YouTube videos address mental health concerns of NYS parents and students


Students sit in a socially distanced classroom on the first day of school for the 2020-21 school year at Hudson Falls High School. (Facebook/Hudson Falls Central School District)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York State Office of Mental Health created a series of ‘Back to School 2021’ videos that are available to assist parents, caregivers and students as they prepare for the new school year.

The OMH surveyed hundreds of New York children and families to learn what might be causing anxiety and concern ahead of this school year and decide what the videos should focus on. According to a press release from OMH, the videos will help kids and parents deal with the stress and other issues caused by the pandemic over the last 18 months.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said the videos are there to help after the challenging year a half students and parents have faced.

“This has been an extremely trying year for the students of New York and for their parents. Some students haven’t been in the classroom for 18 months. Others have had to juggle hybrid learning,” Sullivan said. “It’s been a period of extreme sacrifice and now, as we prepare to enter the 2021, 2022 school year, we want parents and students to know that we are here to support you and your mental health.”

The videos are available on YouTube and focus on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and adolescents, ways for students to support themselves and others, how to get help when they need it, age-specific information on promoting mental wellness in children from birth to young adulthood and an overview of the Crisis Text Line, a national, text-based crisis counselor service.

The videos will also offer additional resources that have been compiled by the Office of Mental Health, including resiliency tips for New Yorkers, conversation starters to check in on someone’s mental health, brochures on supporting children’s Emotional Development by age group, and NY Project Hope resources for teens, parents, and young children.

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