As I write my September column, I am enjoying a beautiful view of Nantucket Sound and the sound of gentle waves on the beach. There is an unmistakable feel of Fall coming.

Schools are reopening and everyone, school personnel, parents and kids are all switching gears from summer to back to school. The annual ritual of “September Reset” requires us to shift schedules and to create new routines. I have actually have always enjoyed the sense of excitement that comes with a new school year and the prospect of new challenges and horizons.

This September marks the beginning of the 25th year for Youth Health Connection. If you had told me we would be at this milestone when we began as the Adolescent Suicide Prevention Project, I likely would have said, all I do is “One day at a time”, working to promote wellbeing. It truly feels remarkable to be at this juncture. Thanks go out to everyone who has been a participant in our quest to reduce risk and increase resiliency for youth, families and communities. A special thank you to South Shore Health System for providing the platform for the work we do and the service we provide.

Our focus theme this year is: Focus on Foundations: Healthy Families and Healthy Communities. We have a number of excellent programs and speakers planned for the year. Our goal is to cover a broad variety of topics we feel are important foundational issues for health and wellbeing. We continue to be dedicated to community education regarding substance use and the perils teens face.

I want to underscore a critical theme for success with students and educational growth. Research highlights the importance of students feeling connected to their parents and families, schools and teachers, peers and communities. Foundational to building connection is understanding that by focusing on positive relationship and encouragement we enhance connection and resiliency. This truly is part of core foundation: Connection, relationship and accent on positives.

Do not forget the sense of summer as we move to September. Carry it with you and focus on foundations: Connections, relationships and positives.

Here’s to our 25th year of working to make a difference. Thank you for the privilege of my position as Medical Director of Youth Health Connection.