Clinic consultation

clinic warns of back-to-school stress |

Back to school is a time of stress and anxiety for children of all ages, often leading to increased in adolescent and adolescent suicides, according to a licensed clinical social worker at Evolve Counseling and Behavioral Health with offices in Phoenix and Gilbert.

According to the CDC, the suicide rate among 10 to 14 year olds has more than doubled since 2007.

A freshman at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale died by suicide with a drug overdose the last weekend in July and was taken off life support on August 1.

“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among school-aged children over 10 and the second leading cause, behind accidents, among those over 15,” said Evolve social worker Michael Klinkner.

“Although the children are resilient, the last few years have been very difficult. Between the global pandemic, the increase in school shootings and the continued negative impact of social media, times are tough for children and their parents who are not equipped to handle this level of ongoing crisis.

A spokeswoman for Evolve said a study by the American Psychological Association found that teenagers are the most stressed and anxious people in the United States. She also revealed that 83% of children cite school as the main cause of their stress and that during the school year, 27% said they experienced “extreme stress” compared to 13% who said it during the school year. the summer.

Klinkner and his team at Evolve Counseling offer Valley parents the opportunity to augment the tools in their parenting toolbox through a five-week workshop called Parenting Evolved.

The program consists of five weekly 90-minute group classes where trained counselors provide an understanding of different parenting styles, changes in the brain during development, tangible ways to strengthen the parent-child relationship as well as effective methods for increase compliance and successfully change behaviors. .

“Children today suffer from anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies – far more so than when we were kids,” Klinkner added. “We need to cultivate strategies to give our children a safe space to share their feelings and recognize that anxiety is normal. It’s also essential to give our children coping strategies to tap into when they feel overwhelmed.

Klinkner gives some tips and advice on how best to support students as they return to class: communicate openly and honestly; participate in school activities and help with homework; volunteering at school and with sports and leisure activities; communicate regularly with teachers, administrators and coaches about your child’s well-being and emotional needs; encourage your child to make healthy decisions; spend quality time with your child to strengthen bonds.

For more information on Parenting Evolved workshops:

Evolve Counseling and Behavioral Health Services offers individual counseling, couple counseling, family counseling, teen counseling, and child counseling. His Gilbert office is at 1206 E. Warner Road.