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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Benyamin Bresinger

How to handle the back to school pressure

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Back to school, particularly this year, is a period of stressful transition and uncertainty for students and for parents. Addiction thrives in isolation. Imagine the negative impact that half a year of isolation might have caused to vulnerable families. Over the last few years, Chabad Lifeline has provided dedicated full-time Youth Counsellors to the English Montreal School Board in 15 schools across the island. Our Counsellors meet one on one with at-risk children and teens from homes affected by addiction. As well, they educate faculty, parents, and students in addiction prevention so that today's youth don’t become tomorrow's addicts. When the pandemic shut down the schools in March of 2020, our Youth Counsellors had to deal with the difficult challenges that faced students and families impacted by addiction. A new student chatline has now been established where youth can reach out anonymously to our experts and receive immediate online help. This year, Chabad Lifeline is back in the schools prepared to implement an emergency strategy within 24 hours in case a second wave of the virus will require the schools to shut down once again. Our zoom site is ready, and our chatline is open. Our Youth Counsellors are in the schools reconnecting with last year's students, connecting to new at-risk youth, and identifying the children most affected by the difficult circumstances of the last five months. A word to parents No one knows how long "back to school" will be possible. This concern may induce stress and self-sabotaging behaviours that make a vulnerable person more at risk of succumbing to addiction. Chabad Lifeline is available to help.

If your stress level is difficult to manage, talk to one of our Addictions Counsellors. Don't wait for the crash. If you are a parent who has struggled in the past with addiction, make the call. The greatest thing a parent can do is model to their children how to deal with upheavals and uncertainty. Now is when you can give your children the tools to get through challenging times. Make the call. We want to hear from you. Our number is 514-738-7700. You never have to be alone.

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