CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Lowcountry mental health experts are giving out tips for families to navigate helping children with mental health issues during the summer months.
Some children across the Lowcountry will not have access to in-school guidance counselors and mental health professionals when summer vacation begins.
“There’s always a concern over the summer break if our students are going to regress,” said Aubrey Isaacson, the Lead School Psychologist at Colleton County School District.
Isaacson and her fellow psychologists are not too worried. They have been teaching children about anger management, conflict resolution and self awareness as tools to help their mental health.
“I think that can transfer back to the home environment as far as interacting with others,” said Isaacson.
The Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center says that parents are a key helper in keeping their children mentally well.
Tips for summer well being
- Create a safe and positive environment
- Have a routine for your child
- Emphasize exercise and good nutrition
- Have one on one talks about summer plans
- Plan out summer camps for children to attend
- Monitor what children are doing online
- Ask for help from professionals
One on one talks, maintaining physical health and being positive are ways to help children who usually have an in-school resource to help with mental health.
Talking with you child about a summer schedule is a good idea too.
“Planned activities and summer camps where they are with their peer group and structured environments with adult supervision that’s been background checked,” said Beverly Hutchinson, the Executive Director of the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center.
Summer camps answer a key question that Hutchinson says parents should be asking themselves.
“How can I provide opportunities that are safe for this child to interact with other adults in a safe way and with their peers?” said Hutchinson.
Isaacson says that when children have difficulties they should return to the basics to calm down first.
“Strategies like breathing, counting, reflection and muscle relaxation,” said Isaacson.