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For Immediate Emergencies, call 911

To Help Yourself, or a Friend you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or
text "CONNECT" to 85511


Dear YHS Families & Teachers & Staff, and Any Others who Are Interested,

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month (May 2022), but recognizing that the need exists all year, we hope you find the information and resources below helpful. We make no claim that this collection is complete by any means, but we hope that it is useful!

We also plan to post more of our own event videos by the end of June 2022.

Please feel free to share with others. 

YHS PTA 2021-22 Executive Board

The information and resources listed herein are curated from a variety of organizations and sources. If you identify anything that should be updated and revised, please email

Looking for or know someone who is looking for support? Check Out These Free Resources

Family Support Groups Found Here
 Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth & Families 

Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping

In addition, after the unimaginable events in Uvalde, TX, we would like to re-share the following resources for helping your children through times like this:
For more, see our section below, HOW DO WE DEAL WITH SCHOOL SHOOTINGS?

Resource Toolkits

 Content Republished from Safe and Sound Schools


Supporting Children and Students


After high-profile incidents of violence, it's common for children and students to seek comfort from caregivers and educators. Resources listed in this toolkit include tips on how to talk to children about traumatic events, suggestions for reassuring safety, and age-related reactions to traumatic events.

View Toolkit

Supporting Children and Students

Supporting Recovery


Critical incidents have the potential to affect a child's sense of safety and security. Resources in this toolkit will help school crisis teams and school personnel support their communities in the aftermath of a crisis, in the short-term and over the long-term. Explore resources for responding and coping after mass violence and learn about support resources for caregivers and school personnel.

View Toolkit

Supporting Recovery

Planning and Preparedness


As many schools look to re-evaluate their school safety plans and practices, we've compiled a list of guides and resources schools can refer to. Resources listed in this toolkit include best practices and considerations, inclusive planning to meet the needs of individuals with special needs, and comprehensive school safety planning and development.

View Toolkit

Planning and Prep

Best Meditation Apps

(Source: )

Previously Presented YHS PTA Sponsored Webinars:

(This section to be updated with more 2021-22 resources by June 30, 2022)
Promoting Resilience and Mental Wellness in Teens Through Social Emotional Learning   SlidesCalming Room
Student Stress and Mental Health   slidesVideo
Student Mental Wellness: Addressing School Stress, Depression and Anxiety   Excerpted comments from chatVideoslides
Student Stress and Mental Health Presentation   SlidesInformation about the event
Student Mental Wellness   Video

Resources For Immediate Response

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Disaster Distress Helpline
The national Disaster Distress Helpline is available for anyone experiencing emotional #distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call or text 1-800-985-5990 to be connected to a trained, caring counselor, 24/7/365.

Crisis Text Line
Text MHA to 741741 and you’ll be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line provides free, text-based support 24/7.

The Trevor Project
Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678. A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.

Trans Lifeline
Dial 877-565-8860 for US and 877-330-6366 for Canada. Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers.

Dial 2-1-1
If you need assistance finding food, paying for housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, visit or dial 211 to speak to someone who can help. Run by the United Way.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
For any victims and survivors who need support, call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto or text LOVEIS to 22522.

StrongHearts Native Helpline 
Call 1-844-762-8483. The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally-appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. 

The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline

Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Caregiver Help Desk
Contact Caregiver Action Network's Care Support Team by dialing 855-227-3640. Staffed by caregiving experts, the Help Desk helps you find the right information you need to help you navigate your complex caregiving challenges. Caregiving experts are available 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM ET.

The Partnership for Drug-free Kids Helpline
Call 1-855-378-4373 if you are having difficulty accessing support for your family, or a loved one struggling with addiction faces care or treatment challenges resulting from COVID-19 circumstances, the Partnership for Drug-free Kids' specialists can guide you. Support is available in English and Spanish, from 9:00 am -midnight ET weekdays and noon-5:00pm ET on weekends. 

