The end of school means another transition for youth who have experienced heightened behavioral health concerns even with the return of in-person activities over the past year.
This freedom and leisure bring the promise of relaxation, but they may be a challenge for youth who thrived in the school day’s structure. And, it may be a concern for those who struggle with substance use or mental health disorders.
“With stress and anxiety levels still running high, the summer may be a well-timed break, but it also is a time when youth are more at risk for trying substances,” said Rosecrance Regional President Carlene Cardosi. “I encourage families to be intentional with summer plans to ensure children receive the mix of activities and constructive downtime they need to recharge.”
To help adolescents make the most of these months, Rosecrance offers a few other suggestions for families:
- Establish a schedule for teens. It may include chores, a job, volunteer work, summer school, park district programs or other healthy activities.
- Set boundaries and establish a curfew.
- Help youth be intentional about leisure time. Physical activity, time outdoors, mindfulness activities, reading books for fun, and investing in other hobbies are excellent stress relievers.
- Insist on daily conversations, even if that means staying up late until your children come home. Take this opportunity to have open, honest conversations about life stress and give teens a safe space to share their feelings.
- Watch for any behavior change, mood swings, altered sleep or eating patterns, or self-harm.
If you think your child may need assistance, contact us at 888.928.5278. Caring staff will be happy to listen to your concerns and direct you to the right resources.