CITY SCHOOLS OF DECATUR
Crisis Coordinator Newsletter ~ January 2016~ K. Koonce
WATCH OUT FOR STUDENT'S WHOSE CUPS COULD BE "SPILLING OVER"
Identifying Signs of Stress in Children and Teens
Young people experience stress. It can come from a variety of sources. Some stress can be positive but too much stress, can create unnecessary hardship and challenge and cause their "cup to spill over."
Adults can help by tuning into emotional or behavioral cues that may be important in identifying potential problems.
Here are some tips from the American Psychological Association (APA) on ways to recognize possible signs of stress:
- Watch for negative changes in behavior. Common changes can include acting irritable or moody, withdrawing from activities, excessive worrying, crying or sleeping too much or too little. (Negative behavior is not always linked to excessive stress but can be an indication that something is wrong.)
- Understand that “feeling sick” may be caused by stress. Physical symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches or making excessive trips to the school nurse (despite having a clean bill of health), could be signs of student stress. Pay attention and let your school counselor/ social worker or nurse know your concerns.
- Be aware of how your child or teen interacts with others. Sometimes children and teens may behave one way at home but act out in unusual ways in other settings. Adults in their lives to need to communicate and network with one another. Principals, teachers, counselors, social workers , nurses and leaders of extracurricular activities are key resources and integral parts of the team. Speak up!
- Listen and translate. Children and teens may express feelings of stress by saying negative things about themselves, others, or the world around them (e.g. “No one likes me,” “I’m stupid,” “Nothing is fun.”). It's important to listen for these words and statements. Don't ignore this- tell someone / reach out for help.
- Seek support. If you are concerned that a student is experiencing significant symptoms of stress, know that there are people who can help. Trained professionals (such as psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and therapists) can help people identify problems and develop effective strategies to resolve various issues. Ask your school counselor or social worker for help.
Next month's video message...
"The Warm Hand-Off" (getting student's connected to trained designated school staff)
CSD Staff attends GA Dept. of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities training: Suicide Prevention Skills for School Systems
(L-R: Melvin Ratcliff, Haqiqa Bolling, Rebecca Root, Karen Koonce & Tamika Collins)