The holiday season can be a stressful time for some children and families. Breaks from comprehensive distance learning mean changes to routines and extra demands on time. Each winter, we reach out to families to ensure that they are aware of the multiple avenues available to them to share information that concerns them, 24-hours a day.
Youth are more likely to talk to each other than with an adult. It is important that our kids know how, when, and where to turn for support.
When in doubt, reach out. Our school counselors are a great place to start. We also have many resources that are available at your fingertips:
Three year ago, nearly to the day, we launched First Step, a suite of tip and talk resources available on every student’s iPad in grades 6-12. We hoped to encourage students to reach out when they needed help or wanted to connect with staff, law enforcement or resources.
This tool has been a resounding success. FirstStep has been embraced by our students.
Inside First Step students find resources like, “3 Ways to Help a Friend,” “Getting Through Today,” contacts for free counseling and two featured resources: SafeOregon and YouthLine.
If you have not already done so, you are encouraged you to sit down and take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the First Step tools and to talk to your children about them.
SafeOregon has received thousands visits and has resulted in a multitude of tips; we respond to each and every one. SafeOregon allows students and families to report information that involves students, the safety of their fellow students or their school 24-hours-a-day. With SafeOregon, students can report anything from vandalism to theft to cyberbullying via text or phone, email, or online.
Lines for Life’s YouthLine is a free and confidential teen-to-teen help line. Students are encouraged to contact YouthLine via phone, text, chat, and email to talk about anything that may be bothering them. Teens are available to help daily from 4-10 p.m. Pacific Time (adults are available by phone at all other times).
We also ask that you and your child(ren) take a look at the many other community resources available by stopping by Student Mental Health webpage. Here, you will also find the hours that our School Based Health Clinics in Bend and La Pine will be open during the break, among many other resources.
Safe + Strong Helpline, in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, is an emotional support and resource referral line that can assist anyone who is struggling and seeking support. Callers do not need to be in a crisis to contact this line. Help is free and available 24/7. Language interpreters are available. If you or a loved one is feeling worried, upset, or overwhelmed, give the helpline a call. The call counselor will listen, assess your needs, and problem-solve with referral to community services and resources if needed. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Racial Equity Support Line is a service led and staffed by people with lived experience of racism. It offers support to those who are feeling the emotional impacts of racist violence and microaggressions, as well as the emotional impacts of immigration struggles and other cross-cultural issues. Experiencing racism can harm our mental wellness. The person who answers may be a stranger – but the operators understand what you’re going through. They will listen to your situation as you talk through your feelings, and offer resources based on what seems most helpful to you. Call 503-575-3764 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you have questions or want to reach the Director of Equity Initiatives, please email Donna Harrell at [email protected].
This is a resource for parents to receive support and help from other parents. Families with children experiencing mental, emotional or behavioral health challenges will gain access to a support team of families and friends and a community network where questions are answered, resources are shared, and needs are understood. Resources include a warmline for families to call or leave a message, 1.833.REACH.OR (1.833.732.2467); an online forum, live chat or email: [email protected]. Learn more: https://www.reachoutoregon.org/