Is my kid okay?
This is a question parents ask themselves often, but we might not always know how to find the answer. The resources in this inaugural issue of the Eagle Counseling Newsletter seek to help parents recognize signs of emotional and mental distress within their children. In our office, we see a variety of students and parents trying to navigate through some messy situations. This side of heaven, we live in a world of brokenness. Many parents are simply seeking the answer to the question, "Is my kid okay?" And honestly, sometimes students are asking themselves, "Am I okay?" We want you to know that it's okay to not be okay. It's okay for your families to not be okay. In fact, being "not okay" can be more normal than being normal some days.
We're here to help.
God doesn't leave us to fend for ourselves but calls us to lift each other up. We hope this newsletter puts a few tools at your fingertips and opens some doors for both parents and students to have tough, but necessary conversations. Parents are often a child’s biggest allies, mentors, and protectors, and we hope these resources help equip you for the high calling of parenthood. Please let us know how we can help you and your family.
-Michelle Dwyer and Gary Prindiville
"God Only Knows" by For King & Country
This music video from Australian artists For King & Country provides a glimpse of how often we pass people every day who look like they “have it all together,” or are at least “fine,” when they are hurting deeply and crying out for help. We can save lives every day by starting that difficult talk with those around us with a simple, “How are you today, really?” This requires that we slow down our daily grind a little to love and care for those around us. We never know who might really need that question today.
At the end of the video you will find the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. If you or someone you know might need to talk, the toll-free number is 1 (800) 273-8255. They also offer a free online chat option at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
About For King & Country: "For King and Country" was the battle cry of English soldiers willing to lay down their lives for their king and their country. And now it has become our mission, to lay down our lives for our King and our country."
This website provides valuable information for adolescents and their families concerned about mental and emotional well-being. Resources include a Teen Depression Toolbox, interview videos, coping techniques, treatment options, and information to help shed light in the darkness of mental illness.
"We educate communities about teen depression,
eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness
and empower teens to take charge of their mental health."
Can we talk about the "S" word? Suicide.
This article describes the story of a pastor who opened the doors to talk about depression and suicide, including his own struggles, in his California church. While the story does end tragically, we can read and learn from his living example and God’s Word for us when we struggle. We are all “messes,” and as we say at Prince of Peace with joy and determination, “Ministry is messy.” Let’s stop pretending and start the conversation.
Give Your Kid A Chance
While technology and screen time are taking a lot of hits lately in the world of mental health, and perhaps rightly so, the silver lining is that it can provide our children with a “way out” of difficult situations. Provided here are links to two resources. The first is called the “NotOk” App, which provides a way for a child (or adult) to send a message directly to emergency contacts, including GPS location, if they are in a situation they need to get out of quickly. The second is an idea featured here on People.com an “everyday Dad” came up with, which is similar in nature, but simply requires texting “X” to their emergency contacts. Both provide a safe way for kids to stay safe, whether they’re dealing with peer pressure, a dangerous situation, or even contemplating self-harm.
Self-Harm: Is my kid at risk?
What's the deal with self-harm? Is my kid at risk? The answer might be yes. This website provides valuable information about self-harm including the reasons why many people choose this unhealthy coping mechanism for pain, and how to help someone who is struggling. Understanding risk factors that may be affecting your child will help you be better equipped for recognizing signs that something just isn’t right. This website also provides definitions of self-harm and red flag warning signs that someone may be self-harming, even if they are hiding it in plain sight.
Gary Prindiville is the school counselor and a middle school theology teacher at Prince of Peace Christian School and Early Learning Center in Carrollton, TX. Visit the Contact page for more information.
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