Page 1

FALL 2018


Where funding goes A quick breakdown of our $4.3 million budget serving 28,000 students

$2.5million $840k $640k 28 Wellness Coordinators, nurses, and counselors

Dear HSI Community,

K-5 P.E. programs Grants awarded to 29 in 12 RCSD schools community partners for schoolbased health programs

 PE+ program for grades K-5 in the Redwood

City School District I am pleased to introduce myself as the  Nutrition education Director of School Health for the Sequoia  The Parent Education Series Healthcare District (SHD). I am a retired  Health Connected sexual health curriculum pediatrician and served seven years as Wellness  The Neuroscience of Addiction curriculum Coordinator for the Sequoia Union High School  Substance use prevention resources District, My goal is to lead our wellness team,  CPR training for over 12,000 high school unifying our seven elementary school districts students and one high school district. Our team addresses common overarching health and Read ahead about one example of how we are safety objectives with a focus on prevention Initiating the Conversation through innovative and early intervention. programming and partnerships between your The Healthy Schools Initiative (HSI) was initially school district and our valuable partners. I look launched in 2010, and over the years has forward to future successes along with our become one of the SHD’s major investments in community’s ongoing support for the health of the community. With an annual HSI budget of our children. $4.3 million, SHD has partnered with our eight Sincerely, school districts to support key positions and programs such as:  Wellness Coordinators  School nurses  On-campus mental health counseling

Karen E. Li, MD Director of School Health

services (including StarVista, Acknowledge Alliance, and Adolescent Counseling Services)  The Green Folder Initiative (staff and parent mental health resource guides) 525 Veterans Blvd,

Redwood City, CA 94063

( 650)421-2155

Introducing the HSI Wellness Team

Elizabeth Boldt

Maynell Palmer

Kim Staff

Kristen Shima

Belmont Redwood-Shores School District

Las Lomitas Elementary School District

Menlo Park City School District

Portola Valley School District

Initiating the Conversation In many ways, we are unique in that we are

This fall, Sequoia Union High School District’s

one of the few healthcare districts in California Wellness Advisory Council (WAC), in to provide a comprehensive level of support to

partnership with SHD and community allies

local school districts through our Healthy

Parent Venture, CHC/PEN (Children’s Health

Schools Initiative.

Council/Parent Education Network) and Palo

One major theme for Healthy Schools Initiative programming over this past year was continuing or, in many cases, starting the conversation about youth mental health. HSIfunded Wellness Coordinators (pictured above) are leading the conversation in each of their

Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), launched evening community screenings of Angst, a documentary on anxiety. Each of the four comprehensive high schools also hosted daytime screenings for staff and students with a staff or student panel.

districts. We are pleased to welcome Javier

With an objective of furthering the

Gutierrez as the newest member to the team.

conversation at home, each of the Angst

The HSI Wellness Team meets monthly to work on shared objectives and collaborate on best practices. One over-arching objective this year is collecting mental health data so we can better assess the mental health needs of our students.

DID YOU KNOW? About 1 in 4 children experience clinical anxiety? Nearly one in three adolescents (31.9%) will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18.

screenings SHD provided Parent Green Folders, a resource guide for parents with a parent action plan to “See Something, Say Something, Do Something”. SHD is currently partnering on developing a Parent Green Folder app as well. You can view and download the Parent Green

Folder on 12% of California youth reported at least one major depressive episode in the past year? Adolescent girls are more than twice as likely to experience depression than boys, 15.9% vs 7.7%. Anxiety is a treatable illness?

Andrea Garen

Mindy Hill

Javier Gutierrez

Abbe Keane

Redwood City School District

San Carlos School District

Sequoia Union High School District

Woodside Elementary School District

Our students deserve to have a safe platform for conversations on difficult topics that are pertinent to them, one of which is the topic of substance abuse. SHD has also been instrumental in ensuring that students have access to innovative health curriculum such as the Neuroscience of Addiction (NOA), which is currently taught in the Sequoia Union High School District. Additionally, through partnerships with Breathe California and the Tobacco Education Coalition, we will be piloting a peer-to-peer drug education program between the high school and feeder

For more information about the film, visit: ANGST - Tools and Resources

school districts, San Carlos and Redwood City School District. Please look for an upcoming Public Service Announcement from the SHD on the topic of vaping.

Worried? Take our 2-minute anxiety quiz: Organizations

Child-Mind Institute- For Families Children's Health Council - Anxiety and Depression National Institute of Mental Health Anxiety and Depression Association of America


How to Help a Child Overcome School Refusal What to Do (and Not DO) When Children Are Anxious What Does Childhood Anxiety Look Like? Probably Not What You Think YA Fiction John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Understanding School Refusal What is school refusal? First and foremost, school refusal is a form of anxiety that demands treatment. School refusal is NOT a behavioral problem, nor is it the same as truancy (see chart below). You can’t discipline your child out of school refusal. School refusal peaks at several points of development: Kindergarten entry, between ages 7-9, and middle or high school entry. Boys and girls are equally affected.

