Local Districts Give Students A Day Off For School Mental Health

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School districts, including Wake, Durham, Johnston and Cumberland counties, are giving students time off on Thursday to focus on their mental health.

“Just overwhelmed and stressed,” Harmonee Adams, a middle school student from Wake County, said of how she feels.

The 13-year-old said she was stressed out from all of her schoolwork. She hopes to rest on her day off for mental health from school.

“It’s good because with all the stress and all the work they put in,” Adams said.

Her mother agrees. Two of her five children are taking leave.

“It’s good for them to be able to just clear their heads of all their schoolwork,” she said. “I have the impression that sometimes children are overwhelmed by all the schoolwork assigned to them.”

ABC11 Conversation on Children’s Mental Health

Elizabeth Johnson plans to take her four children to the museum and park.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Johnson said. “I think kids have been through crazy amounts of stuff in recent years and I think we need to do more to help children’s mental health.”

Wake County Licensed Clinical Mental Health Advisor Renee Avis said there are many expectations of children these days and they need downtime and a break from everyday stress. to be in school. She recommends doing something unrelated to school tomorrow.

“So if the weather is nice, hit any of the greenways or parks, just get out there for a bit,” Avis said. “Going to the local museums in Raleigh or Durham could be something fun to do. Just stay home and watch a movie or play games.”

Annie Schmidt is the Executive Director of NAMI Wake County, which advocates for people living with mental health issues.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but especially for the kids, families and those who go to schools, they’ve been juggling a lot over the past 21 months,” Schmidt said. “And so I think that’s something that will be useful to everyone. And just take that extra time to breathe, to get through the rest of the year.”

She said parents should watch for these warning signs:

“If your child is a little more withdrawn, if he does not enjoy what he was doing before, if his eating or sleeping habits change, if he sleeps too much or too little, he eats a lot more or they don’t eat a lot Things you can see in their daily routine.

If you need mental health resources for your children, you can start by contacting your child’s school.

The Hope 4 NC helpline is another resource.

NAMI has a hotline.

Wake County also has a few resources.

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