Starting the conversation about your child’s mental health and involving your school can be overwhelming.
Here are some toolbox tips that have worked for us!
Support – Reach out for help
• Stay connected to family and friends or those who are most supportive.
Resources – Utilize community resources
• Know that you are not alone.
• Tools such as psychological assessments help to ensure everyone understands the challenges.
Organize – Keep detailed notes
• Create a plan of action, identifying the goals that are important for your child.
• Log (record and date) agreements made among your child’s support team,
Communication – Remain calm and anchored
• Have confidence in yourself and know that what you have to say is important. When you hit roadblocks, take a deep breath. Allow yourself to feel your feelings. If necessary ask for additional meetings.
Teamwork – Engage your child’s support team
• Engage the people that matter by openly sharing information that will lead to better decisions and ultimately a better outcome for your child. If they don’t know what the issues are they can’t help.
Involving your child – Bring them to the table
• Involve your child as much as possible with the decisions being made about them. You may be surprised on the insight they bring.
Advocate – You are the best judge of what works for your child
• Believe in the importance of your message. When you believe your voice and message is important, others will, too.
Information – Information is powerful
• Educate yourself about your rights and your child’s rights at the school level
Self-care – One day at a time
• When you take time to restore your resources, you will be better able to advocate for your child. Explore exercise, relaxation or yoga, try to make time for a walk, read a book or sit in a coffee shop. These are just a few ways that you can take a bit of time out for YOU!
Understand – Treat mental illness as you would any other illness
• Mental illness requires just as much support and understanding as any other illness.