By Psychology Today

What can parents do?     

Meet with the school counselor, teacher, and staff. Talk to your child about their reasons for not wanting to go to school. Highlight the positive aspects of school. staff Help your child build a support system. Contact your pediatrician for a referral to a therapist.

A Personal Story: Anxiety Hits Home

By a local parent

Sitting in the parking lot of our child’s school, I cried so hard it was a struggle to catch my breath. I had been holding it together for 45 minutes and then the dam broke. As my body shook and my heart sank, I called my husband for support. You see, our 11-year-old son refused to get out of the car and go to school. Extremely upset, he was screaming and crying for me to take him home. I would like to say that this was a one-off, an isolated event, but it wasn’t. It was probably day 8 of the 13 days he wouldn’t make it to school that semester. Two years ago, our son, starting 6th grade at a new school, suffered from “school refusal”(1) triggered by academic anxiety. What we went through I don’t wish on any family. I walked around each day with a pit in my stomach. It was so difficult to see my son in pain. Not wanting to get out of bed, he would hide under the covers. One morning our son locked himself in his

bedroom and texted me that he wasn’t going to school. My sister, who had come to help, took the doorknob off so we could get to him. While this was an extreme situation, it demonstrates the tough situations we faced. (Read the full article here)



Severe emotional stress about attending school: may include anxiety, temper tantrums, depression or somatic issues

Lack of excessive anxiety or fear about attending school

Parent are aware of the absence or the child convinces parents to allow him or her to stay home

Children often attempt to conceal their absence from parents

Absence of significant behavioral or antisocial problems

Frequent antisocial behavior, often in the company of antisocial peers

During school hours, the child stays home because it is safe

During school hours, the child is somewhere other than home

A willingness to do homework and complies by completing work at home

Lack of willingness to do schoolwork or meet academic expectations

Understanding Anxiety How do I know if my child’s anxiety is outside of the normal range? The difference between normal worry and an anxiety disorder is severity. Although feeling anxious is a natural reaction to a stressful or dangerous situation, a child may need help if their anxiety is out of proportion, if it persists, or if it interferes with their daily functioning and healthy development.

How can I help my child today? 

 

Try self-help methods and ways of relaxation, including breathing, music, meditating, yoga, and journaling. Talk with your child about feelings and fears which can help reduce them. Emphasize the positive aspects of school, such as playing at recess and seeing friends. Encourage hobbies and interests to help build self-confidence.

Interview with Dr. Annette Hwang Dr. Hwang has been a pediatrician for over twenty years. She is currently working at the Menlo Medical Clinic. I had the pleasure of speaking with her on the topic of child anxiety. Here is what she had to say:

Q: Are you seeing an increase in child anxiety? If so, why? A: Yes, I see more children suffering from anxiety and at younger ages. It is hard to pinpoint one specific cause. Reasons include: social media,

school pressure, college expectations, intensive after school activities, and living in Silicon Valley.

Q: What are the signs parents should be aware of? A: Symptoms include feeling tired, headaches, abdominal pain, and sleep issues. Pay attention if your child is avoiding things. Also, are they not getting over illnesses in a normal time frame?

By Stacey Holmes

Q; What is your treatment approach? A: I talk to the child. Some kids won’t talk in front of their parents so I will send parents out of the room. One of the first things I do is learn about their schedule/routine. My suggestions include: ensuring downtime, limiting social media, and looking at their sleep and nutrition. I encourage parents to give their children responsibilities at home, such as chores. Parents shouldn’t do everything for their children. Also, children should be given the opportunity to make choices/decisions, providing them with a sense of control. I will refer them to other resources, including the school counselor, a therapist, and/or psychiatrist. Q: Do you have anything else to add? A: I would like to mention the importance of addressing any concerns early. While anxiety can be hard to diagnose in children it is treatable.

Having a Conversation with an Anxious Child What to Say

What NOT to Say

Validate their feelings, and express your support Avoid using phrases that minimize or invalidate and confidence in your child: feelings: I know you’re scared, and that’s okay. I’m here, and I’m going to help you get through this.

Don’t worry. It’s no big deal. You will be fine. There is nothing to be afraid of.

2018 Fall HSI Newsletter_LLESD  

This is the inaugural online issue of Sequoia Healthcare District Healthy Schools Initiative (HSI) Newsletter. This newsletter highlights HS...

2018 Fall HSI Newsletter_LLESD  

This is the inaugural online issue of Sequoia Healthcare District Healthy Schools Initiative (HSI) Newsletter. This newsletter highlights HS...