It never ceases to amaze me how quickly summer vacation transitions into back-to-school time. But here we are. It’s August, and the time when kids head back to class after summer break is upon us.
Back-to-school shopping checklists are furiously being written and hopefully checked off, and all the hustle and bustle of educational planning can be felt whirling through homes and schools.
But things have been different, and there’s no denying that. A bit of a shadow has been cast onto the back-to-school season. And it’s more than just from the pandemic. Of course, pandemic uncertainty remains. But that’s not all. There are skyrocketing gas prices and other financial concerns. The world is seeing another epidemic in the form of mass shootings. And of course there’s the ever-present threat of cyberbullying. There’s a lot of news circulating through TVs and devices — and frankly, a lot of it is bad.
Considering all of this, the state of mental health is a pressing concern that schools and families are facing during this back-to-school season. And it’s something we are addressing this month in the pages of our magazine.
Our main feature this month spotlights the large looming issue of anxiety in this year’s back-to-school season. Mental health experts address some of the big recent anxiety-inducing events that may be impacting families and children and practical ways to confront the fears and worry. It’s a must-read in our current world.
- Local Charity Foundation Owner Helps Immigrants and Refugees Assimilate Into Their New Communities
- Safety Measures to Make Sure Your Child is Safe While Playing Football
- Use Purposeful Language to Support Your Child’s Confidence and Self-Esteem
Another practical, helpful read this month is our interview with Orange County Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares, who details what to expect this school year as well as what districts and schools are doing to address the mental health situation families may be facing.
Family Wellness also tackles mental health in a proactive way. The second part of a three-part series, its focus this month is on how to help develop your children’s sense of self-worth through positive forms of communication. Mindfulness focuses on a very practical plan for back-to-school: goal-setting with the help of a sensory vision board.
Meanwhile Ask the Expert focuses on another part of the mind — traumatic brain injury. It addresses the important questions surrounding traumatic head injuries in high school football.
Of course Local Hero always helps keep things inspirational and this month is no different. Read about Meymuna Hussein-Cattan and how she creates a space for refugees through her Santa Ana-based organization, The Tiyya Foundation.
It’s that time of year for new beginnings and challenges. Keep optimism up and also remember that we’ve all experienced some big events lately, so be gentle with yourself and others.
By Jessica Peralta