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Heads Up Parents:  13 Reasons Why - Season Two Just Started

Last spring the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, captured the attention of youth globally and created countless discussions among teens and their families about suicide, mental health, bullying and more. Concerns were raised by mental health advocacy groups about whether the series presented risks to some viewers because of how the show addressed some of these important and complicated issues.  Read on on for a statement from experts  and this article.  More resources!
Health Body and a Healthy Mind
As summer approaches its a good time to raise awareness about the connection between physical and mental health. Two key messages:

(1) Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, an
(2) Mental illnesses are common and treatable.
A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as obesity, and other chronic health problems. Taking good care of your body is part of a smart approach to mental health. 
  • Physical activity is related to lower mood levels less anxiety, and fewer substance use disorders. 
  • Those who make regular physical activity part of their routines are less likely to have depression, panic disorders, and phobias.
  • For people with anxiety, exercise had similar effects to cognitive behavioral therapy in reducing symptoms.
  • Exercise also increases substances that play an important role in brain function including endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should have 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. 

Encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are age-appropriate, enjoyable, and that offer variety, to keep them wanting more. 

Prom: Make it a Night to Remember!


With prom season underway, here are safety tips.  This Safe Driving message created by youth in South County - the Drive Safe4Life media campaign!

Know Your Teen’s Plans

* Confirm your teen’s plans for before, during and after prom.
* Have your teen call or text if plans change.
* Confirm that before- and after-prom parties will have adult supervision and    confirm that alcohol and drugs will not be allowed.
* Make sure your teen’s phone is fully charged and get the phone number; also get a phone number for his/her date or friends.

Arrange Safe Transportation

* Avoid having your teen drive  whenever possible. Rent  a limo or bus, or arrange for a responsible adult to drive.
* If your teen is driving or going to the prom with friends, remind him/her not    to drink and drive and not to get into a car with anyone who has been drinking. Also remind them: buckle up, don’t speed  and never text while   driving.

Remind Teens to Celebrate Safely

* Discuss family rules and expectations as well as consequences.
* Remind your teen of the dangers of alcohol and other drug use. 
* Encourage your teen to report if others are involved in risky or dangerous behavior and to call 911 immediately if anyone loses consciousness.
* Make sure your child has someone to call if plans change or they need help.
Summer, Teens and Substance Use

With summer in full swing, it is the perfect time to speak with your teen about the negative effects of substance use. While you can’t be with your teen 24/7, you can monitor what your teen is doing and find activities such as camps, swim teams, summer jobs, etc., to fill the idle time. Most importantly, you can hit home the message that drugs will only ruin his or her summer fun! 
During the summer months first time drug use among teens is at its highest. Survey results from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal four startling statistics that every parent should know:
  • On an average summer day, about 11,000 youth will take their first drink of alcohol. Compare that to the academic year when each day approximately 8,000 teens take their first drink.
  • On a summer day, approximately 4,500 youth will smoke cigarettes or marijuana for the first time. 
  • Teens who drink and smoke report doing it more during the months of June and July.

To enjoy the summer, here are some positive, inexpensive and fun activities for teens and families:
Things to do!
Check out this great RI list!
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