As we approach the summer break, it's important to prioritize mental health and wellness. The Summer Newsletter provides a variety of tools and local services to support students and families.

Stress Awareness

What is Stress and how can it affect students?

Stress is the body's natural response to pressure or demands placed upon it. It's a normal part of life, and in moderation, it can even be beneficial, motivating individuals to perform well. However, when stress becomes chronic or overwhelming, it can have negative effects on both physical and mental health.

For middle school students, stress can manifest in various ways due to academic, social, and personal pressures. Here are some common ways stress can affect them: Academic Performance, Social Pressure, Transitions, Home Environment, Physical Health, Mental Health.

To mitigate the negative effects of stress on middle school students, it's essential to promote healthy coping mechanisms and provide support systems. This can include teaching stress management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, exercise, and time management skills. Creating a supportive school environment where students feel comfortable seeking help from teachers, counselors, or other trusted adults is also crucial

Summer safety encompasses a range of important considerations to ensure a fun and healthy season, here are some tips:

Lifeguard Safety:

  • Lifeguards should undergo proper training and certification.
  • They must always remain vigilant and focused while on duty.
  • Regular drills and updates on rescue techniques are crucial.
  • Proper equipment, such as rescue tubes and first aid kits, should always be accessible.

Community Safety:

  • Encourage community members to swim only in designated areas with lifeguards present.
  • Ensure that children are always supervised while swimming.
  • Promote swimming lessons for individuals of all ages to improve water safety skills.

Sun Safety:

  • Apply sunscreen with a high SPF regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses, when out in the sun.
  • Seek shade during peak sun hours, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Stay informed about UV index levels and take appropriate precautions.

Keeping Hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of sugary or alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  • Pay attention to signs of dehydration, such as thirst, dry mouth, and fatigue, and take immediate action if symptoms occur.

Awareness of Heatwaves:

  • Stay informed about weather forecasts and heat advisories.
  • Take breaks in air-conditioned or shaded areas during periods of extreme heat.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Check on vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with medical conditions, to ensure they are staying cool and hydrated.

Back-to-school shopping can be a hectic time for both parents and students, but planning your shopping trips strategically can help you save time and money. Here are some tips on the best times to buy:

Early to Mid-Summer (July-August):

  • Many retailers start their back-to-school promotions early in the summer months, offering discounts on school supplies, clothing, and electronics.
  • Look out for sales events like "Tax-Free Weekends" in some states, where you can purchase qualifying items without paying sales tax.

End of Summer (Late August - Early September):

  • As the back-to-school season reaches its peak, retailers often offer clearance sales to make room for fall and winter merchandise.
  • Take advantage of last-minute discounts on items like backpacks, clothing, and electronics.

Off-Peak Times:

  • Consider shopping during weekdays or non-peak hours to avoid crowds and long lines.
  • Online retailers may offer special deals and promotions throughout the summer and into early fall, so keep an eye out for discounts.

Wait for Specific Sales Events:

  • Back-to-school sales events, such as Amazon Prime Day or Back-to-School Cyber Monday, can offer significant discounts on a wide range of items.
  • Keep track of retailers' newsletters, social media channels, and websites for announcements about upcoming sales and promotions.

Monitor Price Trends:

  • Use price-tracking tools or apps to monitor the prices of items you need. You can set price alerts to notify you when specific products drop in price.
  • Compare prices across different retailers to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Buy in Bulk:

  • Purchase school supplies in bulk quantities, especially items like notebooks, pens, and pencils, which are often heavily discounted when bought in larger quantities.when bought in larger quantities.

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, influencing our thoughts, feelings, actions, stress management, relationships, and decision-making.


Depression is a mental illness that affects people of all ages. Despite sharing the same symptoms as adults, depression in children often goes unnoticed and untreated. Children who are depressed may be misunderstood as being shy, difficult, or misbehaved.

Signs and Symptoms you may be depressed:

  1. Sad or irritable most of the time
  2. Hopeless and worthless
  3. Feeling emptiness or numb inside
  4. Changes in appetite
  5. Changes in behavior and possible aggression toward self or others
  6. Intrusive negative thoughts
  7. Feeling tired or fatigue
  8. Crying often
  9. Lack of motivation
  10. Loss of interest of things you use to like
  11. Loss of interest in friends and activities.
  12. Uninterested in socializing, playing, and other activities
  13. School difficulties such as failing grades
  14. Difficulty Sleeping or sleeping to much
  15. Poor concentration and focus
  16. Social withdrawal
  17. Low self-esteem
  18. Excessive guilt and worrying
  19. Thoughts of being tired of life or not wanting to live


Anxiety is a mental and physical reaction to perceived threats. It protects us from danger, and focuses our attention on problems. But when anxiety is too severe, or occurs too frequently, it can become debilitating.

