Parent Alert March 2023

February was Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) was held throughout the month of February as a way to bring together teens and those who support them in a national effort to raise awareness to teen dating violence. Organizations and schools across the country combine efforts every year to create a movement of passionate, informed individuals making a difference.

It is hard to see a friend or family member experience abuse.  You care about them, and you want to support them in the best way possible.  Relationship abuse is a tough subject to talk about and it can be hard to know how to start conversations about the abuse. Download Love Is Respect’s Parent Discussion Guide on youth healthy relationships to find out ways you can facilitate more conversations with teens in your life. You play a pivotal role in modeling healthy relationship behavior. Youth want and crave our connection and support.

February may be over, but that does not meant that you have to wait until next year to begin having these conversations.  Follow the links below for more information on teen dating violence and healthy relationships as well as some activities that will be useful when you are having a conversation.


Prevention Highlight of the Month:
President Biden Speaks About Prevention Efforts During the 2023 State of the Union Address

President Biden focused on mental health and substance use during the State of the Union Address this year.  These topics have captured public attention over the past few years with the COVID-19 pandemic showing us just how prevalent mental health and substance use challenges are.  There is no solution that can address these issues once and for all, but President Biden's administration has developed strategies to address each of these concerns.

Mental health is an important part of the administration's agenda because data shows that 40% of American adults report symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the percentage of children and adolescents experiencing these mental health concerns continues to rise.  Here are some ways the Biden administration plans to address mental health concerns:

  • Create better safeguards for social media such as no targeted advertising online for youth, and strengthening data privacy.
  • Improve school-based mental health treatment
  • Prioritize research that addresses the national mental health crisis

President Biden focused on substance use prevention by sharing data about fentanyl trafficking, plans on how to address overdose and poisoning deaths, and how to expand access to evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery.  Here are some of the ways the president plans on continuing efforts to keep our communities safe from substances:

  • Work with international partners to disrupt the global fentanyl production and supply chain.
  • Work with states on making naloxone more readily available in every community by offering assistance in using existing funding, and provide training and resources on using and distributing naloxone.
  • Ensure that every jail and prison in the country can provide treatment for substance use disorder.

Please visit the link below to learn more about these efforts, and to learn about other plans the administration has to address mental health and substance use in our country.

FACT SHEET: In State of the Union, President Biden to Outline Vision to Advance Progress on Unity Agenda in Year Ahead

World Teen Mental Wellness Day

March 2nd was World Teen Mental Wellness Day.  This day is observed around the world, and is meant to raise awareness of the mental health struggles teenagers deal with.  Anxiety and depression are the main mental health challenges that teenagers face.  There are multiple reasons teenagers face these challenges, and it is important to be aware of those reasons so you can be better prepared to help struggling teens.  One way to help those with mental health concerns is to learn how to have a conversation with them about the challenges they are facing.

These conversations can be difficult, but just showing a teen that you are there for them can be very helpful.  Some tips on how to have a conversation include taking their concerns seriously, listening non-judgmentally, and asking what your teenager needs.  Check out this link to learn more about having a healthy conversation about mental health.

Mental health awareness is important at all stages of life, but teen mental wellness is vitally important.  One of the many reasons for why teen mental wellness is important is because the CDC cites mental health issues as one of the risk factors for high-risk substance use.  Teenagers feel a lot of pressure from school, family, and friends, and some teenagers will turn to substances to help them deal with these pressures.  The use of substances at an early age creates an increased chance of developing substance use disorder later in life.  Please visit the links below to learn more about mental health, substance use disorder, and how you can help support teens.

Thank you for being a vital part of our community!
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