Panther Parent MS/HS Newsletter

All Things Social/Emotional at Addison Secondary Schools

We're in this together.

Greetings everyone! I know this unexpected break has been tough on all of us--so much has changed, and it is perfectly normal to feel both excited to spend more time with your students and possibly less time at work, but also disappointed and worried about what is happening in our world. My hope is to continue to provide you and your families some weekly tips related to one of the absolute most important topics right now--our Social & Emotional well-being!


It can be hard for your student to deal with the boredom of self-isolation and the irritability of not being able to socialize in-person, but there are things we can all do to make it easier. The key to staying well during this break is taking care of yourself! This week, we are discussing SELF-CARE and ways of coping that have proven to be helpful during times of stress. Your student will be receiving a separate newsletter with activities geared towards helping them take care of themselves as well.


I miss your children very much, and I am looking forward to being able to see their smiling faces in the hallways again! In the meantime, the best way to get in touch with me while we are away from the school building is through email: Monica.Flores@addisonschools.us. I check this daily, and I am typically able to respond quickly. Another option for your student to get in touch to discuss non-urgent issues (ask them if they remember the 3 Hurts?) is to fill out the "Request to Speak with the Behavior Specialist" form. If, however, you or one of your loved ones is experiencing an emergency, please seek help immediately using the following resources:


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Chat:

1-800-273-TALK(8255)

suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/


Crisis Text Line:

text VOICE to 20121


National Child Abuse Hotline and Chat:

1-800-422-4453

www.ChildHelp.org


National Domestic Violence Hotline and Chat:

1-800-799-7233

www.TheHotline.org


As always, if you have any ideas/concerns/questions, please don't ever hesitate to reach out to any of us, any time. We are all here to help.

5 Tips to Protect Your Family's Mental Health During a Pandemic

While quarantines and self-isolation are the most effective ways to protect ourselves from contracting and/or spreading COVID-19 and other illnesses, this can seriously impede on our own mental health and the emotional state of our family members. Here are 5 simple ways to protect your mental health during this pandemic:


1. Be kind to yourself. Everyone is experiencing some form of loss right now--cancelled plans, lost time with loved ones, loss of support from close friends or teachers, financial loss, and perhaps even the loss of a loved one. It is so important to be kind and patient with yourself during this difficult time. Encourage your students to recognize and name the emotions that they are experiencing. And take time to check-in with yourself, just like you would for a friend or your child. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings, whatever they may be. And remember to treat yourself the way you would treat your best friends and family members! Kindness and compassion toward yourself is never selfish!


2. Be present. Take breaks from watching the news, browsing social media, or reading news stories about the pandemic. Being fed constant information about distressing events can be upsetting and detrimental. This can be tricky, but make conscious efforts to put your phone down and be PRESENT and INTENTIONAL with your family. Below, you will find a good strategy to help ground yourself if you're feeling distracted or overwhelmed ("Simple Grounding Exercise").


3. Practice deep breathing. Mindful breathing exercises, doing yoga, or meditating can have positive impacts on your health and can boost serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain, which helps to promote happiness. We will be covering this more next week, so check out the Teen Health link'3 Minute Mindful Breathing" exercise below if you have a few minutes.


4. Pay attention to JOY. It can be hard to notice good experiences when we are in the midst of such significant stress. But by focusing on joyful experiences and practicing gratitude, you can significantly elevate your mood! Recognize the things in your life that are going well--start by listing 3 things that you are grateful for in this moment. By modeling this simple strategy, you are subtly encouraging your family members to stay positive too--it's contagious!


5. Connect with others. Although we should not be connecting with others physically, technology such as FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, etc. can all help to keep you connected to your friends and family. I would love to set up a time to chat with you or your student in the coming weeks. Please shoot me an email with your availability, and I will do my very best to accommodate. I sure miss you all!


One of the greatest joys of my job here in Addison is working alongside a community of teachers, staff, and parents who are committed to taking care of one another, especially now! I have witnessed so much kindness and support in our small town that my heart just feels full! As always, if you feel concerned about the emotional stability of yourself or your student, it is important to seek support. Below, you will find some helpful links, including updates from our LISD, Community Mental Health, and Substance Abuse services. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out to myself or any of our staff members for additional support or questions. We are here to help, and we will continue to RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS!


Stay Healthy! Stay Happy!

Ms. Monica Flores

Secondary Behavior Specialist

Addison Community Schools

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Disaster Distress Helpline

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
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LISD COVID-19 Community Updates

Our colleagues at Lenawee County Intermediate School District and continually working on keeping our community informed about issues related to the physical and mental health of our students. Please visit them at https://www.lisd.us/our-district/public-information/covid-19-coronavirus/ for updated resources and information.

Lenawee Community Mental Healthy Authority - COVID-19 Info

During this time of uncertainty, Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority (LCMHA) wants to let our community know that they are still ‘open for business’. In an effort to keep everyone safe, face to face contact has been reduced. If you are in need of services for yourself or your students, please call their office at (517) 263-8905 or (800) 664-5005. The COVID-19 pandemic is understandably creating an increase in anxiety and fear--this is a normal reaction to a worldwide crisis. There is help available. CMH is currently offering community groups to help you cope with the stress and anxiety. These groups are conducted via Zoom by a Master’s level clinician. They will be held every day at 10am and 2pm. You can join the group by going to the LCMHA Facebook page or website at www.lcmha.org (click on the Coronavirus link).

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3-minute Mindful Breathing Meditation (Relieve Stress)