There are certainly challenging times for every person as they travel through life, but it is most difficult for adolescents who are learning, growing, and forming their long-term attitudes, beliefs, and dispositions.  Spring appears to be a difficult time of year for adolescents.  We are kind of in the “dog days” of the school year and many relationships are formed, and/or perhaps damaged, as the year progresses.  All of these variables impact the emotional health of our students. As parents and adults working with adolescents, we can be critical to guiding and supporting these students through this part of their lives.

Being a teenager today is extremely difficult, in my mind–probably more difficult than when most of the moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas of today grew up.  If I could point to one reason for this more complex time in their lives, it would be the introduction of social media, which is here to stay, but needs to be managed in a positive way.  Still, teenagers most typically want to belong and are trying to handle expectations from home, school, a job, a coach, and/or experiencing deep disappointment for the first time. Teenagers may have an initial vision in their mind of what they believe their life should look like and can quickly become discouraged as they progress through high school and begin to face their first life challenges….not to mention the cultural pressures that are inside each high school, circle of friends, town, and within social media.

My blog today is to share additional resources for parents and students.  While we strive to form meaningful relationships with students, our training and our role is focused on educating students. We are professionally trained from an educational perspective rather than a mental health perspective, which is why it is important to have these additional resources available to you outside of the school setting.  These resources are listed below, but are also on our website under the tab “Family Resources” at both the Wapakoneta High School and the wapak.org web addresses. I encourage you to become familiar with them if needed.

State and National Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  

1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line:

Text your message to: 741-741

Local Resources:

If you are in crisis or need assistance including suicide prevention, call 1-800-567-4673 (Hope) or text to 741741

Summary of Programs from the local Mental Health Board can be found:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/803dbd_168cd978bafa463d86503b948ff9c3e1.pdf

Youth Mental Health Agency:

http://www.frcohio.com/

Adult Mental Health Agency:

http://www.colemanservices.org/

Sometimes, as parents, we need additional help. I hope you find these resources beneficial during those times.

Keith Horner, Superintendent

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