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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Back To #School Is Not Back To Normal And #COVID-19 Can Take #MentalHealth Toll On #Kids

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Parents across Central Ohio are concerned about the toll the #pandemic is taking on their #children. Some districts are still grappling with whether to bring #kids back to #school in-person or remotely.

Cara Stefanko has two daughters in the Olentangy School District. She’s advocating for #students to be allowed to come back to the classroom because of what parents are telling her. Back to #school is not to normal and #COVID-19 can take #mentalhealth toll on 90% Parents across Central Ohio are concerned about the toll the #pandemic is taking on their #children. Some districts are still grappling with whether to bring #kids back to #school in-person or remotely.

“They are seeing #depression and #anxiety in their #kids from being separated and from the uncertainty of all this,” said Stefanko.

“Our #kids really are not thriving under this quarantine. And #kids need each other,” said the working mother.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

The #SuicidePrevention Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital John Ackerman said they are not seeing a spike in suicides during #COVID-19, but he is concerned. “I am worried about #mentalhealth. Absolutely. We are seeing increased #anxiety, we are seeing increased #depression, that is accurate. More crisis lines are receiving calls.”

“If you are in an abusive home. If you are in a place where #isolation is just unbearable to you then that may be something we are concerned about it,” said Ackerman.

Ackerman, a psychologist said when there is in-person #school or remote learning, it’s important to establish routines, including for eating, sleeping, and exercising. Ackerman said #children take their cues from adults. He suggests saying to #children, “what are some ways that we can make each day predictable for you, and how can we really reinforce that this year is different but you are going to be okay.”

“Make sure you are doing regular emotional check-ins with your #kids, regardless of whether they are giving you clear warning signs,” said Ackerman.

Stefanko, a #nurse, said she thinks the rewards of returning to #school outweigh the risks and that it can be done safely. “You don’t just give up and hide when something is rough. You come up with a plan, and you have to keep living. That is what we want our kids to learn.”

Parents in several districts are planning rallies next week to show support for in-person learning. The Board of Education at Grandview Heights Saturday approved all virtual learning to start their year. The two largest districts in Franklin County are also planning on a remote start.

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah on Pexels.com

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