Counselors help local parents help their students

Administrators at Heath Middle School set up an after-hour meeting to give parents the chance to hear from experts about “Understanding Your Teen.”

The primary focus was on self-harm, understanding why some students try it, and why some feel like they need it. LaMonica Brown from Four Rivers Behavioral Health told parents that recognizing your children are hurting themselves may be a tough discovery, but the hardest part may be the long recovery. 

Brown said it’s not easy, and many times it takes swapping a self-harming behavior with a less destructive behavior. Ultimately, she said, people who self harm need to learn coping skills so they know how to manage certain feelings and situations. 

Pamela Sloan with Sloan Counseling told the group that cutting is not something new and something that is in every community and school. She said it may seem more prevalent now, but that might be because parents and teachers are becoming more aware of it. She said parents have to have an open line of communication, but be ready to not over-react when they get truthful answers to the hard questions. 

“Many times we hear them, but we don’t listen to them,” Sloan said. “I think a lot of times, kids just want to be heard. They want to have a voice.”

For more information on self-harming behaviors and how to find safer solutions, click here, or click here

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