How do we “plugin” with our youth?
Prior to this Pandemic, our school district has had the ongoing challenge of connecting our youth to our in-house and community/national mental wellness resources. There is a significant gap between students that feel supported and are plugged into resources, and those that feel disconnected and forgotten, and remain clueless about what is available to them.
More than ever is it important to make every effort to build trust and rapport with our youth by respecting how they think, and by finding creative ways to engage and connect them to critical emotional wellness resources. In our humble effort to shorten the disconnect gap, our district will be a launching a district wide emotional wellness hotline in the fall to connect with emotionally isolated youth and attempt to use this forum to triage and plug them into longer term emotional supports. Furthermore, we have a committee focusing on student wellness that is looking at the use of social media and other means and platforms to engage with our district youth. Perhaps the most prudent idea will be to have our youth enlighten us adults on how best to connect with them. Thus, student participation and feedback will be critical in all of our planning efforts for the new school year!