October 9, 2020
Supporting Youth through the COVID-19 Pandemic
We know that suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds both nationally and in the state of Wisconsin. We also know that 1 in 5 or 20% of youth will struggle with some sort of emotional health issue at some point. Layer on the stressors and unknowns of COVID-19 for students and families such as the quick transition to and expectations of virtual learning, social isolation, fear of parents losing jobs/income, increased responsibilities of caring for younger children, and the simple fear of this ever changing disease among many others; the emotional health of youth has never been more important to address than now. You don’t have to do it alone. Keep reading to learn how you can support youth who are trying to navigate the new world we live in.
- Validate their Feelings – In a time when there are a lot of unknowns, it is important to stay calm and stay positive. Validate the feelings they are expressing in a space that is comfortable to them.
- Set the Tone – Work together to find answers about what can be done to help each other feel better.
- Think Positive – By doing so, we decrease feelings of anxiousness and become more productive in daily tasks.
- Create a Routine – This allows you to be prepared and youth to know what their day will look like. The predictability of a routine allows people to feel more secure with their schedule while everything else is constantly changing.
- Emphasize Safety – We must be encouraged about the safety measures that are being taken. Sometimes we must make small adjustments to do something important.
- Encourage Flexibility – We should all be prepared to make changes. Being on the same page with one another can also bring comfort in knowing that we are all in this together.
YScreen can help identify signs of stress, anxiety, and depression that impact a student’s health. YScreen staff can also help connect teens and their families to the appropriate community resources that can address these concerns and help them cope. YScreen is available to teens in Fond du Lac County. If you would like to request screening for your child or would like more information about YScreen, please contact us at (920) 906-6571.
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