Southwest Counseling Service: Now is the perfect time to talk to your kids about Substance Use and Mental Health

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With all of the changes happening in our community due to COVID-19, you and your family may be spending more time together. If you are… It may be the perfect time to have the right conversations about substance use and mental health with our children.

 

Let’s face it, as parents, we aren’t always the first people our kids learn from about substance use or about mental health. When kids do not feel comfortable talking to their parents, they often seek answers from elsewhere. So, let’s use this time to open the lines of communication. It doesn’t always matter how you start the conversation, but that you have the conversation. The more we are educated about the effects of substance use, about the different facets of our mental health, and learn the facts–the more we can give back to our kids.

We all value having good health, and that includes both mental and physical health. We try our best to protect our kids against illnesses, like the common flu, or even Covid-19. So why not protect them against drug use by giving them the facts before they are in a risky situation?  Take a moment before you sit down with your kids to think about where you stand with substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Remember, we are one of our kids’ most influential role models, so our views on substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can influence how they may perceive them.

For more information on how to talk to your kids about substance use click here: Talking to Your Child About Drugs (for Parents) – Nemours

USE THIS TIME TO CHECK IN WITH YOUR KIDS

The news and social media are full of COVID-19. Not being able to go to school or see their friends can be extremely hard on kids. Your kids might experience some anxiety, worry, or sadness with all of the sudden changes and uncertainty. Just like our physical health, our mental health is equally as important. When we start conversations about substance use, life stressors, or even depression; we communicate with our kids that we are ready to have the tough conversations without expectations. The open line of communication allows us to watch for any warning signs.

Remember, our kids are exposed to so much more than we are aware. Let’s meet them where they are and offer a supportive and loving ear.

Here are some tips to help you open up the conversation with your kids about mental health: How to talk to your kids about their mental health


Southwest Counseling Service and Sweetwater County Prevention want to remind you of emergency numbers if you need it.

Southwest Counseling Service is practicing social distancing and has precautions in place, but remains OPEN during this time.

  • Southwest Counseling Service on-call services are available and operating 24 hours-7 days a week: 307-352-6677

National Suicide Prevention LifelineL The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org (click on link)

References:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html

Southwest Counseling Service and Sweetwater County Prevention wants to remind you of the following resource:

Together WE can make it through this.

 


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