Welcome to Our Mental Health Website
October is National Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Month
- 9 out of 10 people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18.
- People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older.
October was first declared as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in 2011. Since then, October has been a time to highlight the vital role of substance abuse prevention in both individual and community health has, to remember those who have lost their lives to substance abuse, to acknowledge those in recovery, as well as children, parents, family, and friends supporting them. LVJUSD is committed to supporting our students and families who struggle with these issues.
For many parents having their child return to school feels more significant this fall, with many schools opening for in-person learning following COVID-19 related closures or disruptions over the past 18 months. And while schools adapted to bring students back into the school building, parents and students had to navigate the challenges and emotions that accompany this transition.
As a parent, you may still be helping your child to process their feelings and concerns as they adjust to being back in school. By keeping the lines of communication open and giving them a safe space to share how they feel and ask any questions they may have, you will give your child the support they need to adjust to their new routine and thrive in the school environment throughout the year. SAMHSA has resources available to help parents, teachers, and schools navigate the transition back to the classroom.
Regular and open conversations with your child are beneficial any time of year and are an opportunity to address a variety of important issues. The month of October is recognized as National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month and is an opportunity to join a broader effort to reduce substance use among our Nation’s youth. As a parent you can make a real difference by talking with your child about these issues and keeping the lines of communication open for continued conversations. Although it may not always seem like it, children do hear the concerns of their parents and other adult role models, which is why it’s so important to discuss early and often the risks of using alcohol and other drugs.
Here are some resources to help adults start—and keep up—the conversation about the dangers of drinking alcohol and using other drugs at a young age:
- Talking to Kids About Alcohol and Other Drugs: 5 Conversation Goals
- Answering Your Child’s Tough Questions
- Talking with Your Child About Marijuana: Keeping Your Kids Safe (PDF | 1.9 MB)
- Talking with Your Child About Opioids: Keeping Your Kids Safe (PDF | 1.3 MB)
The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) is committed to supporting the mental health needs of our students. In partnership with mental health agencies in our community, we’re building a network of resources to ensure that our students have access to mental health information and supports. Our website is a comprehensive, curated mental health website for our students and families that includes contacts for our local mental health partners. In addition, this website includes definitions and warning signs, book recommendations from the Livermore Public Library, and videos chosen specifically to aid in opening dialogue and providing a path forward regarding mental health concerns.
Good mental health is critical to children’s success in school and life. Research demonstrates that students who are taught and learn social–emotional skills function better in all aspects of their lives. School climate, classroom behavior, on-task learning, academic achievement and students’ sense of connectedness and well-being all improve, which is why our Choose Love Program is such a valuable asset to our overall curriculum. Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness, but also encompasses social, emotional, and behavioral health and the ability to cope with life’s challenges. Left unmet, mental health problems are linked to costly negative outcomes such as academic and behavior problems, dropping out, and delinquency.
Source Credit: National Association of School Psychologists
Mental Health Awareness in Schools
According the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the start of many mental health conditions most often occurs in adolescence. Half of individuals living with mental illness experience onset by the age of 14. This number jumps to 75% by the age of 24. One in five youths live with a mental health condition, but less than half of these individuals receive needed services. Undiagnosed, untreated, or inadequately treated mental health conditions can affect a student’s ability to learn, grow, and develop.
Schools provide a unique opportunity to identify and support mental health needs by serving students where they already are. School personnel can play an important role in recognizing the early warning signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health condition and in linking students with effective services and supports.
Teachers, support staff, administrators, and parents throughout our district are being trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. This program helps adults identify the signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder and to learn the skills for connecting our students with supports and services.
Breaking the Stigma
Talking about Mental Health
Upcoming Events for Mental Health & Wellness Events
Mental Health & Safety Grants
LVJUSD and the City of Livermore were awarded nearly half a million dollars through three federal grants to address mental health and school safety in the District. Two of the grants, paid over three years, primarily focus on mental health awareness training (MHAT) and the third on school violence prevention. All three grants seek to support the health and safety of students through additional community resources, extensive training for staff and families, and the development of a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) - an expansion of services already provided by the District’s Crisis Team.
Through these grants, LVJUSD is developing a network of resources with community partners including Axis Community Health, Horizons Family Counseling, Hume Center, Kaiser Permanente, La Familia, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Tri-Valley. A coordinated partnership with these agencies establishes a link within the District between students in need and the services that will help them. These grants fund the training of staff and parents to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness in youth, and how to connect to the services and support they need.
This website is one of the many resources developed to support our students and families around mental health.