Prioritize Mental Health to Build Resiliency in Families

By FCPS & Fairfax County Government
May 18, 2021

This past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that tested our strength and resiliency. During this global pandemic, the major changes to the ways we live our lives have impacted our children and their relationships. Many families have experienced higher levels of stress and anxiety than ever before.

May is Mental Health Month and now more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. It is important to remember that working on mental health and finding tools that help each family member thrive takes time. It is necessary to focus on small changes each day that develop into long-term ongoing strategies.

Resources and Support for Families

The good news is that there are tools and resources available that can help parents support the well-being of themselves and their children. You can learn more about these and other Tools2Thrive, in the Mental Health Month toolkit. The Tools2Thrive are practical strategies for managing anger and frustration, recognizing when trauma may be affecting your mental health or the health of loved ones, challenging negative thinking patterns, and making time to take care of yourself. You can begin with these strategies:

  • Extending time and grace to yourself to think through and reflect on experiences.
  • Making time for self-care, because taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, and mentally contributes to how you feel. 
  • Regularly connecting with people who care about you.
  • Being intentional about doing things that bring you joy. 
  • Practicing to place a focus on what you can control so you can move forward. 
  • Using the free, confidential mental health assessment to begin healing.

Local Mental Health Resources
The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board offers resources for parents who are wondering if their child may need mental health support – including crisis response. Here are some additional resources to contact for help in support of a child’s mental health:

This article was originally posted as part of the Department of Family Services' Community Corner, where you will find timely information about upcoming events, parenting and wellness tips, programs and services, and more! DFS Parenting Education Programs are now enrolling for classes that begin in Spring 2021. Join them for more information about positive and effective ways parents can interact with and encourage their children at every age and stage of development. 

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, text HOME to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or call 911.

The Healthy Minds Blog shares information related to youth mental health and wellness for an audience of parent, educators and community-based providers. Articles include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school and in the community.

The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaborative project between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. It is part of the Healthy Minds Fairfax (see below) initiative, designed to support emotional wellness in youth and families.

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