Forum aims to help youths, families stay balanced over summer 

  • Mohamed Hassan/via Pixabay—

Staff Writer
Published: 6/23/2020 5:02:35 PM

NORTHAMPTON — As an unprecedented summer kicks off amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual forum presented through a collaboration of local organizations will offer parents and caregivers advice on keeping their families healthy and hopeful. 

The forum, titled “School’s out. Now what? Parenting Teens and Tweens Amid Pandemic and Protests,” will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. and “will offer practical skills to address anxiety among young people, promote positive mental health, hope, and healthy decision-making while setting a tone for a fun summer,” according to organizers.

The event is a collaborative effort between mental health education organization Minding Your Mind and local organizations SPIFFY; Communities that Care; Northampton, Easthampton and South Hadley substance abuse prevention coalitions; the Quaboag Hills Substance Use Alliance; Greenfield Safe Schools Safe Streets; and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

“As families move from schooling at home to summer at home, a host of new issues may arise related to family limit-setting, keeping young people safe, responding to anxiety and stress as the pandemic continues and communities respond to racial injustice and systemic racism,” organizers wrote in an announcement.

Amid these issues, the forum will address topics such as mental health needs of teenagers, stressors, managing social distancing, screen time, and self-care for parents and caregivers.

Registration is required for the free forum, and can be completed at

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at

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