Due to school closures and stay-home orders related to COVID-19, Washington state youth abruptly went home from school in mid-March – and stayed there for the rest of the school year. Then, even with the stay-home order phasing out, most summer plans were shelved or modified, school won’t be like it was pre-coronavirus, and the world is a much, much different place.
Welcome to life after quarantine, where teen clients are bored, lonely and lethargic. For many, depression, anxiety, substance use, self-harm and other concerns have increased. For some, worries about the future have grown into existential dread. As the pandemic continues, these impacts will surely increase.
We’ll begin this highly interactive training by reviewing the past few months, considering the impact of lost rites of passage, and exploring practical ideas for decreasing the boredom and lethargy. We’ll also explore ideas for helping teens express and ultimately accept feelings of social isolation, disappointment about cancelled events, worries about the safety of family members, and that growing existential dread.
Along the way, we’ll review the latest coronavirus news, identify strategies for managing our own anxieties while helping others, and consider practical ideas for providing the best care possible during this unprecedented time.
David Flack is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP), with additional credentials as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Child Mental Health Specialist and Sexual Minority Mental Health Specialist. He holds a Post-Master’s Certificate in Trauma-Informed Care and Counseling and has credentials or advanced training in several evidence-based programs. For twenty years, David has worked with teens and families impacted by substance use, trauma, and mental health challenges – as a therapist, substance abuse counselor, experiential educator, and clinical supervisor. In private practice since 2017, he meets with teens and emerging adults addressing depression, trauma, and co-occurring disorders. Prior to entering private practice, he spent 15 years in community mental health agencies, primarily as an adolescent co-occurring disorders therapist. In addition to his clinical work, David regularly provides well-received continuing education programs both regionally and nationally. He has also presented for non-profit agencies, county-sponsored events, and over 100 times at international, national, and regional conferences — including multiple presentations at conferences of the American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counseling Association, and Association of Experiential Education.