Sunday, February 21, 2021 marks the three-year anniversary of Jake’s death.
While the pain and grief we experience is still palpable… we remain hopeful. There is so much to love about our community and the people around us. There is so much to remain hopeful for. Please celebrate this kindness, hope, and optimism by “Painting the Town Blue” with us this weekend. The last two years there was amazing community outpouring as the signature blue smile kept popping up on snowbanks all around town. We encourage you to do the same or come up with your own way to spread joy.
Kids Struggle Too
There’s no denying that 2020 has brought some significant challenges to families, businesses, and entire communities… and our youngest citizens are not immune to these trials and tribulations. If you are a parent, grandparent, or caregiver to a child, please consider their well being and mental health. Just as adults face uncertainty and anxiety, so do our kids.
Based on suggestions from mental health professionals at Cornell University, we’ve put together a list of five things that you can do to support healthy habits – both for you AND the kids in your life.
We consulted with the team of mental health professionals at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center and here’s what they shared:
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:
- Excessive crying or irritation in younger children.
- Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting).
- Excessive worry or sadness.
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits.
- Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens.
- Poor school performance or avoiding school.
- Difficulties with attention and concentration.
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past.
- Unexplained headaches or body pain.
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
It is important to check in with your child’s healthcare provider should you observe any of these signs or symptoms. Particularly if they are severe, or persist beyond a couple of days.
Smiles for Jake Mission
Smiles for Jake is a suicide prevention movement that spreads positivity through life-affirming actions, listening ears, and the message that everyone should have hope. Born in and spreading from a community that experienced the suicide of a beloved son, our short-term goal is to reduce the suicide rate and our long-term vision is to stomp out suicide worldwide.
Everyone should have hope.
By spreading proactive positivity while lending listening ears, helping hands, and open hearts, we spread the message that no one should have to live in despair and hopelessness.
Every person is loved, valued, and important.