By Nicole Romaine-Settembrino, director of development, 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline
School is out, and thoughts of a carefree summer vacation dance in many parentsâ€™ heads. But the challenges facing New Jersey teens and young adults donâ€™t take a summer vacation.
Issues such as bullying, depression, self-esteem struggles and family problems, often-times eased by the school counselor, trusted teacher or compassionate coach, continue throughout the summer. And more time at home leaves kids more time to think about the problems they face.
Youth and their parents should know that 2NDFLOORÂ® is a statewide, toll-free, 24/7 helpline where children and teens can turn for confidential assistance about any concern on their mind. Youth can call 2NDFLOOR at 1-888-222-2228 to speak with professionals and trained volunteers to find non-judgmental and supportive responses to questions about problems they are facing. The website www.2NDFLOOR.org has information and message boards for them to share their concerns as well.
Call volume to the helpline increases between 10 and 30 percent during the summer months, suggesting that the increased unstructured time gives youth the opportunity to think about the issues they face and seek out help.
Many kids spend more time at home alone during the summer months, with parents working, and school professionals and teachers not around to see signs that a young person may be struggling. It is important that kids and their parents know help is just a phone call away.