Some ways parents can stay on top of mental health as students return to class

As students return back to the classroom, KSAT 12 is providing both parents and students with a mental health tool kit to better navigate through an emotionally trying time.

This past summer started in the wake of the Uvalde massacre, which left many parents and students on edge.

KSAT12 reached out to Talli Dodge, CEO of the Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborate, so families can stay on top of their mental health as students return to school.

Dodge says the first step is having a conversation with your child to make sure they are feeling OK. She says to start with open-ended questions and be transparent about you feelings. Parents should provide their children with a structured environment, with routines and amounts for screen time to help keep an emotionally balanced household.

Dodge says caregivers should also keep an eye out for signs of your child not wanting to leave the house, or being extra clingy. If you notice these signs, then it might be time to seek professional help, Dodge said.

Most importantly, Dodge says it is important to understand that everyone is navigating the newness of the school year together, so it is OK if you do not have all the answers for your child.

“I think that really understanding that this is all a process right now, and that we are going through a period of time again after COVID, that we still don’t know what we really need, so giving yourself the space to be okay with this unknown period of time and knowing that ultimately there are so many resources and things out in our community that are free resources, that are out there that we can send you. Links that will provide you with the guidance that you need in order to have a successful and healthy school year,” she said.

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