• Support Services

  • June 2023

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 6/1/2023
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  • Helpful Community Resources

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 6/1/2023

    Any SUSD family member in need of social/emotional assistance this summer, or anytime, is encouraged to reach out to Shannon Cronn, SUSD’s Director of Support Services.

    There are many resources available in our community, statewide and nationally, as well, that may be of help to you.  
    This is only a partial list, but these are the ones with which we are most familiar.

    Families can learn more about the participating agencies here.

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  • Summer Conversations

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 6/1/2023

    Summer is here.  As your communities celebrate the end of another school year and the start of summer, make sure to take advantage of this time by having conversations with young people about underage drinking and other drug use.

    Read the following tips from SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” Campaign

    Talking with Teens about Alcohol and Other Drugs: 5 Conversation Goals

    It’s never too late to start talking with your teen about the risks of underage drinking and other substance use. As teens get older, they make more decisions on their own, and also face more temptation and peer pressure. Though it may not seem like it, teens really do hear your concerns. It’s important you show that you care and continue having conversations with them about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, and why they shouldn’t use them.

    1. Show you disapprove of underage drinking and other drug misuse.
    Over 80 percent of young people ages 10–18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision whether to drink or not. Don’t assume they know how you feel about drinking and substance use. Send a clear and strong message that you disapprove of underage drinking and use or misuse of other drugs.

    2. Show you care about your teen’s health, wellness, and success.
    Young people are more likely to listen when they know you’re on their side. Reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink or use other drugs—because you want them to be happy and safe. The conversation will go a lot better if you’re open and show your concern for their well-being.

    3. Show you’re a good source of information about alcohol and other drugs.
    You want your teen to make informed decisions about alcohol and other drugs with reliable information about its dangers. You don’t want him or her to learn about alcohol and other drugs from unreliable sources. Establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.

    4. Show you’re paying attention and you will discourage risky behaviors.
    Young people are more likely to drink or use other drugs if they think no one will notice. Show that you’re aware of what your teen is up to, but do this in a subtle way and try not to pry. Ask about friends and plans because you care, not because you’re judging. You are more likely to have an open conversation.

    5. Build your teen’s skills and strategies for avoiding drinking and drug use.
    Even if you don’t think your child wants to drink or try other drugs, peer pressure is a powerful thing. Having a plan to avoid alcohol and drug use can help children make better choices. Talk with your children about what they would do if faced with a difficult decision about alcohol and drugs. Practice saying “no thanks” with them in a safe environment and keep it low-key. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Plan to check in frequently with quick chats and keep the lines of communication open.

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  • Strategies for a Successful Summer Break

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 6/1/2023

    Written by Beth Arky for Child Mind Institute

    Tips for managing your kids' downtime to help make it relaxing for everyone

    Kids do better with structure. That’s even more true for kids with emotional or developmental issues. Structure makes kids with anxiety, ADHD or autism feel safe and comfortable. So summer vacation is a challenge for these kids and their parents. But following some basic rules can make summer easier to handle and more fun for everyone.

    Keeping to your child’s usual bedtimes and mealtimes is important. Posting the day’s schedule helps kids move from one activity to another. Planning activities ahead of time, like going to the playground or pool every day, gives kids structure they can depend on. Then you can schedule other activities around that.

    Rules for behavior are important, too. It’s good to pick a few “good” behaviors you want your child to work on. You can reward kids for good behaviors with stickers or a special outing. And ignoring as many minor “bad” behaviors as you can teaches kids that acting out won’t get them what they want.

    Meet-ups and other online groups are a great way of connecting your child with other kids and families who might make good matches for playdates. Outdoor activities are important for kids. If day camp is an option, it can provide great structure and fun outdoor activities that keep kids from spending too much time in front of screens. If your kid has anxiety, it’s good to figure out what’s triggering it. Then you can take baby steps to make those fears less scary.

    Even if you do everything you can to prepare for summer, it’s normal for kids to act out more over vacation. That’s tiring for parents. It’s important to take care of yourself during the long summer break, too. Hiring a sitter for a few hours or asking family members to pitch can make a big difference.

    To read the full article, click here.


    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • May 2023

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/1/2023
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  • May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/1/2023

    Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949.  The goal is to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support the millions of people in the U.S. affected by mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

    • 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year.
      • This means that either you or someone you know has been impacted.
    • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

    This year, Mental Health Awareness Month will amplify the message, “More Than Enough.” According to NAMI, this campaign is a message for hope and inclusion. “All people, no matter where they are on their mental health journey, are deserving of support, resources, fulfillment and a community that cares.”

    Stigma often exists because of negative stereotypes or myths. For example, some people might believe that treatment does not help. However, mental health conditions, such as anxiety, are very treatable, but only 36% of people go to get help. Others believe that anxiety just happens, or that it is very uncommon. This, again, is untrue. Anxiety disorder it the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., and is caused by several factors, from brain activity, to genetics, to life events.

    Adapted from NAMI, “#morethanenough.”





    If you are in a mental health crisis, numerous resources are available to you. Please see below for a partial list of resources available in our community:

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  • Mental Health Matters: Tips for Parents

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/1/2023

    1. The first rule of caring for your child's emotional or behavior struggles is that there are no rules. Parenthood doesn’t come with a manual, and there will be a lot of trial and error as you figure out what works best to help your child.

