Tulsa area students are transitioning into the new school year with in-person learning five days a week. The COVID19 pandemic is an unprecedented global event and there continues to be some unknowns. It makes sense for young people to be cycling through different emotions of fear, grief, anger, discomfort, worry, confusion, relief, stress and confusion. Also, it is completely valid to have a wide array of emotional experiences in regards to returning back to school. If you can, can you help your young person label and describe these emotions to you? It helps young people to have a safe person to be able to express a range of different emotions to without judgement or attempts to solve the problem.
As your young person returns to school, along with the increasing exposure to COVID19 news reports, conversations, and unknowns within the school year, it is time to get back to the basics of self-care. Help your young person get into healthy sleep habits, eat regularly, and move at least 30 minutes a day. Healthy sleep habits can be getting into a routine, minimizing screen exposure or exposure to constant news reports in social media, and calming practices before bedtime. Can you have a conversation with your young person about how social media or the news is impacting them returning to school? Keep in mind that sometimes social media is also an outlet for humor and social connection, you can look into positive accounts for your young person to follow. Consistent eating habits of regular mealtimes and snack times is helpful to let your young person's brain stay well-nourished and able to process new information. Movement does not need to be a long-drawn-out exercise routine but, how can you help your young person at least incorporate some stretching/walking into their day?
While sleeping enough, eating consistently and, regular daily movement positively impact our mental health, these factors are not the end all be all. Some signs that your young person may be struggling with anxiety or depression could be but, are not limited to: Increased or decreased eating habits, increased or decreased sleep time, nightmares, not interested in their hobbies, perfectionism, picking at skin, increased reports of stomach or headache, withdrawing from friends, substance use, anger "outbursts" and, unwillingness to attend school. Some more severe signs of possible anxiety and depression are but, not limited to: young person expresses to you that they have thought about or have engaged in cutting behaviors, wanting to die, or suicidal thoughts.
It is important to reach out for counseling services with any sign that your young person may be struggling. Counselors can complete an assessment and discuss treatment options for your family. At Youth Services of Tulsa we have multiple individual and family counseling options for young people 11-18 (as long as they are in Highschool) in Tulsa, Glenpool, Owasso and, Broken Arrow office locations. No insurance is needed. Tele-counseling via confidential virtual platform is available at discretion of counselor, if you are interested in this service please state that at initial contact. Please call Main office at 918-582-0061 and ask to speak to a counselor if you interested in setting up counseling services because you are concerned about your young person. The main office number is available 24/7 to direct families to crisis services or resources if needed. YST Staff at the Main office can also direct towards food resource services if needed to aid mental well-being. To beat the Back to School Blues - reach out for help!
Youth Services of Tulsa Phone: 918-582-0061 WWW.YST.ORG
Many tulsa youth don't have what they need for school. We are seeking donations of backpacks, sprial notebooks, composition notebooks, and blue and black pens to fill this shortage. Please drop off your donation to:
YST Main Office
311 S Madison Ave,
Tulsa OK, 7410
Thank you for helping a youth be successful as the new school year begins.