Clark County Schools Offers Free Mental Health Support for Schools, Parents, and Students

Published by The Bee News

November 13, 2023

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The district has partnered with ParentGuidance.org to offer families mental health webinars, online courses, and one-on-one parent coaching at no cost. 

By Dr. Kevin Skinner, LMFT

Parenting is tough these days. Today’s youth are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety, leading to disorders, poor health, low academic engagement, substance use, thoughts of suicide, and violence. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that the country is in a youth mental health crisis.

Research reveals the critical role that school support plays in improving students’ mental health. The CDC found that students who experience “school connectedness” (a sense of being cared for, supported, and belonging at school) are less likely to experience feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Several surveys show that 80% of students and parents rely on mental health resources from their school.

Teachers, administrators, and youth-serving professionals may not be able to tackle these challenges head-on, but they can find ways to support the youth they serve by partnering with outside organizations. For instance, ParentGuidance.org is a service for parents who are seeking answers to tough questions and ways to form a deeper connection with their children. Through a partnership with the Clark County School District, this service is now available to local families at no charge.

Today’s Kids Face a Variety of Stressors

In the age of information, it’s easier than ever to connect with others. Yet many people feel more isolated than ever. This feeling is even more prevalent for students facing the stress of entering a new environment. Feelings of isolation are common as students begin middle school or high school.

Globally, 13% of adolescents (one in seven) experience mental health challenges. There are many elements that shape youth mental health, including biological, environmental, and societal factors. Bullying and rejection in either physical or virtual environments can impact the way students perceive themselves.

One of the most common questions I get from parents of middle and high school students is whether their dependency on technology is something to watch out for. CDC research shows that anxiety and depression have increased in kids and teens over time, and experts connect this increase to extensive technology use. Kids spend around seven and a half hours on their phones every day. Research from a San Diego State University professor revealed that kids who spend more than five hours a day online are more likely to have at least one suicide risk factor, such as depression.

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