The mission of the UAS Counseling Department is to help support the personal, social, emotional, and academic development of our students so that they become productive citizens and lifelong learners.
In preparation for the start of the 2022-23 school year, the Counselors would like to remind the greater UAS community of the following:
- The health and well being of our school community is always at the forefront of any decisions we make at UAS. When preparing for in-classroom learning or virtual instruction, the mental wellness of our students, their families, and staff has been a strong consideration in the planning process.
- Experts are projecting that the mental health challenges affecting PreK-12th grade students due to the global pandemic will be of concern for at least two years, even after the health crisis is brought under control. This is due, in part, to families directly and indirectly affected by multiple years of increasing personal losses and instability. In addition, the loss of a stable and familiar educational routine has contributed to an increase in students’ emotional distress.
- Being surrounded by uncertainty and ongoing changes has created a sense of worry that many have not experienced before. Although things are continuing to improve, we may still be facing challenges due to what we have experienced. New and added stressors can take an emotional toll on children and adults as well. It is important to develop a self-care routine to help ourselves and our children to manage these challenges.
- Self-care is about integrating positive habits into your daily routine. We have listed some tips that may be helpful:
- Do not underestimate the power of having a routine set up. Remember children thrive on routine and sticking to one would greatly help you and will improve your child’s sense of self and confidence.
- Allow yourselves and your children time to reflect on your/their emotions. Self-care begins with a healthy conversation. It is important to help your child talk about their feelings. Let them know that it is important to acknowledge when they are struggling with their emotions so they can better manage those feelings and let them pass without lingering negativity. Journaling or doodling can also help to express thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way.
- Spend time outdoors when possible. Research has repeatedly shown a link between being outdoors and lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Time in nature also helps counteract the mood disturbances that can be caused by too much screen time. Doing regular outdoor activities as a family can help our children build this habit.
- Move and exercise regularly. Whether it’s sports, walks, swimming, running, or yoga, movement helps both physical and mental health. The type of activity doesn’t matter as long as it’s consistent.
- Focus on setting goals. Regular “me time” that focuses on the things that make you happy and healthy is an important part of a self-care routine.
If you or your child is still worried or anxious, be assured that this is a normal reaction. Continue having open conversations and providing care for your child. If you need additional support, please contact your child’s counselor.
Early Childhood – Nikhila Thomas: [email protected]
Elementary – Lilian El Haddad: [email protected]
Middle School – Feroza Syed : [email protected]
High School 11th/12th Grade – Deanne Byrd: [email protected]
Wellness Counselor – Paul Langan: [email protected]
Head Counselor – Jane Al Sabah: [email protected]