SAN ANTONIO – To bring attention towards mental health awareness in children, KSAT Community is highlighting the Clarity Child Guidance Center.
Clarity Child Guidance Center is the only nonprofit in South Texas providing a continuum of mental health care for children, ages 3-17 and their families.
Clarity CGC treats children and adolescents who are experiencing a range of emotional, mental, and behavioral illnesses from ADHD and anxiety to suicidal ideation, bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia.
In 2019, the center provided services for 9,145 children and their families. Clarity CGC offers the region’s largest concentration of child and adolescent psychiatrists, with its onsite affiliations with Southwest Psychiatric Physicians, UT Health San Antonio and Baylor College of Medicine.
Clarity CGC serves children in need, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
Clarity offers a large spectrum of services to parents of children with mental health illnesses (or other adults who interact with children such as teachers, grandparents, childcare providers, clergy, school counselors, coaches, pediatricians, etc.), from a plethora of free advice on its new website via blogs and podcasts to CEU workshops.
Medical services range from day treatment to crisis services in its stand-alone hospital in its 8-acre campus in the medical center.
For those that are interested in learning more about mental health in children, Claritycon is an annual summit on children’s mental health, with wonderful speakers that are experts in the field.
Tickets are still available for the July 23 session from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. which will cover trauma, neglect, bullying, abuse, anxiety, discipline and depression from six children’s mental health experts, led by keynote speaker Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky, founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute. Click here to get tickets.
Advice from psychologists for families as we come out of the COVID-19 crisis
Fight the fears
Check your own anxiety levels, share your concerns with someone you trust and find a regular calming practice (mindfulness meditation, silent prayer, etc.).
Listen to your children
Allow kids to express their emotions and accept them, practice active listening, remember that little kids might act out feelings instead of verbalizing them and reassure them that their emotions are appropriate.
Be flexible with yourself, your spouse/partner and children
Remember that no one is doing this perfectly, allow your family to try, fail, and try again, focus on reinforcing positive actions and redirect other behaviors gently.
Strengthen the bond with your spouse/partner or other supportive adults
Don’t do this alone, find strength in unity, express your feelings appropriately, plan stress-revealing activities, limit your exposure to the news and social media and maintain a sense of routine and continuity.
Help kids become independent
Let kids participate in helping the family function with age-appropriate chores and practice key community living skills (picking up toys, taking out the trash).
Find ways to feel productive outside of work and connected outside of social interactions, be proactive in scheduling value-based activities, write cards to isolated people or prepare food for an older neighbor.
Plan social connections
Get creative with safe ways to connect with others, roller-skating outside, virtual family reunions.
Be collaborative with your kids
Hold family meetings to create a sense of connection and teamwork, brainstorm activities, schedules and budgeting opportunities with the whole family.
Have a schedule
Make sure kids know what to expect with structure and routine, check how the schedule is working regularly and adjust the plan based on feedback and changing needs.
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If you would like to donate to the Clarity Child Guidance Center or would like to learn more, click here.
KSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.