Prevention for Parents

Keep Your Teen Drug-Free :: April '20 Issue

It’s All About Relationships

Points of interest

·Make mental health a priority during the COVID-19 crisis.

·School counselors are still providing services to students & families.

·Vaping & COVID-19 health effects.

·Staying socially connect-ed during social distancing.

Maintaining Mental Wellness During the School Closure

Most things in our lives have changed very rapidly in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This can be a difficult time for young people and adults as we cope with the many changes to our daily routines and additional stresses are put on families.

While so much emphasis is placed on ensuring our physical safety and well-being, we also need to pay attention to our mental health and that of our young people.

Not seeing friends, meaningful events being cancelled, and the looming stress of the unknown are all things our students are facing. It is normal for kids to feel angry, scared, act out, and complain about physical symptoms of stress, among other things.

Big picture

Accessing Counseling Services During Tele-Schooling

We want parents to know that the counseling teams at SMS are still providing services and are here to support students and families. Please reach out to us for anything you would normally seek help for. The best way to contact us is via email.

Email addresses are listed below. Additionally, Kelly Giles will be available by phone on a confidential, remote line to support students and parents.

Let your student know you are there for them and that this time of uncertainty will end eventually. They will need time to process it all, and it hits everyone at different times.

Vaping and COVID-19

While most teens are NOT using vapor products, there have been some questions about how vaping can affect a person’s health in relationship to the COVID-19 virus. Of course, we do not have the re-search to conclude that people who vape are more likely to develop or have more severe symptoms if they are ex-posed to the virus because there has not been time to conduct studies.

However, we do know that people who smoke cigarettes, use vapor products, smoke cannabis heavily, or have other substance use disorders do have lowered immune system functioning and may experience symptoms more intensely than people who do not use substances.

Ideas for Staying Socially Connected During Social Distancing

While restrictions are quickly increasing on our normal social habits it can be difficult to keep up connection with others. We need social connection more than usual when we are dealing with stressful events, so it is important to find ways to re-place our normal habits.

Here are some ideas to keep you and your kids socially connected despite maintaining physical distance:

·Make a goal to Facetime or call two friends or relatives everyday (this can be a good time to reconnect with old friends!)

·Volunteer to drop off groceries to someone who can’t go to the store themselves

·Help someone who is not tech-savvy set up their own ways to connect with others

·Make a workout routine with a friend (that you both do from home) and keep each other accountable

·Start a virtual book club (plenty of time to read!)

From the Author

Hi! I’m Kelly Giles and I work at Shuksan Middle School as a Student Assistance Professional (SAP), doing drug and alcohol prevention and interventions.

A big part of my job is building relationships with students because we know adults play a huge role in influencing healthy choices.

I love to partner with parents, too! Please get in touch if you are worried about a student. Send me any ideas you'd like to see in upcoming issues via email.

Thank you for all you do for our young people, it matters!

Kelly Giles

Student Assistance Professional (SAP)

Shuksan Middle School

Northwest ESD 189