August 4, 2020
By Azarel Madrigal-Chase
SLVBHG was fortunate to have funding to support students and families with much-needed school supplies and backpacks during this difficult time. SLVBHG staff are thankful to have an opportunity to provide assistance to many students and families. In the San Luis Valley, we have 2 of the poorest counties in Colorado. Supporting families with school supplies ensures that we are not only supporting the needs of families but giving each child supplies they need to be prepared to start the school year prepared. SLVBHG has packed 243 backpacks with supplies and clinicians are working with their clients to get them delivered. SLVBHG continues to look for opportunities to support students and schools. School supplies can be a burden on families, on average most parents spend over a $117 on back-to-school school supply necessities for each child. Many of the backpacks have already been delivered directly to the children and the excitement and smiles on their faces have been priceless. Parents who have picked up their child’s backpack have been so appreciative.
Going back to school can be stressful in the best of times, but it can be even more stressful after COVID-19. We hope that having the needed school supplies is one less worry for families this school year. Making sure that kids feel at ease about returning to school by having open conversations about what is worrying them and helping them to know that their feelings are normal. Parents and teachers don’t need to know the ins and outs of 100s of mental health disorders, knowing symptoms that kids may be experiencing that could be related to a mental health disorder is a good place to start and all that is needed to be able to seek help for the child. Encouraging your students to talk about mental health is the first step to helping them cope with strong emotions.
SLVBHG School-based mental health specialists and intensive case managers will continue to work with schools to support students in a variety of ways. All children have access to behavioral health services and many programs that SLVBHG offers. We encourage parents and school staff to reach out to SLVBHG to get connected to resources and services. Give us a call at 719-589-3671, visit our website www.slvbhg.org, follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @SLVBHG.