In these stressful times, people who work with kids and families are often the ones who are most likely to see mental health issues as they come up. The following are some strategies to help:
- Try to incorporate mental health time for your staff during these days in case people need time to process. Secondary trauma takes a toll on staff.
- Provide a place to talk for youth, families, and/or staff. This could be a Zoom call or in-person. Just providing a safe place to share concerns and provide support can be a large comfort. If possible, consider asking a mental health counselor to join this meeting.
- Provide mental health resources for youth. Consider using Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board’s great website as resources.
Tragically, CT has lost 7 youth to suicide thus far in 2020 with 4 deaths in October alone. Five Connecticut groups have partnered to created the CT Public Health Alert and Call to Action for Youth Suicide, a useful two-pager has resources and tips. We urge you to review it carefully, take action, and share it broadly with others in your organization. Our hope is that the alert will increase awareness and vigilance to recognize and respond to the existing mental/emotional health needs of youth.
Here’s a few additional websites to check out: www.preventsuicidect.org
www.211ct.org or Call 211, or Text “CT” to 741741.
Crisis Call 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)