Youth Mental Health: Five Tips to Support Young Minds

Mental health plays an important role in the overall wellbeing of youth. Child behaviors and emotions can change frequently and rapidly, making it difficult for parents and teachers to detect mental, behavioral or emotional concerns right away. Studies find an estimated 70-80% of children with mental health disorders go without care.

How can you nurture the mental health of your child?

Consider the following strategies to support your child’s mental wellbeing:

  1. Be intentional and attuned. Beyond just paying attention to verbal and nonverbal cues, actively engage in open communication with your child. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and emotions. Additionally, educate yourself about typical developmental stages and common mental health concerns in youth, so you can better identify when your child might need support.
  2. Foster closeness. Building a strong emotional bond with your child involves not only empathy but also active listening and validation of their experiences. Spend quality time together engaging in activities they enjoy and show genuine interest in their hobbies and concerns. By demonstrating unconditional love and acceptance, you’re fostering an environment where they feel valued and understood.
  3. Encourage connections. In addition to nurturing relationships within the family, encourage your child to form connections with peers and mentors. Support their participation in extracurricular activities or community events where they can develop social skills and a sense of belonging. Positive social interactions provide a buffer against stress and can enhance resilience in the face of challenges.
  4. Model good behavior. As a parent or caregiver, your actions speak louder than words. Model healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress and emotions, such as practicing mindfulness, seeking support from loved ones, and engaging in hobbies or relaxation techniques. By demonstrating how to navigate difficult situations effectively, you’re equipping your child with valuable tools for their own emotional wellbeing.
  5. Make healthy choices. Emphasize the importance of self-care and overall wellness by prioritizing healthy habits as a family. Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit sugary or processed foods. Encourage regular physical activity and outdoor play, as exercise is linked to improved mood and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Establish consistent bedtime routines to ensure adequate sleep, as insufficient rest can exacerbate mental health concerns.

Youth mental health concerns are real, common and treatable. By implementing these strategies, you’re not only fostering a supportive environment for your child’s mental health but also empowering them with the skills and resources needed to navigate life’s challenges effectively.

While some problems are short-lived and don’t need treatment, others are ongoing and may be very serious. If you are concerned about changes in behavior or other symptoms, consult your child’s doctor. Remember, seeking professional help when needed is a sign of strength, and early intervention can make a significant difference in managing mental health concerns.

Visit MagellanHealthcare.com/about/bh-resources for more mental health information and resources.


Tips for Helping the “New Kid” Adjust in School

Our world is always fluid, now more than ever, which can bring uncertainty into our daily adult lives. For kids still building core skills to manage life, or what I like to call their “tool bag,” change can be all-consuming.

Being the “new kid” at school is something most of us parents have been through at least once, but I will be the first to admit it has been a very long time (and I’m not willing to share just how long). During the pandemic, I homeschooled my son and when it was time to reenroll in a traditional school, he voiced some concerns about being the new kid at school. I tried to brush the moment over and told him he would be fine, but after he continued to verbalize his internal anxieties, I took a step back and put myself in his shoes. First, I visualized myself starting my new job and remembered what it felt like not to know anyone. I sat with those thoughts for a bit and then I reached way back in my memories from when I was the new kid at school and remember how that felt. It took both activities for me to really see how my son was being impacted by this change. Yes, worrying about changing schools and being the new kid is completely normal, but it doesn’t mean the matter should not be addressed. As a parent, it is important that we listen to our kids, even when we think we don’t have time or that the situation is not really that big of a deal.

Common Concerns of the New Kid at School

  • Will the other kids like me?
  • Will anyone sit with me at lunch?
  • Will I understand what they’re doing in class, or will I be behind in the lessons?
  • Will I like my teachers? Will they like me?

What can we do as parents to help ease our kids into their new schools? As a provider who works predominantly with military families that have children who transition schools on average nine times before graduating, I have some ideas:

First and foremost, always remember to share the positives with your child, because I promise they are usually focusing on the scary stuff- the negatives.

Positives of Changing Schools

  • You get to make a fresh start.
  • You get to make new friends.
  • You can get involved in new activities.