Physician Support Line
The Physician Support Line is available at 1-888-409-0141 every day from 8:00 AM - 1:00 AM ET. Physician Support Line is a national, free, and confidential support line service made up of 600+ volunteer psychiatrists to provide peer support for other physicians and American medical students.


Mental Health & Wellness Resources

APS High School Student Mental Health & Wellness Needs & Concerns (Video of Public Presentation, April 25, 2022, by of Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth & Families Youth Mental Health & Wellness Committee; Co-chaired by Alicia Guajardo & Judy Hadden)

APCYF Youth Mental Health and Wellness Guide (provided by Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth & Families; scroll down for multiple links including General Information about Youth Mental Wellness Guide and other resources); also see APCYF Resources and Info Page 

APS Middle School Student Mental Health and Wellness Needs and Concerns;   Hear from APS middle school counseling, psychologist and social work staff on the mental health concerns they're seeing among our 6th - 8th graders, what they're doing to assist our students and their families, and what we can do to help  (Video of Public Presentation, March 21, 2022, by of Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth & Families Youth Mental Health & Wellness Committee; Co-chaired by Alicia Guajardo & Judy Hadden)

YHS PTA Resources for Families and Students:
APS Office of Student Services
(Provides school psychologists, social workers, and counselors to all APS schools).  
Monthly Student Services Newsletters
Programs & Services:  Mental Health ResourcesMental Health Services (Services in Schools, Videos, Publications, Resources); Bully Prevention ; The Whole Child and Bullying PreventionBullying Prevention Contact Person (Counseling Supervisor and each School Counselor); Psychological Services (with contacts for each school); FERPA (Student Records & Privacy); Substance Abuse PreventionSubstance Abuse Counselors & Contact Info (YHS:
Kim Chisolm, 703-228-2541 (Mon - Thurs)Substance Abuse Resources.  Programs & Services Sections also on Homelessness, Residency, School Health Services, School Social Workers/Visiting Teachers, Section 504, and Student Records/Transcripts

APS Special Education Parent Resource Center
Numerous resources, info, events, and newsletter.  Much of the PRC's info is applicable and useful for families well beyond those with students who have identified Special Education needs.

Arlington Tiered System of Support (ATSS)
Menu includes Programs/Services; Focus, Guiding Principles, and Benefits; Resources; FAQ; and Contact Info.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

NCLD Issue Brief:  Multi-Tier System of Support/Response to Intervention
Expanded Brochure Form

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and Northern Virginia Chapter

Virtual Support Groups with Peers, 18+

Family Support Groups:

Focus: Families and Friends of Individuals living with a mental health condition:
When: 4th Tuesday of each month; 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Contact: Debra Byrd at or Diann at
*Please contact Debra Byrd to confirm the meeting time before attending for the first time.

Focus: Parents of Older Teens and Young Adults ages 18-30:
​When: 3rd Sunday each month; 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Contact: Naomi Verdugo at (703) 862-9588 for more information on the virtual meetings.
*Please contact Naomi to receive the zoom link for this group meeting.

Focus: Parents of Children PK- 12th grade:
When:  Sundays, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
 May 22nd, Jun 5th &19th
Contact: Michelle Best
*Please contact Michelle to receive the zoom link for this group meeting.

The Kids Are NOT All Right - Pandemic stress has triggered an alarming increase in anxiety, depression and self harm among teens.  Now what do we do?; Arlington Magazine, May 3, 2022; list of resources at bottom of article, too.

New CDC Data Illuminate Youth Mental Health Threats during COVID-19 Pandemic, March 22, 2022

How to Help Teens Struggling with Mental Health, New York Times (Matt Richtel), April 23/27, 2022
Includes sections on:  
What are the signs of an adolescent struggling with anxiety or depression?  What’s the best way to start a discussion with an adolescent who may be struggling?  What can I do if I’m feeling suicidal?  I am concerned that a loved one is cutting or self-harming. What can I do?  Are there alternatives to self-harm that can help my child manage emotions?  How do I find the right doctor for my child? And how can I be sure my teenager has received the correct diagnosis? I’m concerned about medication for my teenager. What’s the best way to be sure that an adolescent is getting the right medication, in the right amount?  What else can you do to help with mental health?

