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Ideas on how we can help youth (and ourselves) in this post-election time

Ideas on how we can help youth (and ourselves) in this post-election time


Across the country, school social workers are dealing with the aftermath of the 2016 election.  Our students and their families are fearful of what this election means for them, and many of you are sharing big and small examples of how this election has impacted your school climate and made many young people feel unsafe in their own communities.

Colleagues from the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago have partnered with the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition to share a document offering context and support to youth, families, and school mental health professionals. The document is entitled  “Preliminary Messaging to Raise Awareness about the Significant Impact of the Presidential Election on Youth Health and Well-Being.” Here’s some key excerpts:

Since the presidential election on Tuesday, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has become aware of several reports that children and youth are experiencing significant distress. Youth who have been affected include frequently marginalized youth, such as LGBTQ youth and refugee/immigrant and undocumented children and youth, but may not be limited to these groups…These fears increase a sense of isolation and hopelessness for this group. As a result, college and community counseling centers are being overwhelmed with the volume of calls for support, and schools are reporting instances of hate speech, racist vandalism, and having to cancel classes due to safety concerns.

Please share this document with your colleagues, and let us know in the comments section how things are going for you and for your school communities.  These are very serious times and we need to take care of each other so that we can help our youth face the challenges ahead.

About The Author

Michael Kelly

Michael S. Kelly PhD, LCSW is the Lucian and Carol Welch Matusak Professor and Director of the School Mental Health Advanced Practice certificate and Family and School Partnerships Program at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work. Prior to coming to Loyola in Fall 2006, he was a school social worker, family therapist, and youth minister in the Chicago area for 14 years. He has authored over 80 journal articles, books, and book chapters on school social work, evidence-based practice (EBP), and positive youth development. He is a fellow of the Oxford Symposium for School-Based Family Counseling, co-Chair of the Society for Social Work & Research SSW Special Interest Group, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of School Social Work, and Associate Editor of School Mental Health. He has recently brought his work on school mental health and EBP to researchers and practitioners in England, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Canada, Chile, and Japan.


  1. Anne Azriel

    When I click on the link for the document it says the website has been moved. How can we get this document?

  2. Anonymous

    thank you for the resource

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