career.
The week of November 7–11 is National School Psychology Week (NSPW). Being a school psychologist has always been crucial, and given the current shortage of school psychologists, along with increasing demand for your services, your role is more demanding—and important—than ever. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, here are some resources and supports that may help.
Sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the theme for NSPW this year is “Together We Shine.” The events of the past few years have led to disconnection and even isolation. While we each have an inner light, when we work together, we can shine brighter to help others in our schools and in our communities.
Here are some suggested activities for NSPW:
Counselors: Help students see the power of working together by focusing on these skills.
Help students develop their social and active listening skills.
Engage students in discussions about building self-esteem and confidence.
Encourage students to develop social connections.
Schools: Offer additional activities that emphasize togetherness.
Hold a scavenger hunt, asking students to find someone who makes a positive contribution to the school.
Initiate classroom discussions that encourage active listening, and discuss how different opinions can lead to enlightenment.
Inspire students to express gratitude by having school administrators, teachers, and staff model the behavior.
PAR would like to thank all school psychologists for the essential services they provide to their students, and for placing your trust in our instruments.
Looking for more information about PAR school resources and assessments? Visit our school resources page.
November may conjure up images of colorful leaves, cornstalks, and turkey, but, for the past 57 years, it has also been National Career Development (NCD) Month.
Championed by the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the purpose of NCD Month is to focus on activities that can help individuals find, grow, or change career paths. Career professionals, students, and employees are encouraged to engage in a variety of activities like career workshops, résumé refinement, and career exploration and awareness.
Here are some activities for individuals interested in promoting career development:
Participate in NCDA’s annual poetry and art contest, which promotes career development.
Encourage students to dress up for their dream careers for a day.
Hold a career fair.
Help students or employees update their résumés.
Inform students about job shadowing opportunities, internships, and tours.
For businesses, set up a mentor program for your employees. Encourage your staff to be mentors or get a mentor.
For career professionals (or any professional looking to provide career guidance to clients or students), the Self-Directed Search is a time-tested career assessment tool that matches an individual’s aspirations, activities, and talents to the career choices and educational opportunities that fit them best.
To learn more, visit self-directed-search-com.
Each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other advocates sponsor activities related to Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), dedicated to educating the public about mental illness, including issues such as available treatments and methods of support.
This year’s theme for MIAW is “What I Wish I Had Known.” Individuals who have dealt with mental illness will have an opportunity to share their lived experiences, with an emphasis on learnings that could have helped them if they’d known them sooner. You can view videos from people sharing these experiences.
Other organizations such as Mental Health America (MHA) also have events planned during the week, including a free webinar on navigating barriers to treatment. NAMI Minnesota is offering a free week-long series of classes on various aspects of mental illness.
When you are looking for solutions to help your clients, patients, or students facing mental illness, PAR has a wide variety of mental health resources that can help across constructs.
Suicide is a major mental health concern that devastates lives and causes unimaginable pain. In fact, in 2020, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 46,000 people dying this way. What can we as mental health professionals do to help conquer this issue?
We need to understand better the clinical reasons behind the decision to commit suicide. Suicide doesn’t have a clear etiology, and many factors influence whether a person will become suicidal, including their neurobiology, personal and family history, stressful events they may have experienced, and sociocultural environment. However, suicide can be viewed as “a behavior motivated by the desire to escape from unbearable psychological pain.” Psychological factors, including personality and emotions, also contribute. Interestingly, decision-making impairment seems to be an increasingly important influence.
It's critical that we promote within our own organizations and communities the fact that suicide is preventable. Years ago, researchers found that almost half of people who commit suicide visit a primary care doctor within 1 month of death but don’t admit to or consult with the doctor about any suicide intent or ideation. Many people who commit suicide are social and active—they are struggling under the surface and do not seek help.
September 5–11 is National Suicide Prevention Week. This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) encourages everyone to put the topic of suicide prevention top of mind. Make sure your patients, clients, and students know about suicide risk factors, warning signs, and what they can do to prevent suicide. And be sure to emphasize the new three-digit phone number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline—made active across the country in July: 988.
For more information about what you can do this week to promote suicide prevention, visit this site.
If you are treating patients and need more information about tools you can use for assessing suicide intent, visit our mental health resources page.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, you are not alone. Dial 988 to reach the Suicide Prevention Lifeline for immediate help, 24/7.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop in individuals who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events such as domestic terrorism, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. While commonly associated with members of the military, PTSD can affect anyone who has been exposed to these events.
The purpose behind PTSD Awareness Day is to help more people understand the scope and impact of this disorder and to provide those affected with paths to healing.
With the number of people (12 million) experiencing PTSD, we know your time is limited and your patient demand is growing. There are several trauma resources that can help you quickly assess symptoms in children, adolescents, adults, and veterans.
PAR offers several instruments and tools to help you help people struggling with mental health and PTSD—including the TSI-2, TSCC, TSCYC, DAPS, and PSS. Plus, we have several other resources available to you:
School assessment and solutions. If you are a school psychologist or practitioner who works in schools, we offer solutions that are specific to you. Visit our school assessment resources page to learn more.
