Teens and the Pandemic Blues

Washington state youth have been home since mid-March, due to both school closures and the stay-home order. During this time, teen clients have gone from generally unaffected by the coronavirus crisis, to mildly restless, to chronically bored, lonely, and lethargic. In other words, these teens have the Pandemic Blues.

Even with the stay-home order scheduled for a phased ending over the next few months, summer plans are not likely to include family trips, overnight camps, or social activities. That means the Pandemic Blues are here to stay – at least for a while.

In this online training, we will explore strategies to help decrease the Pandemic Blues. We will also explore ideas for helping teens express and ultimately accept feelings of social isolation, disappointment about cancelled graduations and other important events, worries about the safety of family members, and a growing existential dread about the future.

In addition, we will review the latest coronavirus news, identify ways for managing our own anxieties while helping others, and consider practical ideas for providing the best care possible during this unprecedented time.

Presenter: David Flack

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.