Parenting is hard enough without being in the middle of a pandemic, so Bacon Street Youth and Family Services decided to create a virtual way to help.
The nonprofit said the intent is to listen and help James City County, Williamsburg, York County, Gloucester, Mathews, Poquoson, Newport News and Hampton residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bacon Street will have a free virtual support group every Monday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to help parents navigate through the challenges of raising teenagers during these trying times.
Drop-in virtual support groups are also available for teens every Tuesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m., according to the nonprofit.
Allison Jarvis, the prevention director at Bacon Street, spoke about how the virtual support groups came to be. She said Bacon Street realized people were struggling, some more than others during the pandemic and knew they wanted to help.
“What can we do to help, not just to help the parents and caregivers, but also to have a safe space for our teens who are the ones that are on the ground level experiencing so many changes that goes against everything within the nature of being a teenager,” Jarvis said.
Another reason the support groups were created was to take some load off the plates of school counselors. Jarvis said some of the people who are attending their support groups have been referred by their school counselors.
Jarvis said she feels like this whole pandemic has pushed mental health front and center.
“I think that as mental health is kind of front and center, that’s kind of helping chip away at some of the stigma, that maybe people will become more comfortable talking about things,” she said.
She mentioned she is seeing a lot of people on public Facebook pages airing grievances over a lot of anxieties and stressors they would be naturally addressing within the virtual support groups.
Both groups are limited to about 10 people per week, so those interested in signing up should click here to reserve an available spot.
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