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    2. Cover the basics. Before you dismiss your child's outburst as a lack of control, ask yourself if there is a simple explanation for what’s going on. Are they hungry or thirsty? Are they too hot or cold? Are they overstimulated? Did they get enough sleep? Are they feeling under the weather (i.e., colds, allergies, headaches, upset stomachs)?

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    3. Pick your battles. Ask yourself if this specific behavior is doing any harm, or if it’s just annoying—annoying probably isn’t worth arguing over. If you do get in an argument with your child, resist the urge to raise your voice. Be matter-of-fact and stand your ground.

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    4. Environment matters. Do your best to create a home that is low on stress, safe, and supportive. A “Mary Poppins”-type household would be great, but let’s get real. If you and your significant other get in a fight, keep it away from the kids. Give reasonable timelines for getting chores done. Praise your child for the things they do well and let them know that you love them.


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    5. Encourage communication. Let your child know that they can talk to you about their thoughts, feelings, or difficult situations they’re dealing with. When they do come to you, really listen to what they have to say. You may not agree or understand, but you need to accept that the difficulties they are having are very real to them. Think about things you struggled with when you were their age. Check out our mental health conversation starters.

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    6. Timing is everything. In stressful situations, allow your child some space and address issues later, when they have regained control over themselves; otherwise, you’re basically pouring gasoline on a fire.


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    7. Create calm. A child in crisis and out of control cannot rely on reason. Your gut reaction may be to panic or go into mama/papa bear mode, but they rely on you to help them regain a sense of calm and stability. Soften your voice and use short, clear directions: “Come with me.” “Sit down.” “Take a deep breath.” “Tell me what’s going on.”


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    8. Help them to help themselves. Check out Helpful vs Harmful--Ways to Manage Emotions for a breakdown of constructive ways to deal with feelings. It’s great for your child in the long-term and their teachers will also appreciate strong coping skills. Praise successes and use failures as learning opportunities. Ask questions like, “What can you do the next time you’re in this situation?” or “What made you feel better the last time you felt this way?”

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    9. Tackle troubling thoughts. Sometimes the brain can play tricks on us. We’ve all had something unsettling cross our minds or have assumed someone was mad at us when they weren’t. Break down problem thoughts and bring your child back to reality. For instance, if they think that a friend doesn’t like them anymore, ask them why they think that and if their friend did anything to make them think that way. Or if they are worried that you are going to get hurt in a car accident, remind them that you drive safely to and from work and/or school every day and that your car has airbags to help keep you safe. If there seems to be a bigger problem with anxiety or depression, take the Parent Screen at mhascreening.org to see if professional help may be needed.

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    10. Create routines. Routines give a sense of stability to children and teens, especially those who struggle with anxiety. Keep both bedtime and the morning in mind. The Sleep Foundation recommends 9-11 hours of sleep for children ages 6-13, and 8-10 hours of sleep each night for teens ages 14-17. Make sure that your morning routine includes a healthy, low-sugar breakfast, which keeps young people from getting tired in school and helps improve attention span.

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    11. Check your tone. You may find it tempting to blame problem behaviors on your child hanging out with the “wrong group of friends,” but if you use an accusatory tone, odds are your son or daughter will stop listening. Frame your approach from a place of care and concern, not anger.

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    12. Learn from other parents. Each state sponsors a Family-Run Organization to provide educational advocacy for youth with mental or behavioral health struggles. They have many tools, workshops and conferences to share with parents and caregivers on how to advocate for these young people. Find an organization in our state. MHA Affiliates also provide support, advocacy tools, and training for parents and caregivers. Find our local MHA here.

    Adapted from Red Flags, “Coping with Depression at Home.”


    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • April 2023

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2023
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  • April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2023

    Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads. While drivers texting behind the wheel tops what seems like an endless list of distractions, other risky actions include talking — whether it be on the phone or to others in the car, setting your navigation, adjusting what you’re listening to, drinking coffee, applying makeup, and more. By driving distracted, you’re robbing yourself of seconds that you may need to avoid a close call or deadly crash.

    In 2020, distracted driving killed 3,142 people
    Young drivers seem more prone to using their phones while driving. According to NHTSA research from 2017, drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers have since 2007. But make no mistake: It isn’t just young people who are driving distracted, since drivers in other age groups don’t lag far behind.

    April, which is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month, is a good time to regroup and take responsibility for the choices we make when we’re on the road. Follow these safety tips for a safe ride every time:

    • Need to send a text? Pull over and park your car in a safe location. Only then is it safe to send or read a text.
    • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
    • Do not scroll through apps, including social media, while driving. Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.


    Cari Fonseca of The Next Step Foundation began this foundation after her son, Brandon, had a terrible accident many years back. We were able to bring her to Chaparral High School last year, where she presented to the whole P.E. dept. Her presentation was so impactful that she is scheduled to return this year.

    We would like to get the Vow to Drive Sober presentation into many of our other schools, also!


    The Next Step Foundation

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  • National Stress Awareness Month

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2023
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