Is Teen Mental Health in a State of Crisis?  New York Times (Callie Holtermann), May 5, 2022

Trauma and Teenagers -- Common Reactions

Better Health, Victoria, BC, Department of Health
Common reactions to trauma, normal healing process, potential breakdowns in communication & other pitfalls, tips, and when to seek help

Traumatic Events:  Supporting Children in the Days and Weeks Afterwards, the Australian Parenting Website

Helping Your Teen Cope with Traumatic Stress and Substance Abuse
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (Established by Congress in 2000, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is a unique collaboration of academic and community-based service centers whose mission is to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families across the United States.)

What is Resilience and Why Is It Important to Bounce Back?  Courtney E. Ackerman, MA, Positive Psychology

Mental Health Resources PDF/Google Doc; compiled and published by Teen Dreams Mental Health SDG Hub, of Global Co Lab Network (both of which have other resources as well)

Related to & Promoting Mental Wellness: 

Social Emotional Learning/SEL 

(a.k.a. Social Emotional & Academic Development, or SEAD;
similar also to Emotional Intelligence/EQ)

The Importance of Social Emotional Learning:
Our PTA refers to the set of competencies under the SEL umbrella as being among the "crucial life skills" needed for success and happiness in life, academically, socially, and professionally.  Social Emotional Learning (also known as Social Emotional & Academic Development, or SEAD), involves developing the skill sets around 5 identified core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making; a very similar collection of skills to those under the umbrella term of "Emotional Intelligence," perhaps a more familiar term to some of us, sometimes known as "EQ."   SEL/SEAD skills have been proven to be essential to academic, personal, social, and professional success, and their further development also helps to promote mental wellness.  For example, among other benefits, they help students to be ready to learn, able to work to their potential, able to deal with stress more effectively, able to make good decisions, and able to interact more successfully and happily with others, both in necessary classroom settings and social settings. 

Forbes is among many publications addressing how essential these skills are to success.  Foundational to this field, CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, developed what is considered the definitive list of 5 core competencies named above, and describes them further. (See more below, as well.)  In addition to the obvious benefits to students, there is some discussion of the benefits of SEL to teachers/school staff, and how SEL skills can be helpful in the teaching process, as well.


Supporting Students’ Social & Emotional Growth 
(Major YHS PTA 2022 Event)
Slides from March 21, 2022, Presentation from National Award-winning Teacher and Speaker, R. Keeth Matheny, as Part of Yorktown High School PTA’s Crucial Life Skills Series, including many embedded links to other helpful resources. 

Supporting Students as they Move into High School, College, Work, or Just the Next Big Year 
(Major YHS PTA 2022 Event)
Slides from April 27, 2022, Presentation from National Award-winning Teacher and Speaker, R. Keeth Matheny, as Part of Yorktown High School PTA’s Crucial Life Skills Series.  Includes embedded links to other resources!

The Social and Emotional Learning Podcast
Hosted by Kirstin Pickle, MSW.  Three helpful 14- to 18-minute podcasts that discuss research-based, practical skills for kids and adults that improve emotional health, communication, and connection in relationships.  This series focuses on communication skills that build and maintain friendships, a healthy identity, empathy, and regulation of behavior and emotions.  The skills discussed also build emotional intelligence (EQ), which researchers have found to determine happiness and success in life even more than IQ.  Developing these skills helps us have healthier relationships in our families, our communities, and with ourselves.

APS RESOURCES TO SUPPORT STUDENT SUCCESS AND WELL-BEING; a Social-Emotional Learning Reference Guide, from APS Student Services, based on information provided by CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.

