About District 225 > News > May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

As we enter the last few weeks of the school year, there are a variety of activities and events that can be emotionally challenging for students. The month of May is a very busy time and a source of increased stress for students. It is also Mental Health Awareness Month. We feel this is a good time to remind you of resources available in our schools to support students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.

  • If you have concerns regarding your child’s academic progress, contact the teacher or school counselor.
  • If you have concerns regarding your child’s social/emotional well-being, contact the school counselor.
Community Resources

We are also fortunate to have access to many community resources. Keep in mind:

• Text-a-Tip (GBN) (GBS)

Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook

Family Service Center

In the spirit of continuing to learn about this important topic, we wish to share a website that contains many valuable resources for students and parents: www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

In a recent development locally and across the country, many middle school and high school students are viewing a "Netflix" series released on March 31, 2017 called 13 Reasons Why. The show is based on a fictional book written by Jay Asher about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind audio recordings documenting the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life. Some of the episodes are graphic in nature and include scenes involving sexual assault, substance abuse, and the event of the suicide. We recommend that parents take the time to become more familiar with this series and determine whether you feel it is appropriate for your student. 

If your student is in the process of viewing, or has already viewed the series, we encourage you to discuss what the series has meant to him/her. It is an opportunity for parents to talk with their children about alternatives when they are feeling sad, anxious, and overwhelmed with the stress of life. We believe these conversations are crucial as your children navigate their feelings regarding the complex issues introduced by the series.

The National Association of School Psychologists provides the following guidance to families that are specific to 13 Reason Why:

 

Guidance for Families

  1. Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. While we don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch it, with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts.
  2. If they exhibit any of the warning signs of suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
  3. Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
  4. Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
  5. Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of one of their peers.