Then, communicate with your child the tools they need to be successful during this transition. Give them something to have in their imaginary pocket (imaginary toolbox) and give them what they need to make their way. If it helps, work with them to make a tangible list that they can come back to. I have included a list below to help you out. In my experience, many times kids are just nervous about talking to new people, both their own age and authority figures, such as teachers and other adult helpers. Role-playing some scenarios that they may encounter as the new kid will help build their confidence. Change brings growth, and without growth, we would never have the opportunity to fill our “tool bag” with strengths to manage what’s to come.

Tips for Parents That Can Help with Being the New Kid at School

  • Talk about it, remind them that talking about their fears can make them less scary. Let them know that you are available to listen, but also encourage them to share concerns with other safe family members.
  • Call the new school ahead of time and set up a tour for both the student and the parents. If your child will ride the bus, take a pre-bus pick-up drive to get a better idea of the bus stop. You could even drive the bus route.
  • Visit the school’s website and find out as much as you can about it. You could even make it into a family scavenger hunt. Here are a few ideas of what you could hunt for:
  • What are the school’s colors?
  • What are the school rules?
  • How big is the school?
  • What kind of sports activities are available?
  • Is there a school newspaper or yearbook?
  • What kind of clubs are available?
  • Work with the child to pick out their own elective classes, or simply do some research ahead of time so they know who their teachers will be.
  • Let the child help pick out their new school supplies, which with help with giving them some control over the new situation and increase positive excitement.
  • Encourage your child to take some time to journal their current feelings, as well as reflect on past successes.

Here are suggestions for kids on how to make new friends:

  • Smile and be friendly to everyone you meet; this behavior will go a long way.
  • Join clubs, get active at school and in your community.
  • Participate in sports, both team sports and individual sports
  • Take group classes in school, or in the community.
  • Spend time at a local park or playground, maybe bring a ball or jump rope with you.
  • Be a good listener, everyone appreciates someone who listens.
  • Stay positive when talking with others,
  • Ask people about themselves, and really try to focus on what they share.
  • Accept people as they are, we all have a story.
  • Be helpful to others, look for ways to help.
  • Give compliments and find ways to make others feel good.

Tips for Kids on How to Talk to New People

  • Remember to smile.
  • Take a deep breath and jump right in.
  • Try to speak slowly.
  • Make your voice clear and strong.
  • Take your time, there is no need to rush.
  • Do your best not to worry about being nervous.

Helping children feel safe and prepared for a crisis

The destruction left by Hurricane Ian back in September serves as a reminder that times of crisis can often occur quickly with little or no warning. During these events, parents may be coping with children who feel increased worry and anxiousness. Parents and professionals can help by providing guidance on how to develop an at-home safety plan for times of crisis. Supplying children with the knowledge of what to do if an emergency occurs can reduce feelings of anxiety and provide them with a better sense of control in an uncontrollable situation. Below is guidance that our Military and Family Life counselors share with parents.

Emergency Plan Directions

  • Designate a general meeting place. Establish an agreed-upon safe place to meet if a parent will be unable to pick the child up from school or will not be at home. This could be a neighbor’s house or community meeting space. Children should be reassured that the adult they are with is aware of the plan, and the parent will meet them at the arranged meeting location.
  • Create an emergency backpack. The backpack should have items the child may need in the event of a crisis, specifically, items necessary if an adult was unavailable at the time of the crisis.
  • Compile a list of all emergency phone numbers. These numbers should be programmed into a child’s phone, if they have one, written down at home, and placed in the emergency backpack.
  • Create a social media plan. Social media sites can be very effective in times of crisis. Discuss what social media site(s) will be used for family communication and information if cell service is down.
  • Develop plans for the natural disasters most likely to occur in your area. These plans could include backup locations to go in case the family must leave their home, such as a relative’s house, a community shelter, or another designated safe place.

For even more tips on preparing an emergency plan, refer to the “Make a plan” section of  Ready.gov.

Crisis Conversation Tips for Parents

In addition to creating an emergency plan for their home, parents will also need to discuss crises and other traumatic events, such as natural disasters, with their children. It can be difficult to know how to approach those topics or what to say that will be helpful. Below are tips for engaging in these conversations (Psychology Today, 7.26.22).

  • Keep words and language child-friendly and age appropriate.
  • Initiate the conversation in a calm manner.
  • Leave time for the child to ask questions and remain silent during their questions or requests for clarification.
  • Ask if they have any worries about a particular situation.
  • For even more tips on preparing an emergency plan, refer to the “Make a plan” section of ready.gov.

