Buckle up for a new school year!
It’s time to change gears after an action-packed or re-energizing summer. Whether you are bummed that the carefree days of summer are over, or ready to slow down with a cup of pumpkin-spiced coffee, the time is here. Let’s make it as seamless as possible for ourselves and our kiddos. Here are some reminders to tuck away as we get ready to speed through another year.
First: Have you heard of the new Suicide and Crisis Hotline 9-8-8? It is a nationwide number that rolled out this summer for mental health crises and is free, confidential, and available 24/7/365. By calling or texting 9-8-8, you will be connected to trained crisis counselors at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This does not replace 1-800-273-TALK (8255), it is in addition to it- either option works. There is even an option for Spanish speakers as well as 250 other languages, deaf, hard of hearing, and TTY users, as well as veterans and service members.
988 America's Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline Fact Sheet
988 Poster 2 (samhsa.gov)
988 Suicide and Crisis Prevention Line poster in Spanish (samhsa.gov)
Second: As we change gears, let’s try to strengthen our kids' Protective Factors as we go into a new school year. We don’t know yet what challenges may arise at home or in the world. Protective Factors help to promote resilience and connectedness with others, therefore they're less likely to engage in suicidal behavior. Here are some examples from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration):
Third: We should practice self-compassion and care for ourselves! You take REALLY good care of your kids, right? Well, who is taking care of you? You MUST take time to care for yourself in order to be fully present and effective for your kiddos and family. This means taking care of yourself physically (your body), mentally (your mind), and emotionally (your soul). Take little (or big!) bits of time to replenish your energy, promote your well-being, and reduce stress. This will help your whole family. You are very important and worth it!