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Parents helping parents cope with back to school stress in Pinellas County

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Many families are stressing about the return to school, which is why the Pinellas School District is stressing the importance of mental health.

A new program called the “Parent-Guardian Connection” aims to help parents help one another.

Keosha Simmons is a mom of 3 children currently in the school district and she works as a Parent Advocate for the district.

“As a mom, I will be very honest and transparent, it’s been tough. There’s been a lot of conversations between my husband and I [about what the right thing to do with our children’s schooling is this year]. It’s been a bit unnerving at times but I do appreciate our district is providing us with options,” said Simmons.

Simmons said she created the parents supporting parents program because she said she understands how difficult and stressful the back to school season of life can be.

“[In these meetings we want you to know you’ll be] among like-minded people. You can voice your concerns, and express how you feel and know that it’s a no-judgment zone,” said Simmons.

The school district said the virtual program is set to give parents and guardians the opportunity to be supported, share resources, engage and connect with back to school concerns.

The first topic Wednesday night will be “The Emotional and Mental Wellbeing of our Children”. Helping participate in the discussion is a licensed psychotherapist. The 3 main topics they are set to discuss are:

  • Children dealing with isolation and depression during COVID-19
  • Navigating “Hard Conversations” with children
  • Parents and students dealing with the possible anxiety of returning to school

The first Parent-Guardian Connection meeting is August 5th, Wednesday night from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm. Here is the Zoom link to participate.

If you missed the meeting you can re-watch it through a link on the Parent Advocacy page on the school website. You can also e-mail the county Parent Advocate, Keosha Simmons, directly for more information or to suggest topics for further discussions:

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