We asked two of Daybreak’s Clinical Experts, Lauren Passoff, BS, MSW, LCSW, LISW and Carla Felten, MSW, LCSW, what families and school staff can do to best support students mentally as they head back for a new academic year. Here’s what they told us:
- Support the Change. Transitions are hard! Allow time for kids to adjust to being back in a routine and schedule. Talk to them and let them know that it is going to take some time to get re-adjusted, and you’re there to support them during a time of change. Help them create a schedule or calendar that they can easily refer to. For adults, how are YOU adjusting back to the school routine? What do you need during these transitions and how can you model how to make these transitions smooth? What about carving out time specifically for joy and play, and encouraging that in addition to the back-to-school routine?
- Discuss Goals. Talk to your child or students about their goals for the upcoming school year from a strength-based perspective. Reflect on the previous year – have them name accomplishments and outline lessons learned, particularly for things they achieved that they previously thought was impossible. It’s helpful for them to see positive growth and remind themselves of challenges that they have overcome. It allows them to start from a place of success as they start the new year.
- Provide Encouragement. Incorporate mindfulness into homes or classrooms by practicing gratitude, supporting movement, and communicating with your child or student. Encourage them to share and agree upon what they need in order to foster an open learning environment. Make sure to give a lot of positive reinforcement and remind them of the strong support system both at home and at school.
Through our school district partnerships, Daybreak’s clinical team works with students everyday and we know how challenging this time can be. To learn more about Daybreak’s school-based mental health services, schedule a meeting with the Daybreak team here.
The State of Youth Mental Health & Our Schools
How schools are responding to the rising demand for student mental health services.