jannavmiller@gmail.com'

About Janna Miller & Chris Brownson

Janna Miller was a 2007 corps member in the Mississippi Delta region. She taught 4th grade during her two years in the corps and then stayed in Mississippi a third year and taught 5th grade ELA. Before joining Teach For America, she majored in psychology. After teaching, she joined the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Chris Brownson is a former corps member (LA '93) and a licensed psychologist. After his two years teaching, he promptly returned to his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, to pursue graduate work in counseling psychology. He received my Ph.D. in 2001 and is now a licensed psychologist in the State of Texas, the director of the University of Texas Counseling & Mental Health Center, and the National Mental Health Consultant for TFA.

12 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness 

12 reasons to practice mindfulness

This is the second in a series of three posts devoted to the topic of mindfulness. Read part I here.

In my last post, I defined the concept of mindfulness. In short, mindfulness is the nonjudgmental acceptance of experiences in the present moment. The practice of mindfulness has gained a lot of attention, and research has found that mindfulness leads to a plethora of benefits. Below is a list of many of these benefits along with links to find out more about each.

What’s the Big Deal About Mindfulness?

what is mindfulness?This will be the first in a series of three posts devoted to the topic of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a word that gets thrown around a lot in our society. But in spite of the growing attention given to mindfulness, many of us are still left wondering what this word exactly means. If we were asked to define it, many of us would be stumped.

How Mental Health Needs Vary for Teachers and Students

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This week, in conjunction with the launch of the Change Direction campaign for mental health awareness, TeacherPop’s wellbeing expert, Janna Miller, is addressing mental health in our schools. Today’s final post, part V in the series, considers the different mental health needs and means of expression for students and teachers. Read part Ipart II, part III, and part IV. And please keep the conversation going by making a pledge to know the signs of suffering and share your commitment using the hashtag #ChangeMentalHealth.

Six Tips for Finding a Mental Health Professional

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This week, in conjunction with the launch of the Change Direction campaign for mental health awareness, TeacherPop’s wellbeing expert, Janna Miller, is addressing mental health in our schools. Today’s post, part IV in the series, outlines six tips for finding a mental health professional. Read part Ipart II, and part III.

In my last post, I discussed the five signs of suffering, or signals that someone you know might be struggling with a mental health concern. Either way, these signs can be an important indication that you or someone in your life could benefit from the help of a mental health professional. Unfortunately, finding a mental health professional can be a difficult process if you aren’t sure what to look for. Below are six tips to help you navigate this process either for yourself or someone else.

Five Signs of Suffering

14363815694_fcbc234525_bThis week, in conjunction with the launch of the Change Direction campaign for mental health awareness, TeacherPop’s wellbeing expert, Janna Miller, is addressing mental health in our schools. Today’s post, part III in the series, discusses the five signs of suffering, how to recognize if someone is experiencing emotional pain, and what you can do to help. Read part I and part II here.

Mental Health Needs of Students and When to Intervene

14371191774_e2dba02cca_bThis week, in conjunction with the launch of the Change Direction campaign for mental health awareness, TeacherPop’s wellbeing expert, Janna Miller, is addressing mental health in our schools. Today’s post, part II in the series, considers the mental health needs of students and when to intervene. Read part I here.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time discussing teacher wellbeing, but there may be times you have questions about the wellbeing of your students. From cyberbullying and relational or physical violence, to extreme poverty or lack of resources in the home, your students likely face various challenges that could potentially tax their resilience and ability to function well in school.

Take the Pledge to Change Direction: Recognizing the Signs of Emotional Suffering

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Give an Hour, an organization that provides free mental health services to veterans and their families, today launched a five-year campaign to change the direction of mental health in the U.S. By encouraging individuals, nonprofits, schools, and other institutions to respect mental health needs as thoroughly as they recognize physical wellbeing, the Change Direction campaign urges everyone to make a simple pledge to learn the five signs of emotional suffering:  withdrawal, agitation, hopelessness, decline in personal care, and change in personality.

Helping a Friend in Need

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As teachers, we often work closely with our colleagues. Not only is this a great way to share our workload, but it is also a way to share how you are doing generally. Sometimes we get into situations where it becomes very clear that our friends and colleagues are struggling. They may tell us outright, or it might be clear through their behaviors.