Mental health lifelines for kids & teens – Aug 25, 2023



As the start of a new school year approaches, children and teens are likely feeling a mix of emotions – excitement, anticipation, and maybe some apprehension. Prepping for the start of school doesn’t include just new supplies and clothes, it’s also about helping the child in your life be mentally prepared.

ال Center for Mental Health Services has identified four key ways that you can help children start the new year off right and maintain their mental health throughout the school year.

Communicate: Encourage children to express their feelings about going back to school. Acknowledge their fears, make them feel understood, and reassure them that being a little nervous is perfectly normal.

Create Routines: A consistent routine fosters a sense of security in children, like a regular sleep schedule, eating healthy meals, and setting aside time for homework and relaxation.

Make Advance Preparations: Attend any open houses or orientations at the school. Meeting teachers, locating classrooms, and becoming familiar with the school layout can help students feel more confident on the first day of school.  It can also be helpful to practice morning routines like getting ready for the bus or identifying routes to school.

Encourage In-person Social Interactions: Create opportunities for children to get together with their old friends and future classmates to ease them back into social engagement.

Once the school year starts, check in on your children’s mental well-being. Keep an eye out if your child:

1. Is having a hard time concentrating on school work and day-to-day activities.

2. Is having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep.

3. Can’t manage their emotions, either overreacting, seeming numb or detached.

4. Has frequent ailments like stomach aches, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea. This is especially common in young children who don’t have the words yet to describe their thoughts and feelings.

If you notice lingering symptoms, contact your doctor. The Children First Health Manual has a whole section devoted to resources for children’s mental health, also known as behavioral health.

Understanding the terms and mental health system can be daunting, so we developed a useful guide, “Understanding the Alphabet Soup: Key Terms for Children’s Behavioral Health,” to make it easier.

Children First is also hosting Beating the Back to School Blues, a series of interactive sessions for Philadelphia parents about student mental health and the resources available in the city. Multiple sessions are available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Dates, times, and registration information here.

Let’s make sure students start the school year off right with all the tools they need to succeed including a healthy mind and spirit. 

Attend “A Look at Civil Rights Then…and Civil Rights Today” and honor the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington. A dynamic panel of civil rights leaders will discuss racial equity on August 28th at 1:00 PM at the TriCounty Active Adult Center, 288 Moser Rd, Pottstown.

The new superintendent for the Houston Independent School District has fired scores of librarians, and turned at least 28 of the district’s libraries into rooms where unruly students will attend class virtually, exiled from their classrooms.

Learn about what’s happening in the education landscape beneath the headlines. Tune in as Children’s First’s Shirlee Howe and Priyanka Reyes-Kaura, and Education Law Center’s Deborah Gordon Klehr tackle the top issues affecting early childhood and K-12 education.

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Schools in Little Rock, North Little Rock
and Jonesboro say they’ll continue to
offer AP African American Studies
, despite
a last-minute maneuver by the Arkansas
Department of Education to censor
American History by defunding and
discrediting the class.