Creating an emergency plan and having open communication about this topic can benefit both the child and adult and may reduce feelings of anxiety in the child.

Support for the Digital Aged Child

Tips for parents and professionals

To be sure, Covid-19 changed a lot of things. One of which was doubling the average amount of screen time for American adolescents[1].

  • Pre Pandemic: 3.8 hour per day
  • Current: 7.70 hours per day

It is important that parents, teachers, counselors, and others who live and work with children and youth become familiar with the ever-changing digital landscape to provide timely guidance and support. The following information and downloadable tip sheet will give you a good foundation to get started.

Influence and Information

To understand the degree of influence of digital media on children, we must first understand the speed and scope of peer-to-peer information sharing in the digital age. Due to use of algorithms built to share information on a global scale instantly, it is often difficult to immediately curb the spread of misinformation and propaganda on the platforms. Algorithms are digital code built to recognize engaging content and then deliver that content to audiences to generate higher views. The algorithm does not distinguish positive or negative types of viral content. As content can be seen by adolescents and parents or professionals in the same general time frame, this provides the ability to prepare an appropriate response.

What it means to “Go Viral”

When a piece of content becomes widely shared, is referenced in other content, and begins to influence the social structure of its intended audience, the content is considered to have “gone viral.”

To give you an idea of how quickly content can reach worldwide audiences, here are the viral rates for Tiktok:

  • > 500 views in the first .25/hr
  • > 10k views in the first 4/hr
  • > 250k views in the first 24/hr
  • > 1 million views in the 48/hr

Empowering Viral Content[2]

Not all viral content is bad. Some viral content empowers adolescents to be the change they wish to see in the world. It’s important to understand that viral content can be positive and widely influential. Positive examples of viral content include:

  • Student-led peaceful protests—In the spring of this year, high school students from Boston, Chicago, and other cities across the Northeast organized peaceful walkouts to protest the unsafe in person learning conditions amidst rising regional Covid cases. These students passionately demonstrated for the safety of their teachers and classmates to demand access to virtual learning. This was an excellent example of our youth being the young leaders of tomorrow.
  • Neighborhood cleanups—Throughout 2020 lockdowns, a viral trend showcased individuals standing in front of an area with litter and trash visible. Dancing along with a selected audio, the creator would stitch a transition using choreography to a new scene where the area had been cleaned and the garbage bagged. These videos slowly became more dramatic over the summer as creators became more competitive, however the end goal was always environmental cleanup.
  • “Show Your Talent” Challenge—The “Show Your Talent” challenge of 2021 featured an original creator issuing a challenge to others to “Show Your Talent”. This video garnered significant positive feedback and resulted in people of all ages showing talents.

Destructive Viral Content[3]

Viral content can also be destructive and damaging, influencing individuals to engage in behaviors that result in the loss of life, property, or safety. Examples include:

  • “Silhouette” Challenge—The “Silhouette” challenge involves individuals dancing provocatively, often using a filter to showcase a millisecond long video of the individual either nude or barely clothed, viewed through a lens such a “Heat Filter”. This portrays a lewd image under the guise of it being safe due to the filter. However, these videos can be downloaded and the filter removed through the use of apps, allowing that content to be recirculated showing the real, unfiltered video.
  • “Morning-after-pill” Challenge—The “Morning-after-pill” Challenge resulted from adolescents opening the plastic device used for a pregnancy test. Inside this plastic device is a silica tablet, meant to absorb moisture and maintain the validity of the test. Adolescents mistakenly thought this tablet was a free Plan B pill and ingested the tablet. This misinformation spread quickly, resulting in such a negative impact that manufacturers of the pregnancy tests released public statements educating the public about the silica tablets.
  • “Devious Lick” Challenge—The “Devious Lick” Challenge started as individuals being dared to lick disgusting surfaces, such as the bottom of a sneaker, a toilet seat, or the bathroom door handle. However, this trend quickly escalated to damage of property, with multiple schools reporting damage. Damage included sinks being torn from walls, toilets broken, mirrors broken, and soap dispensers stolen.
  • “Who Want Smoke” Challenge—The “Who Want Smoke” challenge hit our local schools the hardest. In November of 2021, a viral trend began using a specific audio on TikTok referencing gun violence. The image provided is taken from the viral video showing Clarksville students coming around a corner pretending to be holding a firearm aimed at the camera. Over 50 students were suspended for participating in this trend.

