A brand new school year usually brings to mind visions of sharpened pencils, fresh lined paper and a colorful rainbow of perfectly pointed crayons, sticking straight up in an un-tarnished box; A crisp new outfit, or backpack and the squeak of the soles of new shoes on freshly decorated hallways. Who would have ever dreamed we would be entering a school year where the scent of hand sanitizer overpowered that of freshly waxed gym floors – where masks were an essential part of our wardrobe – and the school day might begin in a socially distanced classroom or through a screen at the kitchen table.
A new school year usually has a familiar feel, look and feel…but this year is different..And even though our back to school experiences might look a little different at any given time depending on our local area, current virus spread, or district or personal decisions, most of us are venturing way into the unknown, leaving many of us feeling stressed, un-equipped and even a little overwhelmed at times. All of this uncertainty and change in school settings, schedules and routines can be stressful for all of us and may be especially hard on our kids who struggle with anxiety or other mental health challenges. Luckily there are things you can do to help your child and yourself as you navigate all of the changes this school year brings and a lot of great resources out there to help! We have gathered a collection of those resources from trusted partners that address the variety of issues families face this school year have shared them the ACMH Back to School Resource Page and also highlighted back to school in the Fall 2020 ACMH Newsletter . We hope you find some information, tips or tools you can use to make the best of this most unusual school year.
Fall also usually brings one other familiar site and ACMH’s biggest educational and networking events of the year, the ACMH Annual Conference. This year’s event was originally scheduled to take place in September at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, but like many other plans this year- Covid-19 caused us to change our course and adapt…So we shifted gears and began plans to host a week long virtual event later in the fall instead. We quickly realized after a low response from speakers and registrants alike that perhaps many of us are growing a little weary of trying to learn and connect through a screen. So after reflecting on the original purpose of the ACMH conference which was designed as a venue for youth, families and community partners to come together and learn aside one another -we realized that a virtual venue may not fufill that purpose or meet the current needs of our audience and have decided not to move forward with plans for a virtual event at this time. We do, however, plan to continue to our search for other ways and opportunities to ‘Come Together’ so be sure to stay tuned!
ACMH wishes you and your family all the best as we close the door on this summer like no other! Summer 2020 was certainly one for the history books filled with more than its share of challenges & uncertainty…but it also brought sunshine, warmth and opportunities for important conversations about race, culture, health, mental health, and the incredible importance of home, family and continued access to needed mental health supports and services. So, let’s keep the gift of those opportunities in mind and hope in our hearts as we enter the fall of 2020 and usher in the 2020-2021 school year.
This year has certainly been a challenge so we thought we should also share some good news that came from 2020 which was shared by The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health -check it out below!