Counselor's Corner - December

Greetings CMP Families,

I can't quite believe we are approaching the end of the year. If you had asked me back in March or April what I thought the remainder of 2020 was going to look like, never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed anything close to what we have experienced. I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready to put 2020 in the past. I know January 1st won't automatically bring the normalcy we are all so desperately craving, but I have to keep believing that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't too terribly far off.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CMP has taken the mental health and well-being of our students and families very seriously by offering regular communications, resources, check-ins, as well as providing community services and referrals when needed. Teachers and staff have worked diligently to create a warm and supportive learning environment for our students to help foster resiliency. All staff have received suicide prevention training on potential risk factors and warning signs, how to respond to a student in crisis, and how to refer a student to get appropriate help and support.

Families are encouraged to check in with their children often and provide an open environment for them to discuss their feelings and emotions. Pay close attention to any signs that your child may be going through a challenging time. Please see the chart below for potential warning signs to watch for in your children that may indicate they are experiencing a high level of stress or trauma. If your child is experiencing any of these warning signs it is recommended you seek appropriate mental health support services and contact your pediatrician.

AGE GROUP

REACTIONS/WARNING SIGNS

Preschool

  • Sudden fear of separating from parent or caregiver
  • Increase in frequency in crying/screaming/tantrums
  • Changes in eating habits - particularly a decline in eating and weight loss
  • Increase in nightmares

Elementary School

  • Increase in anxious or fearful behaviors
  • Feeling and expressing guilt or shame (i.e. excessive apologizing)
  • Increased difficulty with focus and concentration
  • Sudden changes in sleep patterns (i.e. difficulty falling asleep/staying asleep) 

Middle and High School

  • Increased or new feelings of being depressed, alone or isolated
  • Disordered eating or other self-injurious behaviors
  • Abuse of alcohol and/or other substances
  • Becoming sexually active or exhibiting increased sexual promiscuities.
  • Increased engagement in high-risk behaviors, or engaging in behaviors with a significantly increased level of risk. 


With winter break quickly approaching and school staff not being available outside of normal school hours, I would like to provide you with additional resources should you need them. If your child is experiencing a mental health crisis, or if you feel you are unable to keep your child safe for any reason, please contact emergency services (911) or go to your nearest emergency room for evaluation.
Please click here for the list of support resources and emergency/crisis hotlines.

Don't forget about the counseling page on our DL website that has additional resources and activity ideas for your family over winter break: American River Distance Learning Counseling Page

Tune in to this YouTube channel by the Committee for Children every Monday from now until the end of January for tips aimed at parents and caregivers: Winter Well-Being 

Lastly, self-care is more important than ever.  Being aware of our physical, emotional, and behavioral responses to stress can make us more aware of how we respond in stressful and challenging times.  Engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities especially during non-stressful times can help decrease those unpleasant and maladaptive stress responses, and make your body's natural relaxation response more effective.  When we take care of ourselves, we are increasing the resiliency in our children by being able to provide them with Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs). Finally, give yourself a break.  We are all doing the best we can given less than ideal circumstances.  Right now, that's all anyone can ask for.

I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season with your loved ones.
Ms. Stacey

 

 





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