Easy but Important Ways to Support Mental Health Awareness Month

IUSD Supports Mental Health Awareness Month Graphic

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, IUSD joins millions throughout the country to raise awareness about this important topic.  Positive mental health and wellness is an essential component to lifelong success and happiness.  To better promote, communicate and link students and families to District mental health and wellness services and resources, IUSD launched the Speak Up, We Care program in early 2018. 

For more information about this program, visit iusd.org/wecare and click here for a brief two-minute video, which encourages IUSD students to Speak Up for themselves and others.  Also, below are helpful tips from each of this year’s three Speak Up themes.

Link Up
By encouraging students to Link Up, we can help them build connections, which are essential for lifelong happiness and success, become a part of their community, and have a sense of belonging.

What you can do to help your child “Link Up”

  • Encourage your child to participate in school and/or community activities that interest him or her such as music, sports, e-sports, art, dance, clubs, video production, engineering, or volunteering. 
  • After school programs through the Irvine Public Schools Foundation or the City of Irvine are also great options. 
  • Talk with your child about resources on campus, including Elementary Resource Counseling Specialists, Guidance Assistants, School Nurses, School Counselors, Wellness Coordinators, School Psychologists, Project Success, Coaches, and School Resource Officers.
  • And don’t forget the importance of family time.  Spending quality time together can result in stronger emotional bonds between family members, better communication and increased self-esteem. 

Be Well
Be well highlights the importance of wellness as a pathway to building resilience and enabling students to thrive.  To achieve optimal wellness, the three key interconnected areas of wellness include Social/Community, Physical/Nutritional and Mental/Emotional. 

What you can do to help your child “Be Well”

  • Utilize the suggestions from Link Up to help your child develop a sense of belonging and community.
  • Use the “Wellness Balance Tool” (copy and keep the tool on your Google My Drive), which enables you to see your child’s daily schedule by hour.  This will help you and your child understand how he or she is spending their day, including school, family time, extra-curricular activities and sleep.  By filling out this tool, you will be able to engage your child in identifying and developing strategies on how to make adjustments.
  • Watch this "Just Breathe" video with your child and discuss how taking deep breaths can help them focus.
  • Consider downloading the free version of the Calm app to guide you with relaxation techniques.  
  • Connect with friends, family, and community through “fun” activities.
  • As a parent, it is also important to remember to take care of yourself.  Use the Committing to Self-care Worksheet so that you can model self-care for your child.
  • Try a mindful practice yourself and share it with your child. 
  • Consider enjoying the many amenities and parks Irvine has to offer. 
  • Use “100 Things to Do This Summer” to help brainstorm fun activities or check out the City’s summer camps and programs

Be Kind
Be Kind, builds on our first theme of Link Up and encourages students to build meaningful connections.

What you can do to help your child “Be Kind”

  • Encourage your child to engage in and demonstrate kindness through words and actions. You and your child can choose to participate in adding to Orange County’s One Billion Acts of Kindness Campaign.
  • Encourage your child to show himself or herself kindness, including fostering growth mindset and intellectual risk taking
  • Encourage your child to show empathy. Before having this conversation, parents or adults can watch the following video, which explains the difference between sympathy and empathy: Brene Brown on Empathy vs. Sympathy.
  • Encourage your child to embrace the differences and diversity of others by accepting them as human beings without judgment.