Back-to-school was always a time of excitement and fresh beginnings for most kids and families, even for those who experience a little anxiety or have some trouble adjusting at first. Last year left many of us longing for those good old days and as it finally came to end the families we spoke to were overjoyed to be putting the 2020-2021 school year in the rearview mirror. Many had contacted us with concerns about what might have been lost over the last year including academic, social or mental health gains, but most were also looking ahead to getting a good plan in place for the upcoming school year and feeling somewhat hopeful that fall 2021 might just bring a bit of a return to normal.
And boy did we need that! Being, raising or educating a kid during a pandemic had been hard work and was incredibly stressful! With its ongoing isolation; ever-changing routines, expectations, realities, and especially the ongoing fear of what’s coming next. Knowing you could wake up on any given day with everything changed. This relentless uncertainty coupled with over a year of experience with sudden shutdowns, quarantine and the lack of access to peers, teachers and many or most of the activities and supports that we rely on was understandingly taking a heavy toll and for many kids, especially those with existing or emerging anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges was reaching a breaking point. So a fresh start was just what we needed!
But as summer raged on – those of us floating around in our ‘things will surely be better next year bubbles’ started to feel the air leaking out….As the realization set in that this fall would likely return with some all too familiar challenges related to Covid-19 and perhaps even an additional layer of stressors to weather.
So if you are visiting us today with the air drained from your back to school balloon…Worried what this school year will bring and how you will support your child and family to get through it…
Know that you are not alone! Kids and families across Michigan and the nation feel your pain and share your concerns. As a visitor to the ACMH website, you likely already recognize that supporting our kids mental health and emotional well being will be the key to their success this school year and are already ahead of the game, seeking out information, resources and support.
Luckily there are many things you can do to help your child and yourself as you once again navigate a less than normal new school year and a lot of great resources out there to help!
We have been busy collecting and updating a variety of resources from trusted partners for ACMH’s Back to School 2021 Resource Page that address both the all too familiar stressors our kids will continue to face this year as well as, some new challenges we will all want to be especially mindful of as the new school year gets underway. We hope you find some tips, strategies and tools you can use!
And even if this fall isn’t the new beginning we had all hoped for, we hope that it gets off to a good start for you child and family! If you have questions or need additional information or support please feel free to contact ACMH today.