Scientists prove it, there are benefits to being kind.

Scientists prove it. There are benefits to being kind. 

At STARS, we believe it doesn’t cost anything to be kind towards our fellow human brothers and sisters. According to research, it is scientifically proven there are benefits to being kind!! 

What’s the benefits?

Kindness Increases:

  • The Love Hormone
  • Energy
  • Happiness
  • Lifespan
  • Pleasure
  • Serotonin

Kindness Decreases:

  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Blood Pressure

STARS Student Assistance Program Counselors provide a myriad of school-wide activities throughout the school year to promote kindness and encourages young people to be kind to one another. Hear from a few of them how they are promoting kindness!

What are a few ways you are encouraging your kids to be kind? What are ways you as an individual are being kind and setting a good example for future generations?

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What You Need to Know After Treatment of Addiction

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Addiction does not just disappear when treatment ends.

I have had the privilege to witness many newly released clients from substance abuse treatment facilities. Usually they will step down to an intensive outpatient treatment facility. At the time of their release, many clients are excited. They sound extremely positive, with a positive outlook on life. Most feel it is one of the greatest days of their life. It is a “high” (albeit non-substance induced). Nevertheless, it can be described as a “high”.

For many, they have just abstained from their drug or drugs of choice for a significant amount of time. The fog of their addiction at that time is lifting. They are no longer speaking, acting, or behaving under the influence of their drug of choice. In addition, while in treatment, they were given a variety of tools to aid them in their recovery. For some, this involved 12-steps programs of recovery, mindfulness meditation, individual, and group therapy. The deluge of information, as well as personal care,can be helpful to the client. Not to mention the escape from their previous setting; a setting that involves family and life stressors along with negative peers who encourage substance abuse. All in all, life is good.

However, when consistency does not occur, the aforementioned reasons for success within an inpatient facility can be the biggest precursor to a RELAPSE.

What am I saying? Most people don’t leave treatment and return to a different setting. Primarily, they enter the same situation that they left upon their treatment admittance. Yes, they are armed with different tools and resources. However, their time is cut short. They have more responsibilities. They have to work. For some, they have children, or other responsibilities that need attention. Time for meetings or self-care begins to become scarce. Triggers from previous substance abuse begins to becomes more evident. At that point, it may be only a matter of time before a relapse happens. This is not a blog meant to scare but to inform.

Relapse prevention is possible! It requires real attention, energy, and planning. The more a client can plan after treatment the better. The more a client’s social support system is involved with their recovery the better. There is strength in numbers and the more help a client has to fight the disease of addiction the better. Just because treatment has ended does not mean the steps end. We have to work the steps every single day. While relapse can happen, it is important to remember to keep working the steps.

Please consider a donation to STARS as we continue our vital work and become a monthly donor or make a one-time donation.

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How Can Parents Address Name-Calling?

How Can Parents Address Name-Calling?

Two common questions we’re asked is how are we addressing name-calling and what can parents do to help?

Kids on the Block is addressing the problem of Name Calling with their “Teasing and Name Calling” presentation for kindergarten and first grade students. The students are shown a scenario where the puppet kids are struggling with teasing. As a result, the kids learn a few ways to respond if they ever find themselves being teased.

Most importantly, the students have the chance to interact and empathize with the puppets during the show. Afterwards, the students are encouraged to discuss the consequences and negative feelings caused by name calling. Ultimately, Kids on the Block challenges the students to seek out others and say nice encouraging things to spread positivity around the school.

Tips for Parents and Teachers:

  • Encourage your child to complete the Kids on the Block activity sheet.
  • Work together with your child to come up with new ways to respond to teasing and name calling.
  • Talk with your child about the consequences of teasing versus saying nice things to one another.

Help STARS continue our vital work by becoming a monthly donor or making a one-time donation.

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STARS earn 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

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STARS earn 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

We are very pleased to announce that STARS has received the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. This is the first time we have received this honor.

In Tennessee, 43 not for profits received the 4 star-rating, of these, 17 were human services related organizations. In addition to STARS  the following local groups, with budgets between $3.5-$15M, received this rating along with STARS. They are: The Boys and Girls Club, Family and Children’s Services, Safe Haven Family Shelters, Graceworks, Martha O’Bryan Center, Mercy Multiplied, The Nashville Rescue Mission, and The Next Door.

This honor reflects the leadership of our dedicated Board of Directors who have always placed the highest value on integrity and transparency. Their oversight, leadership and involvement are the reasons we have received this rating. We know that without having a board asking all the right questions, reviewing all our information and caring so deeply about the integrity of the organization, helped us receive this 4-star rating.

Check out the full report here.

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A Letter Dedicated to Dr. Arliss Roaden

Dr. Arliss L. Roaden, age 85, of Nashville, a member of the STARS Board of Directors, recently passed away. As his obituary stated, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Dr. Roaden was an educator, at all times. He had a long and distinguished career, formally serving as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, as well as President of Tennessee Technological University.

His list of accomplishments is far too long to list in this space.
Arliss meant so much to all of us at STARS. He was a former Chair of the Board and member of the Executive Committee several times. He was a voice of calm, reasoned approaches to issues, and a brilliant problem solver. He was always extremely optimistic, pleasant even in his dissents. Arliss was a master of conflict management.

I had the privilege of attending his celebration of life service last week. What I heard from all those that served with him in educational institutions, those who worshipped with him and served as his pastor, reminded me what a mentor, dedicated and faithful man this gentleman, Arliss Roaden, really was to all he encountered

Most importantly, it was priceless to hear from his granddaughter about what kind of granddad and man he really was. He was deeply loved and always took the time to do things that are really important, such as spend time with those he loved, enjoy the moments with his family and treasure the most important thing in life -relationships.

Arliss loved rocks and stones. References were made by those that spoke of him as a “rock”. Arliss was indeed a “rock” to his family. He was the same for all of us at STARS. Our thoughts will be with Mary Etta, his loving wife of 65 years, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We will miss you, Arliss!

 

P. Rodger Dinwiddie