School Districts Prepare To Help Students With Mental Health For Upcoming School Year
School districts are preparing to help students adjust to a school year like never before. After a sort-of test run in the Spring, schools want to make sure students have access to all services.
Dr. Jason Hans, Windsor Director of Student Support and Family Services, says the biggest hurdle is getting parents to notify schools that their student or family member is struggling.
“The important piece is for parents to know that they can reach out to us and we are here to support them with all of the resources we have available," said Hans.
Windsor Central School District has a satellite mental health clinic, as well as counselors, psychologists, and a district social worker to offer help through Zoom and in-person.
Hans says teachers will assess students over the first couple of weeks to determine any areas where students may be struggling.
Dr. Lanora Duell, Clinical psychologist at Four Corners Assessment and Counseling, says a lack of stability can cause a sense of anxiety.
“Everyone right now is collectively grieving because of loss. Loss of activities. Loss of interactions," said Duell.
She adds incorporating a way to provide some sort of structure can be helpful for students such as a weekly activity the family can do together or even writing out a schedule for the virtual school day for younger students.
Duell says recognizing signs of anxiety or emotions students are experiencing while adjusting to a new platform of learning can help them to work through it.
"It's noticing what's happening and not making them feel afraid of feeling that way," said Duel.
Windsor Central School District wants parents to know that it is perfectly normal to ask for help, especially in these unprecedented times.