If We Ever Needed a Parenting Instruction Manual – Now Would Be the Time.

Our children are not all right. The American Academy of Pediatrics is warning that children, adolescents and young adults face a mental health emergency state. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10 – 24. COVID-19 created a financial strain on families that is spilling over to our children, as the loss of loved ones forced our children to deal with grief in ways like never before, and educational and social disruptions have generated anxiety and depression in our youth.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of our mental health and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. As a result, we’ve put together a helpful guide for parents and caregivers who may be concerned about the mental health of their children, teens, or young adults.

Here are some of the ways that our Associated agencies are here to help your children and your family:


Talk to our highly trained and experienced clinical social workers, counselors, psychologists and psychiatric providers. Let us provide a safe space for your child or your family to talk about their challenges.

Support Groups:

Join our support groups; we bring children, teens, young adults and families together who share similar experiences to express their feelings, share first-hand information, coping strategies and more.

Grief Counselors:

The death of someone we care about can leave us with a range of emotions and reactions. Accepting support from our qualified grief counselors can help with immense grief and help adjust to life after loss.

Substance Use:

Our Jewish Community Service’s Family Navigation is here to help with information, support and resources that you and your family may need to cope.

Camp Support:

J Camps now offers a Care Team to help campers and staff with their mental health needs. In addition, The JCC Summer Camp Inclusion Program is designed for campers with a range of learning, developmental, social, emotional and physical disabilities.

Teen Mental Wellness:

4Front offers Parenting Unpacked, a series that brings together parents in a safe space to learn from experts and other parents about topics related to teens, mental health, wellness and more. 4Front’s Teen Leadership Fellows program offers monthly workshops on mental health and will train your teen to recognize if they or others are struggling.

College Support:

Talk and visit with your local Hillel’s on college campuses. Our Hillel staff has recognized the toll the pandemic has taken on college students, and they are there to help.

Connection Opportunities:

Keep your children occupied – expose them safely to activities that focus on the mind, body and soul. The JCC offers programs for children and teens of all ages across performing arts, leadership programs, sports, fitness and aquatics. And at Pearlstone, your child will get to experience the great outdoors through our many innovative and sustainable programs, camps, retreats and more.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Children, teens and young adults who volunteer aren’t just helping the communities they serve; they are actually experiencing a boost to their own mental health. Explore the many volunteer opportunities our community has to offer.

Unhealthy Relationships:

Shockingly 1 in 3 young people are in abusive or unhealthy relationships. During COVID-19, offenders have become more tense, angry and even more unpredictable than before. Call or reach out by CHAT to CHANA if your child or one of their friends is in an unhealthy relationship.

Financial Insecurity:

The rising cost of food, gas and housing adversely impact mental health and your family. Meet with our trained and knowledgeable staff to discuss your financial stability to develop a plan and access valuable resources.

Big Brother Big Sister:

Role models and mentors can play a large role in who our children become; however, not everyone is as lucky to have an influential adult in their life. Our Big Brother Big Sister program matches “littles” with “bigs” to create lasting, meaningful relationships.

School Prevention Programs:

Contact Jewish Community Services (JCS) to bring mental health awareness and prevention programs to your area schools. Our programming focuses on emotional wellbeing, substance use and more.

To learn more about mental health services for your children and family, please call 410-466-9200; but if this is a true emergency, do not wait; call 911 or go the nearest emergency room.

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