These types of viral content provide misinformation which can be harmful or dangerous.

Benefits to Consider

It is critical to practice the language of the digital age on a daily basis. Linguistics is evolving at an unprecedented rate. This may create opportunities to connect with children and adolescents that were not previously available. Other benefits include:

For the Professional:

  • Becoming more familiar with ever-changing digital landscape
  • Understanding the evolving linguistics of the digital age child
  • Faster and stronger rapport building

For the Child/Adolescent:

  • Providing opportunity for discussion on current trends and topics
  • Creating an environment for authentic growth and self-reflection
  • Establishing a sense of trust and safety

Due to using this best practice, Magellan Federal counselors at Fort Campbell were aware of the “Who Want Smoke” trend prior to its arrival to local schools. This allowed the opportunity to have preemptive support for adolescents. Through this support, adolescents were able to have authentic conversations about the trend, its meaning, and how it could impact them.

Sites to Search

To stay on top of digital trends, we recommend actively searching the following media channels:

  • Local news source
  • Facebook
  • Other social media platforms
  • Tiktok
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Pro Tip: Ask the adolescents where they spend their time online. Populations will differ by region and age group. It never hurts to ask!

Article originally published on MFed Inform. Visit to download free tip sheet.

[1]   Nagata JM, Cortez CA, Cattle CJ, et al. Screen Time Use Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176(1):94–96. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4334

[2]   Alfonseca, Kiara. Jan 14 2022. Students walk out over COVID-19 in-person learning conditions in schools. https://abcnews.go.com/US/students-walk-covid-19-person-learning-conditions-schools/story?id=82265171

[3]   Quinlan, Keely. Nov 23, 2021. Over 50 students suspended for viral TikTok video at West Creek High in Clarksville. https://clarksvillenow.com/local/over-50-students-suspended-for-viral-tiktok-video-at-west-creek-high-in-clarksville/

8 signs social media is hurting a child and 8 tips to help

More than half of the world’s population–4.55 billion people–currently uses social media.[1] Of children in the U.S., 84% aged 13-18 and 38% aged 8-12 use social media.[2] We spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes each day on social media.[1] 

Whether we need it or not, it’s safe to say that social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

In our recent webinar, “Addressing the effects of social media on kids,” we learned that 90% of the participants believe the overall impact of social media on their kids is negative. While many parents are concerned about their children’s use of social media and how it’s affecting their mental health, there are things we can do to protect them.

In this post, we will cover behaviors to watch for in a child who may be struggling due to effects from social media, as well as tips and resources to help in moderating their social media use.

Signs that social media may be negatively impacting a child​

In our webinar during Mental Health Month, 94% of participants expressed worry that social media is impacting their child. If you find yourself in a similar situation, trust your gut and watch for any of the following, which could be signs of an unhealthy relationship with social media.

  1. Isolation–Do you find that your child is spending a lot of time alone and on their phone, computer or other device? Are they avoiding in-person time with friends and family?
  2. Poor mood after exposure–Does your child seem happy or unhappy after they’ve been on social media? Try to get a sense of their mood during or just after social media use.
  3. Irritability or angry outbursts–Does their anger seem misplaced or are they exhibiting these behaviors for seemingly no reason?
  4. Doesn’t want to go to school–Does your child seem to dread going to school each day, or are they actively trying to get out of it? Talk to your child to get an understanding of why they may be avoiding school.
  5. Falling grades–Are you noticing bad test scores or falling report card grades? Pay close attention to negative grade fluctuations which could be a reflection of more than just how much studying and learning is taking place.
  6. Decreased interest in offline activities–Are they participating less in activities they have always enjoyed or showing little interest in new activities, such as sports, arts and crafts, and other hobbies?
  7. Headaches or upset stomach–Do they seem to have more frequent complaints about not feeling good? Reoccurring physical health conditions can manifest from stress and mental health challenges.
  8. Deteriorating mental health–Are you noticing that your child just doesn’t seem like their normal happy self? Talk to your children each day about their feelings and be cognizant of any signs of depression, anxiety or mood changes.

Helping your kids have a healthy relationship with social media

If you notice any of the above signs in your children, it may be a result of negative impacts from their use of social media. Set your kids up for success with these proactive tips and resources for when there may be a problem.

