Any suicidal thought is a risk. Help is always available. HealthWest's 24/7 crisis line is (231) 722-HELP. Anyone with a mental health concern can also walk into our offices at 376 E. Apple Ave., during business hours for an assessment. If there is an immediate fear of death or injury, please call 911.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line:
Text Home to 741741

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio
(888) 628-9454

LGBTQ Youth Hotline
(866) 488-7386

Suicide Hotline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
(800) 799-4889

 

Tips for parents talking to their kids after Oxford, other traumatic events

Following the recent fatal school shooting in Oxford and resulting copycat threats that have closed schools locally and across the state, many children will be turning to parents/guardians, teachers, and other adults for answers and reassurance.

 

According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), high-profile acts of violence, like those experienced recently in Oxford, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved ones are at risk.

 

They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking about their fears, according to the NASP.

 

Here are seven ways adults can assist children after such a traumatic event:

 

  • Reassure children that they are safe.
  • Make time to talk.
  • Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
  • Review safety procedures.
  • Observe children’s emotional state.
  • Limit television viewing of the event.
  • Maintain a normal routine.

 

Click here for more details on these topics and suggested points to emphasize while speaking with children.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID

 

HealthWest’s Psychological First Aid Response Network (PFA) is also here to assist those in the community who are struggling after a traumatic situation.

 

PFA aims to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis. Early intervention can prevent more serious mental health problems and people can recover from a traumatic event with support.

 

You can contact the PFA team by calling the HealthWest Warm Line at 231-722-HELP(4357). Click here to download our PFA flyer.

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS, TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

 

HealthWest offers a variety of behavioral health resources to children and families.

 

Any Muskegon County resident concerned about their mental health, or the health of their child can contact the HealthWest Warm Line at 231-722-HELP(4357) to schedule a mental health assessment.

 

A mental health assessment is the first step in starting the treatment process. The assessment will allow our mental health professionals to connect you or your child with the correct level of services here at HealthWest or with other community providers who offer the appropriate services for your or your child’s needs.

 

Families can also work with our clinicians and parent support partners based in school districts across Muskegon County. They can be found working in:

 

  • Holton Public Schools
  • Montague Area Public Schools
  • Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System
  • Muskegon Public Schools
  • Oakridge Public Schools
  • Orchard View Schools
  • Reeths-Puffer Schools

 

Our clinicians and parent support partners can provide a wide variety of services, including individual and group therapy, immediate crisis response, family counseling, assistance in connecting with community resources, support when dealing with family-serving systems and more.

 

If you are unsure of how to connect with your school-based clinician or parent support partner, please contact the HealthWest Warm Line at 231-722-HELP(4357) or email community.relations@healthwest.net.