Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you and your families are doing well. I am reaching out to share with you that we are seeing an increase in the number of students who are struggling with major mental health issues, especially over this past week. We know that COVID has taken its toll on students. School doesn’t look the same, extracurricular activities have been impacted, and life is very different for everyone right now. We want to ensure that we are keeping an open line of communication with families in order to work together to support students the best we can.
As you know, we have started a mental wellness initiative at TKHS, which was developed to help end the stigma around mental health and educate students about mental health issues, how to recognize them, and how to seek help. This initiative has already opened up the lines of communication with students and staff members. We are seeing more students reach out to trusted adults when they are struggling. We will be continuing this initiative with another lesson on February 24th that will discuss stress. The focus will be on recognizing and understanding stress. We will work to help students recognize what stresses them out, how they feel when they are stressed, and ways to handle those stressful situations. Candace Yeager, our Pine Rest therapist, will talk about how stress is our body’s normal reaction to an event that makes a person feel frustrated, nervous, or angry. She will also educate students about when to seek additional help if stress is prolonged. This will allow students to have the opportunity to process their own personal stressors. The lesson will take place during third-period classes. If you do not want your student to participate in the lesson, please contact Mr. Petersen, Mr. Remenap, or your student’s counselor.
We also want to provide resources for parents on how to recognize when their student may be struggling with mental health issues and how to seek help and support for their student. I am including a few documents that have resources for parents. I encourage you to read over the documents and discuss them with your student(s). For additional information and resources, you can access the Signs of Suicide parent portal at www.sossignsofsuicide.org. You can access the information by using the following surname and password.
This is a wonderful resource for parents that discusses a multitude of mental health-related issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, etc., along with resources to support students and families.
You can always reach out to any of our school counselors or administrators for support. However, if your student is struggling and needs immediate help, there are resources you can utilize, such as:
Mental Crisis Helpline: 722-HELP
Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK or text HOME to 741741
Call 911 or take your student to the emergency room If your student is experiencing an issue that needs immediate attention.
You can also call 211 for local support with housing, food, health insurance, etc.
I hope that this information is helpful. Please know that it is ok to talk about mental health. It is ok to seek help. We are here to support your students and want to work together to help end the stigma about mental health and ensure that students and families receive the help and support they need. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.