  1. Talk about the risks, traps and dangers and keep an open dialogue–It’s critical to help your kids understand the realities of social media. Talk with them about adult predators who pose as friends their age, how all of the happy pictures of friends and even strangers don’t show the whole picture, and how negative comments can be deeply hurtful and follow the person who posts them forever.
  2. Set up parental controls and monitor activity–Find helpful resources with these guides:
  1. Balance screentime and face-to-face time with family and friends​–Despite the negative impacts, there is also much positivity that can come from social media. While it may be easy to get sucked in, as social media is designed to do just that, it’s important to remind your kids about all that the real world and people around them have to offer.
  2. ​​Post and seek out positive content–Explain to your kids that we can all help to keep social media a positive place by being respectful in our comments and understanding of different perspectives. Help them understand that they should seek out social media interactions that make them feel good about themselves and provide a healthy sense of connection with others.
  3. Encourage good sleep​ and exerciseWe’re not usually at our most active when on social media. We must encourage our kids to keep up their physical activity, which will benefit their physical health and mood. A healthy sleep routine will also provide benefits for kids in all aspects of their lives, and it’s important not to let social media interfere with sleep.
  4. Utilize resources on cyberbullying:
  1. Model good behavior–Just like kids, parents and caregivers are susceptible to having an unhealthy relationship with social media. Remember these tips when balancing your own on- and off-screen time because your kids are watching.
  2. Seek professional help​ when needed–If you suspect that your child is struggling, reach out to their doctor or mental health professional for support and treatment options.

For many parents, today’s digital world is very different from the one in which they grew up. Navigate this ever-changing environment with your kids and keep an open dialogue about the realities of social media beyond the glitz and glamour that appears on the surface, as well as alternative sources for contentment, inspiration and social connection.

Learn more about social media and kids

Find the recording of our webinar, “Addressing the effects of social media on kids,” where I, along with other children’s behavioral health experts, address this important issue and answer audience questions here.

Additional webinar resources:

[1] Statusbrew, “100 social media statistics you must know in 2022 [+Infographic]”

[2] Common Sense Media, “The Common Sense Census: Media use by tweens and teens, 2021”

Protecting Youth Mental Health

“Our obligation to act is not just medical—it’s moral.”
Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service, Surgeon General of the United States

To support the Surgeon General’s recent advisory related to protecting youth mental health issues exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Magellan Federal offers best practices for professionals specializing in behavioral issues to foster the wellbeing of our military families.

Magellan Federal directly supports the mental health and resiliency of military youth and families, serving over 4.5 million service members and families a year. Read more about risk factors and recommendations in our whitepaper here.

Addressing the effects of social media on kids

It was hard enough for kids without social media. Many of our older readers will remember… We compared ourselves to others, but it happened mostly in-person at school or events, or when we consumed one-way media like TV or magazines. While it could be hurtful, we still got a break at home, while riding in a car, or for much of the rest of the day, as we didn’t have smartphones. We became the subject of gossip, but we had the benefit of an imperfect “grapevine” that took longer to spread information, and likely, we didn’t even always hear about it. And we played the popularity contest, but we could never be sure just who were the winners and losers.

We’ll dive into these issues in this post and you can learn more by watching a recording of our webinar, “Addressing the impacts of social media on kids,” here.

Kids’ self-image and social media

Social media makes it easy—and even entertaining—to endlessly scroll through the latest and greatest images of our friends, celebrities, and perfect strangers. We get to see the best of everyone all the time. If any one of our friends isn’t posting their best on any given day, we’re seeing someone else who is posting their best. This can put undue pressure on our kids to attain perfection, as they are developing their self-image and self-esteem.

For kids, and us all, there is tremendous value in limiting the time we spend on social media and understanding that what we see there isn’t usually the full picture. Social media can provide a great sense of connection with others, along with many other positive impacts, but life outside of it can be refreshing and cleansing when we focus on all that we have and want to do.

Social media and cyberbullying

It’s a lot easier to be mean to someone when you’re not doing it to their face. With social media, not only is it easy for a bully to target another child from behind the protection of their screen, but they can do so publicly for classmates and the world to see and weigh in with opinions, or even just a “like,” on the matter. This ruthlessness can be humiliating and overwhelming for the victim, and lead to serious mental health concerns.