Healthcare resources. If you work in a clinical setting helping patients or in an educational setting working with students, PAR Healthcare can provide free training on new instruments (that can also be used in your curriculum). For more information, visit the PAR Healthcare page.
Continuing education. We offer free webinars and continuing education content through a variety of sessions relevant to the field of psychological assessment and practice. Visit our PARtalks homepage, and join us for an upcoming session.
Free training. We offer free online training on the PAR Training Portal. Our online training offers administration and scoring guidance for many PAR products (including those that evaluate trauma and PTSD), along with development and normative information. Sign up for free or log in today.
Remote administration. PARiConnect is the most reliable platform in the industry and is constantly evolving with the addition of important new features, such as the Digital Library and interactive bell curve. Sign up for free or log in today.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to shed light on the impact of Alzheimer’s in our communities. About 6.5 million Americans age 65 years and older—or 1 in 9 people in this age group—live with Alzheimer’s dementia (i.e., dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease). This number is expected to grow as the baby-boom generation ages.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior in primarily older people. Average survival after diagnosis in people age 65 years and older is 4 to 8 years, but some individuals live up to 20 years with the disease. This takes a huge toll on both those living with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.
There are many ways to support people in your community who are dealing with the daily effects of Alzheimer’s disease:
Learn about the risk factors and incidence rates of Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org to read facts and figures, find resources for help, and learn about advocacy.
“Go purple” in June to raise awareness. Wear purple, turn your Facebook page purple, and share your story on social media using the hashtags #ENDALZ and #GoPurple.
Contribute your time or money to organizations that support people living with Alzheimer’s, like the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, or a local group.
For more information about what you can do in June to highlight Alzheimer’s disease, visit https://www.alz.org/abam/overview.asp.
Looking for products to assess dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? Learn more.
May is when Americans recognize the service and sacrifice members of the military and their families have made—and continue to make—for their country.
Introduced by Senator John McCain and designated by Congress in 1999, Military Appreciation Month provides opportunities for Americans to honor and remember those who serve and have served—and recognize and thank those who support them.
2022 observations include:
May 1: Loyalty Day is a time to reflect on American heritage
May 6: Military Spouse Appreciation Day pays tribute to the partners who support service members
May 13: Children of Fallen Patriots Day raises awareness of the struggles facing children of fallen service members
May 21: Armed Forces Day honors those in all branches who are currently serving
May 30: Memorial Day provides a time to pause and remember the service members who sacrificed their futures to ensure ours
May is also Month of the Military Caregiver, which recognizes the people who care for more than two million veterans.
During the month of May, many organizations give back to those who are active military or have previously served. Here is a list of businesses that are offering Military Appreciation Month discounts.
Families, caregivers, active servicemembers, veterans, and retirees face unique circumstances that may require your assistance, and PAR has developed a range of products to help you meet these needs, including the DAPS, the PSS, and the TSI-2 (to assess symptoms of PTSD); the PAS, the PAS-O, and PAI (to evaluate for a broad range of symptoms, including anxiety and depression); and the SDS (to assist veterans with postmilitary careers).
According to Mental Health America, 60.3% of youth in the U.S. with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. In the 2022 report, Nevada, Idaho and Arizona had the highest prevalence of mental illness and lowest rates of access to care. Curious how your state ranks in comparison? You can access the youth data chart here.
As a PAR customer, you know the crucial role mental health plays in the development of children. It’s in that spirit that we recognize National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Saturday, May 7.
Started by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) more than a decade ago, the purpose of the event is to highlight the importance of the mental health needs of children and reinforce the concept that mental health is a key element in a child’s development.
How is this accomplished? Nationwide, more than 1,100 communities and 170 organizations get involved by taking part in community and virtual events, health fairs, youth-oriented educational programs, and social media interactions.
Children will always need help with various challenges, including behavioral, mental, social–emotional, interpersonal, adjustment, and learning difficulties. Visit the PAR school resources page to learn more about our most popular assessments and tools.
Since 1970, the U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings—18% of which occurred after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2012. In almost every case, the shooter exhibited warning signs beforehand. And in four out of five cases, at least one other person knew about the plan but did nothing to stop it.
The Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club, a student-led initiative of Sandy Hook Promise, works year-round to enact change by educating and empowering youth, engaging communities through prevention efforts, and empowering hope through positive peer influences.
One of those programs is National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW), an annual effort that brings students, parents, educators, business leaders, and more together to raise awareness about youth violence and get communities involved in making schools and neighborhoods safer.
Observed April 25 to 29 this year, NYVPW encourages businesses, government, media outlets, schools, and community organizations, along with parents, teachers, and youth, to get involved and take a stand against violence.
A free Youth Leader Action Kit provides inspiration and ideas for a week of activities that inspire others to educate and inform, encourage respect and inclusion, empathize and connect, empower change, and more.
When educators. clinicians, and school psychologists have questions about risk of violence in children and adolescents, PAR tools help them find answers. The Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY), the Psychosocial Evaluation & Threat Risk Assessment (PETRA), and the Adolescent Psychopathology Scale (APS) provide information about a range of concerns to help inform follow-up and intervention—and ultimately help prevent violence.