SAINT ANTONIE – As students return to the classroom, KSAT 12 provides both parents and students with a mental health toolkit to better navigate an emotionally difficult time.
Last summer started in the aftermath of the massacre in Uvalde, which put many parents and students on edge.
KSAT12 reached out to Talli Dodge, CEO of Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborate, so families can stay on top of their mental health as students return to school.
Dodge says the first step is to have a conversation with your child to make sure they are feeling well. She says to start with open-ended questions and be transparent about your feelings. Parents should provide their children with a structured environment, with routines and amounts of screen time to maintain an emotionally balanced household.
Dodge says caregivers should also watch for signs that your child doesn’t want to leave the house or is extra clingy. If you notice these signs, it may be time to seek professional help, Dodge said.
Most importantly, Dodge says it’s important to understand that everyone is navigating the newness of the school year together, so it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers for your child.
“I think I really understand that this is all a process right now, and that we are going through another period after COVID, where we still don’t know what we really need, so give yourself the space to be okay with this unknown period and knowing that ultimately there are so many resources and things in our community that are free, out there that we can send you. Links that will give you the guidance you need to have a successful and healthy school year,” she says.
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