As our kids’ gossip and squabbles naturally pervade and have the potential to be broadcasted instantaneously on social media for all to see, let’s talk to them about leaving the negativity off of social media and focusing on positive messages that will ultimately reflect better on us all. If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, find resources at https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/prevention and learn more in our webinar on May 11.

Our kids’ popularity, quantified

Our kids’ popularity is now quantified and displayed on social media. They have a number of followers, and every time they post, it’s assigned a number of likes and comments. Is this environment creating additional pressure for our kids to be liked and drive up their social stats at the risk of harming their mental health in the process?

While we can’t make a direct correlation with kids’ use of social media, we know the prevalence of depression among adolescents aged 12–17 has steadily increased–and more than doubled–from 8% in 2010 to 17% in 2020, and that certain demographic groups have been disproportionately affected, including girls, of which the prevalence of depression has increased from 11.9% in 2010 (4.4% among boys) to 25.2% in 2020 (9.2% among boys).[1]

We know our kids are much more than the number of likes they receive on a social media post. It’s important that we talk to our kids about what is really important and build up their self-worth through meaningful activities that stimulate their learning and interests, and help others.

On May 11 Magellan Healthcare hosted a webinar, “Addressing the effects of social media on kids,” for Mental Health Month with former Magellan child psychiatrists, Dr. Keith Brown and Dr. LaShondra Washington, and Senior Director Children’s Healthcare Barbara Dunn, and Creator of Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment Greg Dicharry. Watch a recording of the webinar at https://www.magellanhealthcare.com/event/addressing-the-effects-of-social-media-on-kids/.

[1] SAMHSA 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, Youth Mental Health Trend Tables

Mental Health Resources for Overseas Military Children

Our nation recognizes April as the Month of the Military Child, celebrating and acknowledging the children of our service members. Through the Adolescent Support and Counseling Services (ASACS) program, overseas middle and high school youth enrolled at Department of Defense Schools have access to in-school counseling and prevention education lessons at no charge. Whether or not ASACS services are available in your area, it’s worth taking a look at the challenges military children often face, and the resources available to support their mental health.

The Challenges Military Children Face

Military children must learn to be resilient because their households may relocate every 2 to 3 years — sometimes overseas and to new cultures. For many kids, this is a difficult challenge. Middle school and high school are particularly challenging ages, where social connections, friendships, and romantic relationships become more important.

A term has been developed to describe children who spend formative years growing up outside their parents’ native culture—Third Culture Kids. Military children often represent this demographic when they relocate to other countries, which can translate into culture shock and create unique challenges that typical American teens may not experience.

In addition to being susceptible to frequent family moves, COVID-19 has impacted everyone across the globe, and our military children are no exception. They faced attending virtual schools in communities where they are already feeling isolated due to being in a new country and community. We have seen mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug use increase due to the pandemic, and many parents and students do not often seek help. But here is how they can and should.

Support Services for Overseas Youth

The key to effectively transitioning military children to their new surroundings is working with a counselor on their terms. Magellan Federal delivers the Adolescent Support and Counseling Services (ASACS) program on more than 14 locations in 6 countries.  ASACS is a school and community-based program providing counseling and educational prevention-based services that are confidential for students in grades 6 -12.

Magellan Federal counselors focus on issues unique to military children such as transitioning to new environments, coping with stress and challenges associated with moves, and alcohol and drug prevention. Additionally, our counselors support these young individuals with all the other “typical” issues teens face.

As the demand for mental health services has increased, getting on a waitlist for psychological services is a real challenge for students. So often, many students are ineligible for on-base counseling due to staffing limitations, and off-base options are usually nonexistent or not adequate for English-speaking students. Through ASACS, Magellan Federal provides tailor-made, in-school counseling and prevention education lessons at no charge to overseas middle and high school youth enrolled at Department of Defense Schools. The Magellan Federal staff works with students and teachers to identify an appropriate time so that the student is staying in class as much as possible. Our team develops counseling schedules, ensuring kids receive timely, critical emotional and behavioral support while maintaining academic requirements. Because of our programming, parents do not need to leave work early and drive to accommodate a counseling session, positively impacting family engagement.

It’s important to address the unique needs of military children overseas during formative years, to proactively ease their transition and bolster confidence and resiliency. ASACS services are available to any military ID card holder student and their families. To connect with your regional ASACS counselor contact your child’s school at the front desk or the guidance department or contact Allison Welliver at WelliverAL@MagellanFederal.com to inquire about local services.