Social and Emotional Learning and Young People's Futures, video that includes YHS PTA's featured speaker from last two years, Keeth Matheny; Slides from this event; and Resources provided from this event

Inclusive Social Emotional Learning for Students with Disabilities (Intro and menu with sections of Report to click on and read, including a parent advocacy toolkit and 7 Principles for Serving Students with Disabilities & Intersectional Identities through Social Emotional Learning Approaches)

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (SEL)

5-minute Video Introduction to SEL  and its 5 Core Competencies from CASEL

CASEL Fundamentals of SEL and CASEL SEL Framework below:
                  From CASEL Website:                                    

CASEL's Five

Core Competencies

Our PTA and many others identify these skills as part of a body of crucial life skills that all of our kids -- and adults -- need for personal, academic, and professional success and happiness.

Graphics Copied from
APS SEL Brochure,


A Social-Emotional Learning Reference Guide

March 2019




(2015 Arlington Developmental Asset Survey of 8th/10th/12th grade students)

Assorted Family Relationship

Communication Articles

8 Ways to Strengthen a Parent Child Relationship
By Paige Dorn, LCSW

Positive Relationships for Parents and Children:  How to Build them, the Australian Parenting Website

Tips for Communicating with your Teen
Child Mind Institute

How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen, by Megan Devine, LCPC 

How to Talk to Your Teen (When They Don't Want to Talk
Cleveland Clinic

5 Secrets for Communicating with Your Teenager, by Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC 

Teens:  Communicating & Relationships, the Australian Parenting Website, Multiple Articles from this link:  communicating -- active listening, negotiating, and conflict management; tough or tricky topics, violence, sex, and distressing news in the world

10 Questions to Ask Kids about their Day at School

63 Fun Questions to Get Your Kids Talking, Erinne Magee



How to Talk with our Kids about School Shootings and other Bad News, Mental Health Resources for Dealing with Trauma, and Gun Violence Prevention Resources for Families

Paraphrased from recent PTA Newsletter editions:
  • We've linked a number of potentially useful articles below.
  • Further below is info from National PTA, on advocating for gun violence prevention for any interested community members. 
  • The National PTA section also links to further resources for dealing with stress, grief, trauma, and/or loss (scroll down to below advocacy resources on the National PTA page to find these links).
National PTA's mission is "to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children."  There's nothing more basic in advocating for children than advocating that they live through their childhood, as you'll see from National PTA's piece, re-printed below.  We, in this PTA and all of Arlington's PTAs, also advocate for children's mental well-being, as we know many kids, and certainly our teens, cannot help but be aware of terrible events unfolding in the news, adding to the mental wellness challenges our kids face nowadays.

We know that the fall-out from recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, and other places across America, will sink in with different kids at different times and in different ways.  We would like to make sure that we provide some resources you can have at your fingertips, in case they might be helpful at any point -- both those resources provided by National PTA and those we've added. 

We've all hugged our children a bit more tightly over recent weeks, as we've thought of the unimaginable loss of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, and our hearts have broken for them and for their families.  We also appreciate even more the teachers and other school staff in our own lives, as we hear how the two teachers in Uvalde died attempting to protect their students.  To all parents/guardians, other family members, teachers, staff, and students in our community, we're continuing to send caring thoughts, and the hope that the coming days are kind to you.

Resources We Believe Might Be Useful in Talking with Kids, and Helping them Deal with School Shootings & Other Hard News in the World
En español   

Ways You Can Take Action On Gun Violence And Resources to Care for Your Mental Health

(Re-published from the National PTA)
National PTA President Anna King and National PTA President-Elect go live on Facebook to call for action on gun violence prevention

The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday is the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 children and adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Our association has challenged Congress over and over again to address this issue. Parents are scared to send their children to school, teachers are worried about how to protect their students, and our children are now singing new lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

  • "Lockdown, lockdown, Lock the door
  • "Shut the lights off, Say no more
  • "Go behind the desk and hide
  • "Wait until it's safe inside"

We are, as civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer once said, sick and tired of being sick and tired. But we are not going to go numb. PTA has been the conscience of this country on issues affecting children and youth for over 125 years, and we're never going to stop advocating for every child with one united voice.

We urge you to join us in demanding change—and to take care of yourself and your family, too. Read More from the National PTA.

