Taking psychological notes, indicators to search for in case your youngster is struggling

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The past year has been a tough one for many people, especially children. When you go back to school, it’s important to make sure you are in the correct headspace.

The last school year shook the children’s everyday lives. Mental health experts say the start of a new school year is the time to take care of your child’s mental wellbeing.

The changes in social interaction over the past year and a half have hit teenagers and teenagers hard. The CDC reports between April and October 2020 saw a more than 30% increase in visits by children ages 12-17 for mental health reasons.

“Increased anxiety, nervousness, nervous excitement. We also saw a lot of social isolation, of course, and a lot of being trapped in our homes and not being able to interact on a human level outside of a screen, ”said Dr. Courtney Washington, a clinical psychologist at Park Center.

Washington explains that parents need to make connections and have conversations with their children to help them better identify mental health issues.

“Open dialogues and discussions are really, really important, shaping these discussions so that the kids have a space to talk about what’s happening for them, the patience, compassion and empathy for them to go through big transitions, ”said Washington.

Empathy and compassion can also come in the form of behavioral changes. If your teen is more or less active, or even asleep, it could be a little more.

“If you notice a change in your child’s behavior, when they are acting differently than in the past, it is usually a sign that something is happening.”

According to a national survey by CS Mott Children’s Hospital, 75% of parents report that the past year has had a negative impact on their teenagers’ connections. 46 percent report signs of new or worsening mental health.

Washington repeats speaking to your children and monitoring their behavior.

“To notice these changes. Early intervention is really the key to all struggles. So the sooner you notice a change in your child’s behavior and get in touch with them. If they are not ready to speak to you, seek additional professional assistance. Or even grind in other meaningful adults. “

She said that having only one meaningful adult in your child’s life makes a difference. She also suggests that parents should lead by example and share their struggles. But she warns you not to burden your child with your problems. She also recommends that you really listen to your child when they open up to you.

“I think what often happens is that as adults we think we have so much worldly advice to offer, which we often do. However, this often takes away the space that the teenagers or children may need to share what is going on for them. Because they want to share, we just have to make sure that we hold this space. “

The same survey by CS Mott Children’s Hospital showed that 1 in 3 parents are very supportive of schools with mental health programs. Below is what Allen County Schools have to offer.

East Allen County Schools has programs for staff and students related to mental health. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is part of everyday teaching. The school district said teachers are trained to use it and in turn use it during class. The district has two SEL coaches who support teachers throughout the year.

Fort Wayne Community Schools offer a variety of services and support for students of all levels. The district works with Bowen Center to support staff and student service providers. Bowen Center will also provide in-building services if required. The district said this could include special programming or additional support following a tragedy. FWCS has licensed therapists who work with elementary school students. The district said, “This is beneficial, especially for families who would have difficulty traveling to the Bowen Center for appointments and to support students in their school building, which they may be more comfortable in.”

As students get older, FWCS has career counselors in middle and high school who can provide limited assistance and refer students to outside resources.

“We recognize that student mental health is a critical part of academic success, and providing these services is becoming increasingly important to ensure that students can achieve academic success,” said an FWCS spokesperson.

WANE 15 is awaiting responses from Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools.

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