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  • Coco Zhu

Mindfull X Shield - Are You Feeling a Bit Down Over the Summer…?

Summertime is often seen as a period of fun and relaxation for students, providing them with a much-needed break from their schoolwork. However, it's crucial to remember that mental health does not take a vacation, and for many students, the summer months can exacerbate existing mental health issues…

The Challenges of Summer Break

One significant challenge during the summer is the disruption of routine. Going to school provides a structured environment with a clear schedule, which many students find comforting and stabilizing. When summer arrives, this routine vanishes, potentially leaving students feeling aimless and unmotivated. Additionally, reduced access to school counselors, teachers, and other supportive adults can remove vital sources of comfort and guidance. Financial instability can also pose a problem for students from low-income families, especially for those who rely on school-provided meals.

Here are some statistics to give you a clearer sense of the status quo:

  • Suicide rates among Black youth aged 5 to 12 are double that of their White peers.

  • Asian, Black, and multiracial students frequently report experiences of racism, which significantly impacts their mental health.

  • Hispanic students report higher levels of sadness or hopelessness compared to their White and Black counterparts.

  • American Indian/Alaska Native youth have the highest suicide rates among all demographics.

  • LGBTQ youth from marginalized racial backgrounds report higher rates of suicide attempts and considerations compared to their White and AAPI peers.

Supporting Student Mental Health

To mitigate these challenges, there are several steps parents, caregivers, and educators can take:

1. Publicize Available Support

Remind youth and families that mental health support is available year-round. Compile a list of local and national resources, including peer support groups, telehealth services, therapist directories, and hotlines. Promote these resources through websites, social media, and community gathering spots like gyms, churches, and libraries.

2. Offer Activity Suggestions

Encourage students to engage in activities or camps where they can socialize and maintain a consistent schedule. Provide information about local agencies offering free or sliding-scale services and compile lists of places where students can work or volunteer. Activities that involve helping others, such as volunteering with pets, children, or seniors, can give students a sense of belonging and purpose.

3. Promote Healthy Habits

While not a substitute for therapy and medication, healthy habits like meditation, regular exercise, and consistent sleep schedules can help students manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Encourage these practices as part of a balanced summer routine.

By taking these proactive steps, we can ensure that students have the support we need to maintain our mental health during the summer and prepare for a successful return to school in the fall.

Writer: Coco Zhu




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