Keeping Teenagers Safe
The purpose of this page is to provide information to parents regarding a variety of topics that affect our teens.
If you need assistance with a topic listed below, or any issue that is affecting your teen and you don't know where to get help, please feel free to call your child's school counselor or the district's school social worker.
|School Counselors||School Social Worker||School Psychologists|
|Randee Stark 845-620-3807||Norma Canals 845-620-3806||Jamie Martens 845-620-3810|
|Evelyn Hornacek 845 620-3814|
|Kim Ballard 845-620-3809||Samantha Turco 845-620-3817|
|Richard Urvater 845-620-3808|
A potentially dangerous new trend called vaping is increasing among teens. Unregulated by the FDA, teens may be inhaling dangerous chemicals, including getting high with marijuana oils, using vape pens and other similar paraphernalia. While the Pearl River School District banned the use of all e-cigarettes and vaping devices on school campuses two years ago, Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation (S.750 / A.611), which will immediately ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State. In September, 2019, the governor has banned all flavored e-cigarette liquids that are popular with adolescents. While two years ago there was only preliminary information regarding the health risks, news and media reports have surged in the last month with reported illnesses and deaths attributed to vaping.
In October 2017, the Superintendent issued a letter regarding this dangerous new trend that included information and resources for parents: Superintendent's Letter- Vaping .
Please click on the following link to access a Parent University video presentation on The Dangers of Vaping.
An updated letter was issued by the Superintendent in September 2019, after numerous reports of vaping related lung illnesses and deaths were reported in media across the country. Superintendent's Letter- Vaping 9-24-19
Additional YouTube information for Parents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OxUpuPIfaA
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might worry about things like health, money, or family problems. But people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) feel extremely worried or feel nervous about these and other things—even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. People with GAD find it difficult to control their anxiety and stay focused on daily tasks.
Click on the link produced by NIMH for more information about anxiety - General Anxiety Disorder
Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. But teen depression goes beyond moodiness. It’s a serious health problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Click on the following for more information on how you can help your child - Parent's Guide to Teenage Depression
If your child is in crisis there are local resources to help you 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT) can help!
Call (845) 517-0400 or
Toll Free: 1 (844) 255-BHRT (2478)
Help Is Available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to individuals, families and agencies in Rockland County. The Team can come to you if a mental health situation needs immediate intervention. For more information - NAMI Rockland
Mental Health Association of Rockland County, Inc. (MHA Rockland) assist people living with mental illness and/or addiction to embrace life and redefine themselves. They also welcome and support families, friends, employers, and colleagues who care about those struggling with these issues. Visit their website at Mental Health Association of Rockland County.
Alcohol use among teens is a serious matter. Please click on the following link for more information from The Foundation for a Drug-Free World -
Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug dependence, Inc. (RCADD) is a not-for-profit agency that provides FREE and CONFIDENTIAL assessment and referral to treatment for individuals and families affected by family diseases of addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Visit their website for more information- http://www.rcadd.org/
Al-Anon Family Groups provides strength and hope for families and friends of problem drinkers: http://al-anon.alateen.org/
Prescription Drug Abuse
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is an excellent website with an abundant amount of information for parents about prescription Drug Abuse
- Medicine Abuse- What's Happening and Why
- Stress and Drug Use- What Every Parent Should Know - August 2017
- Warning Signs
A local resource, Community Awareness Network For A Drug-Free Life And Environment, Inc. (CANDLE) was founded as a non-profit organization in 1982. Its mission is to prevent substance abuse and violence among youth. CANDLE's goal is to improve the health and climate of our schools and our communities by providing prevention education and resistance strategies to youth and their adult allies, and support programs for young people at risk. Visit their website at CANDLE Rockland.
Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug dependence, Inc. (RCADD) is a not-for-profit agency that provides FREE and CONFIDENTIAL assessment and referral to treatment for individuals and families affected by family diseases of addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Visit their website at - http://www.rcadd.org/
Marijuana is often one of the first drugs a teen is offered. In fact, 41 percent of teen smokers say they began before the age of 15.
National debates on the legalization of marijuana have helped normalize the behavior for many teens. In fact, 78 percent of teens say that they have close friends who use marijuana. That’s why it’s important that your child inherently understands that you don’t approve of his use of marijuana, in the same way that you don’t want him to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or use other drugs.
The new marijuana landscape doesn’t change the fact that all mind-altering substances — including marijuana — are harmful for the still-developing teen brain. (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids- Marijuana Talk Kit)
Please click on the following link for a comprehensive guide on how to talk to your kids about marijuana- Marijuana Talk Kit- What you need to know to talk to your kid about marijuana.
A more recent trend of vaping marijuana or THC has reportedly caused serious lung illnesses and deaths across the country and is currently under investigation. CDC-Outbreak of Lung Illnesses.
Eating Disorders describe illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.
Eating disturbances may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. Eating disorders can develop during any stage in life but typically appear during the teen years or young adulthood. Appropriate treatment can be highly effectual for many of the specific types of eating disorders. Although these conditions are treatable, the symptoms and consequences can be detrimental and deadly if not addressed. The most common forms of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder and affect both females and males. (Published on EatingDisorderHope.com, Eating Disorder Information Help & Resources)
The following link is an extensive toolkit developed by the National Eating Disorders Association - Eating Disorder Guide for Parents
Internet/ Social Media Safety
Whether we like it or not, the Internet and social media have changed how our teens interact with each other and the world, access information, and communicate. It's also challenging to keep up with new trends, apps and websites. But the fact of the matter may be that children have access to websites, apps and other people that you may not be aware of or approve through their cell phones or gaming devices. How can you protect your teen in this rapidly changing environment? Common Sense Media is a comprehensive website that provides parents with a wealth of resources and links on all types of media:
One of the most difficult experiences that we face is the loss of a loved one or friend. Everyone grieves differently and it is difficult to know what to say or do to help your teen. Please click on the following link to access the October 21, 2019 Parent University presentation by United Hospice of Rockland. How to Help Your Grieving Child
Below are two articles and resource links to help you and your child navigate this painful process.
Helping Children Cope After Traumatic Event
Child Mind Institute has created a comprehensive resource guide for parents on how to help children of all ages after a traumatic event. Child Mind Institute Resource Guide
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
If you are in crisis, call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Mental Health Association of Westchester offers numerous treatments and support services here in several Rockland County. Please review their flyer for more information about these services and clinic locales.
The Mental Health Association of Westchester - Rockland County Services
Are you looking for help on a particular topic that is not listed here? Please email or call your child's school counselor or our social worker, Norma Canals, at the numbers listed at the top of the page. They will be able to provide you with resources in a confidential manner.