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Uncertainty of fall sports worries parents about its impact on children's mental health

A mental health expert gives tips to help ease the uncertainty in children, teens.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The uncertainty surrounding fall youth sports and school could have an impact on your child's well being. 

"I really feel that these teenagers need some kind of normal-ness to their life," said Christi Hinderer, her son Lake plays football at Central York High School.

Hinderer lost her son, Lance, to suicide almost three years ago. With the university surrounding the new school year and sports, she's worried about the impact it will have on teens and young kids.

RELATED: Life Through Death: York County mother spreads awareness following son’s unexpected suicide

"I believe sometimes we as parents keep thinking, 'well this is a season, they'll get over it,'" said Hinderer. "Some don't get over it." 

Her son, Lake, having lost a brother to suicide worries about his teammates and classmates as the start of school and sports seems up in the air. 

"This was our year to move the program where it hasn't gone before and we've been waiting for it," said Lake. "And now things are changing and I can tell on some of my teammates it's been stressful." 

With all this uncertainty, Michele Ford, a psychologist and instructor at Dickinson College says, the feelings kids are having are normal. 

"For children especially, but for the whole entire family the school routine and the athletic routine or just the extracurricular activities provide this very needed structure for them," said Ford. 

She says, the best way to help kids through this time is to still create everyday structure in their lives. 

"Come up with a schedule that works for you," said Ford. "So, it can be a scheduled routine or flow of events,' we're gonna get up do these things have lunch and take a break,' that allows everyone to feel like things are predictable."

Ford says, to watch for noticeable longer lasting changes in your child's mood, and don't wait to seek help from a doctor or psychologist. Typically the earlier a child seeks mental health treatment, the shorter the treatment period is.