Arlington has a wealth of community supports. Among them is the Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Care Bureau. This entity offers a range of programs and services to help Arlington residents overcome or better manage their mental health and substance abuse issues.  For more information on their services visit:

Other Resources:

·  Mental Health America
·  National Alliance on Mental Illness
·  National Association of School Psychologists
·  American Art Therapy Association
·  American Psychological Association
·  Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work
·  Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors
·  Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists 
·  Navigating A Mental Health Crisis
·  Arlington County Youth Mental Health & Wellness Guide

Adjacent and Related to Mental Wellness, and an Important Part of Brain Development:  


Executive Function Skills List
We understand that everyone can benefit from learning more about EF skills.  While deficits in these skills sometimes are associated with learning disabilities, research also shows that stress/trauma can inhibit both the development and exercise of these skills.  (
Here's a piece on stress for educators but useful for parents; here's the Harvard take, #3 Adverse Experiences....) 

It's also just helpful for all of us to conduct our own audits of these skills, since everyone's proficiency levels in different areas can vary, and further development of these skills can be helpful academically, professionally, and generally.  

The skills included under this umbrella can vary from organization to organization, so we're including several lists we find helpful:

National Center for Learning Disabilities, republished by by The Study Pro
Impulse Control
Emotional Control
Planning and Prioritizing Work
Working Memory
Task Initiation

From Harvard, (See more below)
"Scientists refer to these capacities as 
executive function and self-regulation—a set of skills that relies on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control....Positive Behaviors—Executive functions help children develop skills of
working toward goals,
critical thinking,
and being aware of our own emotions as well as those of others.."

From Understood:
"Executive function is responsible for many skills, including:
  • Paying attention
  • Organizing, planning, and prioritizing
  • Starting tasks and staying focused on them to completion
  • Understanding different points of view
  • Regulating emotions
  • Self-monitoring (keeping track of what you’re doing)...
...These skills include:
  • Attention
  • Inhibitory control
  • Working memory
  • Organization and planning
  • Concept formation
  • Set shifting (the ability to shift from one task to another)
  • Word and idea generation"

What is Executive Function?  From  
The lists above from Understood came from this piece, which also contains further explanation and numerous helpful links, including "deeper dive."

Harvard Center on the Developing Child

Brief Childhood Brain Development Video

In Brief: Executive Function

Executive Function & Self-regulation

How Children and Adults Can Build Core Capabilities for Life
(5.5-minute video and written piece)

Downloadable Activities Guides:  Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence, for Developing Executive Function (EF) & Self-regulation (SR) Skills by Age (scroll down through guides by age, from infant through teens)

Building the Core Skills Youth Need for Life: A Guide for Education and Social Service Practitioners (scroll to bottom of page, after brief description, to download guide)

Building the Skills Adults Need for Life: A Guide for Practitioners

From Building the Core Skills Youth Need for Life, A Guide for Education
and Social Service Practitioners

Harvard Center on the Developing Child

From YHS PTA's Past Speakers:

What are Executive Function Study Skills:  How to Be Your Child's Executive Function Cheerleader, Deborah Rosen, Founder & Owner; and Lindsey Thoms, M.Ed., Owner & Center Director; The Study Pro

Also by The Study Pro:  The Quick Guide to Understanding Executive Function and Study Skills
(The Study Pro lists these 8 skills:  inhibition, initiation, shifting, emotional control, working memory, planning and organization, materials organization, and self-monitoring.)

Educational Connections
Ann Dolin, Founder and Director

"Does My Child Need Executive Function Coaching?

Are you wondering if executive function coaching is right for your child? Take this quick quiz by answering "yes" or "no" to the following questions.

Does your child...

  • Regularly struggle to start tasks?
  • Keep a messy room and a disorganized backpack, locker, or desk?
  • Have difficulty following instructions, especially with many steps?
  • Fail to complete assignments unless he or she is constantly reminded?
  • Forget to turn in homework even when it's completed?
  • Lose things regularly, from coats to books?
  • Have difficulty planning long-term assignments?"

Copyright © 2023 Yorktown High School PTA, All rights reserved.

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