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Welcome to the New SAY Connect!


We've said goodbye to Summer and hello to the 2020-21 school year!  Students will face a lot of new challenges this year - meeting new teachers and connecting with their classmates, managing online learning schedules, staying active in their favorite pastimes...

We've redesigned SAY Connect to better utilize the resources that SAY offers in schools.  Look for news, articles and advice from our team of licensed counselors, community partners, and fellow mental and behavioral health service providers.  

SAY school-based services are offered for free in the following school districts: Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Mayfield, Orange, Shaker Heights, and Solon.
Everything will be ok in the end.
If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.
There's No Right or Wrong When Choosing a Learning Model for Your Child

Whether virtual, in person or hybrid, returning to school this year looks and feels very different for students, parents and school personnel. While there is no lack of information for parents to consider, there is also no absolute right or wrong decision when choosing a learning model for your child. What works for one family or child is not necessarily what works for another. As a parent, there is a lot of pressure and responsibility in trying to decide what is right for you and your family, and navigating all of the information can be exhausting.
 
Here are a few helpful thoughts to keep in mind:
 
Manage what you can and let go of what you cannot.  One thing you can manage is the amount of information you take in. There is an unlimited amount of information available, much of it factual and some of it not so accurate. Too much of anything is not healthy, and that is true for the news as well. Set limits for yourself and your children on news. Try balancing time spent taking in news with time spent doing something enjoyable.
 
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We are all doing the best we can and each option comes with its own set of risks and benefits. Undoubtedly mistakes will be made along the way. It is through these mistakes that we learn and become stronger. Feeling guilty, second guessing ourselves or beating ourselves up does not help anyone.
 
Self-care and self-compassion are more important now than ever. Self-care is the act of taking care of your basic needs, while self-compassion is the act of being warm and understanding towards ourselves. These two concepts must be considered essential, just like the basic needs of food and shelter and should become a part of our daily routine.
 
Lastly, the one thing that we know for sure about this school year is that it is uncertain. We know there will be unexpected twists and turns, and we need to do our best to take it one day at a time.
 
 
Suicide Prevention and Awareness

Suicide prevention and awareness efforts this year are more important than ever. The Cuyahoga County ADAMHS board has gathered resources for parents, professionals, and young people to identify warning signs of suicide, help connect with mental health and other prevention resources, and share their stories and experiences.  
 
One way you can get involved with suicide prevention is by sharing #BeThe1To messages. #BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message to help spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope. For more information and to download campaign materials, click here.
 
Finally, please keep in mind the impact isolation is having on many individuals during the pandemic, especially on older adults. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center just released several new publications, including information sheets on older adults and mental health.
 
Find shareable materials here. Join in on the fun and submit your own #ItsOkTo image here. 
 
Ohio Suicide Prevention's new back-to-school campaign, #ItsOkTo​ ​not ​be OK, is an effort to help raise awareness of anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide during the current global pandemic. Daily activities can be more challenging. Social distancing can make us feel more alone. The unknown future is hard to understand, and that's OK.
 
#ItsOkTo not be Ok. You’re not alone. If you’re having anxiety about going back to school, it’s Ok. Help is here 24/7. Call 1-800-273-8255 Or Text “4HOPE” to 741-741 to speak to a trained crisis professional. Visit https://www.ohiospf.org/
Share With Your Teen
Suicide Warning Signs from YouMatter.org

Our young people are often on the front lines of suicide prevention for their peers.  This article for teens from YouMatter.org lists common warning signs to help them identify when a friend is at risk.  

https://youmatter.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/issues/suicide/
 

What are the warning signs?

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
SAY Virtual Forum Replay
It's Okay to Not Be Okay with Katie Kurtz

In July, SAY hosted a Virtual Forum for parents and professionals on the topic of resilience, trauma and stress, and how you can help yourself and the young people in your life build personal resilience.  Hosted by Katie Kurtz (Resilience Educator & Consultant, MetroHealth System), this presentation is available for replay.  Follow the link below to watch and learn!
 
Send Us a Message
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Resources
Agency Partner Contact Information
Homeless and Missing Youth Programs of Bellefaire JCB 216-570-8010
FrontLine Service Mobile Crisis hotline 216-623-6888
Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services 216-696-KIDS (5437)
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center 216-619-6192, 440-423-2020
Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center 216-391-HELP (4357)
SAY Director
Chris Ruma-Cullen
cullenc@bellefairejcb.org


Shaker Heights High School / Mayfield High School / SAY Coalition Coordinator
Nancy Schaumburg
schaumburgn@bellefairejcb.org


Orange High School
Jessica Vendetti
vendittij@bellefairejcb.org


Solon Middle School
Cindy Johnson
johnsoncy@bellefairejcb.org


Chagrin Falls High School
Tania Gordon
gordont@bellefairejcb.org


Beachwood Middle and High School
Heidi Tolchinsky
tolchinskyh@bellefairejcb.org

Monticello Middle School
Shavaun Tucker
tuckers@bellefairejcb.org
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