Back-to-school Challenges: Supporting Children, Families, Schools

There is a lot of uncertainty about what going back to school will look like during COVID-19. Many parents feel on edge, children are anxious, daily lives have been disrupted and there are big questions to consider regarding balancing the learning, social and safety needs of children when they do return to school.

One thing is clear, behavioral health/emotional support will be important for children, parents, families and school staff as well. The Center for Life Management (CLM) remains available to address a wide range of mental health needs of students and staff. Schools will need to be prepared to provide mental health support to any students struggling with stress related to the pandemic and recognize students who show signs of anxiety, distress and/or depression. Schools are important in helping to identify and refer students with concerning behaviors or suicidal thoughts so they get the mental health support they need.

CLM remains available to provide comprehensive mental health services for children, adolescents and families with in-office appointments as well as via phone/video telehealth appointments. CLM Emergency Services are available 24/7 via phone or video telehealth support and Walk-in Crisis Assessments are available Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm at our Derry office. To reach Emergency Services call 603-434-1577, option 1.

Our Children’s team continues to provide a range of services including: individual, group and family therapy; medication evaluation and management; case management; community and functional support services. Additionally, CLM clinicians are trained in MATCH (Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems) as well as RENEW a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Our staff includes several Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (LADAC) available to address problems with substance misuse. The Young Adult Program (YAP) is designed to meet the needs of young adults (ages 18-24) who are struggling with the transition to adulthood, coping with existing mental health concerns, setting and attaining employment or other future life goals.

Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may not feel like normal – at least for a while. But CLM is here to provide essential mental health support for the communities we serve.