FHN Leaders Discuss Back-to-School Stress, Continued Caution

September 4, 2020 – Sept. 4, 2020 -- FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE and Assistant Vice President, Behavioral Health Gabriel Gonzalez, MSW discuss helping kids and parents with back-to-school stress and the importance of flu shots in the latest FHN COVID-19 update video.

"Going back to school can be stressful in a 'regular' year," Gonzalez said. "And this year presents even more new stressors, so parents should be watching for signs that their student needs some help dealing with their stress, like changes in sleeping or eating habits, increased irritability or isolation."

Keeping a routine schedule can help families deal with stress, Gonzalez said, and parents should make it a point to check in with their students about how things are going - and shouldn't accept silence as an answer. He reminds people of all ages that we are all dealing with an abnormal situation, and it's OK to acknowledge that and "give yourself a break. Take a walk, have a minute to yourself."

Gridley reports that FHN, like all of northwest Illinois, has seen a steady influx of COVID-19 positive cases, but thankfully hasn't seen an uptick in hospitalizations.

He reminds people to take every precaution they can to help stop the spread of COVID-19: Masking, handwashing, social distancing, and soon, getting an influenza immunization.

"This is the year where it's more important than ever to get your flu shot," Gridley said.

FHN will hold a series of drive-through, COVID-19 precaution compliant flu shot clinics in the near future; details are available here www.fhn.org/flu2020.

The video, along with all of the previous weeks' videos, is available on FHN's COVID-19 information site here www.fhn.org/coronavirus.