Free counseling for children and families is available through Connections in Jourdanton. The staff are currently working from home, as a safety precaution against the coronavirus.
Services are still being provided via free telehealth services.
Connections Program Counselor Vanessa Anger, LPCS, shared some signs for parents to watch out for in their children. If parents are noticing these characteristics in their child, they should look into counseling for them.
•Changes in eating or sleeping habits, especially if they are extreme. This can include sleeping all day, not eating at all or eating too much.
•Any destructive behavior. Examples are self-harming or drug and alcohol abuse.
•Any extreme emotions. This can be sadness, anger or worrying.
•Behaviors that are increasingly disruptive. Anger explained this can include acting out, talking back or aggression.
“If they are isolating a bunch and they don’t want anything to do with anyone, friends or family. Isolation is a red flag, especially if it is ongoing,” said Anger.
•Any regression in things they have formerly accomplished.
“In young children, what I have seen is a parent saying well, he or she was potty-trained and now they’re having accidents or they were able to do this task before and now they can’t do this anymore,” Anger said.
•Physical complaints. What Anger and other counselors see often are headaches and stomachaches. This is usually the result of anxiety.
•If they are fixated on anything related to death.
This can include a child wanting to talk about death often, watch videos about death or if they seem obsessed about it.
Other general topics that Connections staff get referrals for are divorce custody situations, sibling conflicts, any major changes like moves or changes in schools, deaths in the family or death of a friend and other types of grief a person may be going through. Other areas are individuals with a history of trauma or abuse.
To receive this free counseling, you must fit the following criteria:
•Must reside in Atascosa County.
•Only for children that are up to age 17 and still enrolled in school.
The mission of Connections is strengthening communities, one youth and one family at a time. Connections has been at their Jourdanton location since 1982.
If you are interested in making an appointment, call 830-629-6571. Their 24-hour Crisis Line is 800- 532-8192.