Prevention Plus: Teen Talk counselor

Preventing teen substance use and helping teens make better choices starts with teens having adults who support them. Students at Ridgefield High School have many adults who support and guide them, and are lucky to have Ashley Adamson, a Kids in Crisis Teen Talk counselor, placed at RHS.

Ashley collaborates with Ridgefield’s school-based counseling team, teachers, administration, parents, community professionals, and Kids in Crisis outreach team members to provide solution-focused, confidential mental health treatment to RHS students. Ashley is at RHS full-time during the school year, where all students can come see her during the school day.

According to Ashley, the most common issue teens come to her about is anxiety.

“It can be quite disruptive when panic spikes during the school day when students are trying to focus, memorize, stay organized.”

Students also come see her about such issues as depression, self-esteem, family and peer conflicts, academic struggle or failure, attendance issues, LGBTQIA-related dynamics, and substance use issues. Ashley takes an individualized approach to her work with students.

“I strongly encourage students to be kind to themselves with their self-talk, become aware of their limitations as well as their strengths, and use them. I try to teach the importance of physical wellness, including sleep, healthy eating and exercise, in addition to cognitive coping skills. When students are in distress, I teach and practice with them coping skills that they can integrate into their daily lives.”

Stay tuned for a future Prevention Plus column with Ashley’s advice for teens to get help and support during the summer.

Kids in Crisis provides 24/7 crisis help for teens support at 203-661-1911. For Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS), dial 211.

For more information, visit RPC’s website, ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.org, or email coalition@ridgefieldct.org