Dear Help Group Friends & Families,
Pop artist Kesha wrote an open letter a few years ago regarding mental health and the holidays. She began:
“The holidays break your routine. Sometimes, you’re forced to spend time with family you rarely see and don’t always get along with. Or maybe you’re alone when everyone else is with family. Or you are off from work, with more time to think troubling thoughts. Or you are at work and can’t be with those you love. Or you are thrust into party situations that tempt your demons. Or you aren’t invited to those tempting parties. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself.”
She goes on to remind everyone to be thankful and to avoid putting pressure on oneself, especially during these times.
The importance of mental health and the need to accept when one needs help and to seek that help out is being talked about more these days than ever before. There are movements to try to reduce the stigma of mental health challenges for all people as well as for specific populations like men or other groups that have traditionally been reticent to acknowledge mental health concerns or to seek support and treatment. The holidays, while a time for relaxation and celebration for many, are nonetheless stressful and challenging for many others. At The Help Group, we encourage our clients and families to take stock of what the holidays mean to them and to recognize the potential need for support for themselves or others.
Like all of our schools at The Help Group, at Westview School in Culver City, a therapeutic school serving students with social and emotional challenges, the teachers, therapists, and administrators are currently working to support their students as they encounter the challenges of the holidays. Learn more about Westview and read an inspiring testimony from one of our seniors below.
Please join us on December 7th on our monthly webcast as we tackle this subject in more depth.
Dr. Jason Bolton
VP of Community Partnerships & Admissions
While for some people, the holidays may be the happiest time of year, to others, it may be another reminder of their harsh reality of being alone, feeling abandoned or being separated from loved ones.
The truth is that, for many, this can actually be the most difficult time of the year. In a 2021 study, the National Alliance of Mental Health Illness found that sixty-four per cent of Americans feel their mental health is negatively impacted by the holidays. Indeed, for some people, the holidays can become another excruciating time of the year where we feel alone in our battle to stay centered. The chances of thriving, however, increase when we have the proper tools and approach to support each other, especially our youth during the holidays.
NEW WEBCAST - DECEMBER 7 / 10am PDT
"At Westview, we see the potential in everyone. Students are given the opportunity to find their passion, embrace their purpose and
discover a world of possibility."
Westview School promotes student engagement through a guided, innovative curriculum in a therapeutic, inclusive atmosphere. Westview School offers a comprehensive, college preparatory middle and high school program. Westview offers its rigorous, innovative curriculum in conjunction with a wide range of clinical services provided by highly professional, licensed, and credentialed staff. High school core classes meet the A-G course requirements for UC and CSU admissions. An innovative and integrated program features:
- Small class sizes: adult/student ratio averaging 1:6.
- Daily emphasis on executive functioning including organization, study and test-taking skills integrated throughout the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
- Mindfulness program to benefit cognitive outcomes, stress reduction, and overall well-being.
- An emphasis on critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving for real-world application with practice in oral presentation, debate, and public speaking.
- Elective programs including art, music, foreign language, and athletics.
- Dual/Concurrent enrollment opportunities at local public schools and community colleges.
- Speech and language therapy, counseling, and occupational therapy (per the student’s IEPs).
Westview Student Testimonial
I started The Help Group’s Westview in the 10th grade. I was only there for a year and a half when Covid shut everything down. During the pandemic, I was faced the many challenges with distance learning and issues at home. There were three of us at home and everyone was trying to cope with all the pandemic was dishing out. Can you imagine having ADHD and been stuck in a house? It was extremely hard to do work on the computer for hours at a time, staying inside the house for multiple days, which turned into weeks and then into months. This affected my mental health as well as well as my family’s.
Westview continued providing me with school counseling every week, but I needed more and got another therapist who I was able to zoom with. During the pandemic, I was able to get the help I needed with my Westview counselors who helped me with mindfulness and talk through the anxiety I was feeling.
HIGHLIGHTS & UPCOMING EVENTS
club l.a.’s Winter Party!
Thursday, December 14th | 6:30-8pm
Come celebrate the holidays with club l.a. annual club l.a. Winter Party! Join old friends and new friends for a celebratory evening of holiday cheer. We will have dinner and dessert, play games and sing karaoke. Don’t miss out on the fun! For neurodiverse young adults ages 18-29.
Parents Like Me
Parent Support Group
Wed., December 7th | 6-7pm
Announcing Parents Like Me Parent Support Groups for parents and caregivers of neurodivergent kids and teens 17 years of age or younger. These are free online sessions that provide a safe space for parents and caregivers to share, connect, and provide support for one another.
December 19th – January 3rd
School will resume on January 3rd.
ABOUT THE HELP GROUP
The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit of its kind serving children, adolescents and young adults with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional challenges through its wide range of specialized education, therapy and outreach programs. Recently, The Help Group launched programs to serve LGBTQ+ youth. At the heart of its efforts is the commitment to helping young people fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.
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