Symptoms of Anxiety:

  1. Uncontrollable Worry
  2. Poor Concentration
  3. Excessive Nervousness
  4. Avoidance of Fear Sleep Problems
  5. Upset Stomach
  6. Muscle Tension
  7. Increased Heart Rate

Body Image

Body image is a combination of the thoughts and feelings you have about your body. Body image may range between positive and negative experiences. At times a person can feel positive or negative or a combination of both. Body image is influenced by internal and external factors. For instance personality and social environment.

Two Approaches for being more accepting of your body

1. Body positivity is all about loving and accepting your body just the way it is. It means understanding that everyone's body is different and unique, and that's what makes us special. Instead of focusing on how our bodies look compared to others, body positivity encourages us to appreciate and celebrate our own individual shapes and sizes.

How to adapt Body Positivity:

  • Be Kind to Yourself
  • Celebrate Differences
  • Positive Self-Talk
  • Healthy Choices
  • Ignore Unrealistic Standards
  • Support Others
  • Speak up
*Remember, body positivity is about creating a positive and accepting mindset about your own body and the bodies of those around you. It's a journey of self-love, appreciation, and kindness.

2. Body neutrality = Think of it like this: Instead of constantly thinking about whether our bodies are pretty or not, body neutrality encourages us to think about what our bodies can achieve. For example, our legs help us run, our arms help us hug, and our brain helps us learn new things. It's like shifting the focus from appearance to functionality.

How to Adapt Body Neutrality:

  • Discover Your Body’s Abilities
  • Appreciate Functionality
  • Positive Self-Talk
  • Value Everyone’s Abilities
  • Healthy Choices for Functionality
  • Ignore Unrealistic Comparisons
  • Encourage Others
*In a nutshell, body neutrality is about appreciating your body for its capabilities rather than getting caught up in how it looks. It's a positive way to shift your focus towards the amazing things your body can accomplish every day.

Stress and Transitioning to the Next School Year

What is transition?

Transition is the process of adjusting to change in our life. These changes can occur when moving from one school to another, having a new teacher, moving into a new home/country, and separation of friends or family, ect.

Moving from one grade level to the next can be difficult for students and can cause feelings of anxiety and a sense of loss. This transition can be a significant milestone to the student’s academic journey, as it involves not only a change in environment but also an increase in academic demands, social dynamics, and expectations.

Transitioning to the next school year can cause stress to many individuals due to the loss of familiarity, loss of control, loss of identity, social anxiety, and even the fear of failure. It can be overwhelming for students to begin a new grade level in a room filled with unfamiliar faces and new educators. Below are some activities that students can do to help relieve stress.

Summer Stress Relieving Activities

5 Senses Nature Walk

By observing the environment with all their senses, children build new brain pathways! That brain development provides a strong foundation for life-long learning. You're also working on a child's motor skills, like running, balancing, climbing above and under things. Five Senses Nature Walk

Breathing exercises -

Breathing exercises help you learn to breathe deeply. Breathing deeply can help you feel calm and relaxed. Feeling calm and relaxed helps you make good decisions and handle stressful situations. Below is an article with various breathing exercises you can try at home with your child. Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids

Music therapy can help influence anyone’s mood, causing a range of effects from providing comfort to soothing physical pain to boosting energy. It can also be helpful to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress, improve sleep, boost memory and cognitive function. Suggested music to listen to are classical music during studying/homework, bilateral music to stimulate focus and concentration in the brain, and spa music to relax the mind and body. Start listening to music today and turn your home into a spa-like environment.

12 Hours Relaxing Music with Water Sounds Meditation

Bilateral Simulation Music

Suicide Prevention/Mental Health Resources

Crisis Intervention Hotline: Jersey City (201) 547-5114 or (201) 688-0508

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat

Español-Línea de Prevención del suicidio y crisis: Si tú o alguien que conoces necesita apoyo, llama al 988 (servicio en español) or envía un texto al 988 o chat vía (en inglés)

Hope Hub: 201-915-2210

Medical Center Mental Health Jersey City: (201) 915-2000