Mental health resources for staff and families

This page is a collection of credible and reliable resources to support the mental health and well-being of staff and families.


*NEW* Supporting your teens during COVID – Zoom call

June 5, 2020   1:30pm – 3:00pm
Parents of teens are invited to join this Zoom session hosted by Barrhead Addiction and Mental Health. The session will review techniques for parents to help manage teen anxiety and how to implement healthy coping skills for stress management and substance use concerns. See the poster.

Limited spots available, pre-register by sending an email to karen.ladan@ahs.ca or thressa.zilinski@ahs.ca


*NEW* Resources from the EdCan Network

A compilation of carefully curated external resources and original content to support K-12 staff and parents who are navigating working from home and, most importantly, finding ways to support their well-being and staying connected to family, students, and colleagues. EdCan Network


*NEW* Alberta Education Help-Line

The line is 780-422-6548 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000, followed by the 10-digit phone number) or via email at: studentsupport@gov.ab.ca.

The Parent Help Line will be answered Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

“Even with the excellent work being done by teachers and school divisions supporting the learning and inclusion of students with disabilities, we know that the changes in how education is being delivered is affecting students differently. For families of students with disabilities, there may be questions about their child’s program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.

Alberta Education has established the help line and email to assist families with their questions and connect them to their boards where appropriate. This could include key members of the school district (teacher, principal, school district leadership, school board) to find collaborative solutions to meeting their child’s learning needs at home. 

I encourage you to provide this information to the parents of your students as you see fit.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education


*NEW* Alberta Council for Environmental Education

A parent resource page features fun and simple activities that connect children to nature and support home-based learning.


Westlock Family Connections promotes children getting a healthy start in life through. They are offering free weekly online sessions to support families: Triple P Thursdays

How to keep mentally healthy during uncertain times: there are lots of positive things we and our families can do to stay as physically and mentally healthy as possible.  Action for Happiness

Be fit for life is a group of Albertans who work collectively to inspire, educate and support Albertans to lead healthy, physically active lifestyles. Check out their Active at Home page.  

BOKS is an organization that team believes that sport & fitness have the power to change lives. BOKS At Home will share as many games and activities as possible to keep kids active and happy during this difficult time.

Talking to Kids About Coronavirus (COVID-19): ATA’s informative PDF and interactive online resource provide suggestions on what might be said to children and youth during the pandemic, what can be done to support our public health care system in Alberta, and how we will get through this together.

PHSD counselling support people will continue to contact students on their rosters and will establish ways to maintain connection. If you know of a student who is seeking support, direct them to the person you would usually use at your school.

Autism Survival Toolbox:  This is a little collection of visual tools. They are easy to put into practice but they will make a huge difference in how you and your child with autism survive this pandemic time: Autism Survival Toolbox


Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services has information and a variety of resources available for Albertans.

Mental health resources are posted here: www.ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes.

COVID-19 and your Mental Health

Coping and Connection For Children and Families

Practical and Emotional Preparedness for a Pandemic

Text4Hope: An Alberta-based innovation, Text4Hope is an evidence-based tool that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours a pandemic might be expected to provoke.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019


Mediasmarts

MediaSmarts is a trusted and reliable source of guidance for parents with regard to children being online.  Here are a few of their suggestions.

Identifying health misinformation

  • Help the whole family learn four easy fact-checking skills that can be done in under a minute with our Break the Fake tips, videos, quizzes and more.
  • Here are three tips to help you find good information about health and science topics.

Family screen time and social distancing

Explaining news and media coverage to your kids


North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response

In this series from the North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response, Kevin Cameron provides credible and reliable information for professionals and families.  A few snippets are included below.

March 17, 2020  Read the full article: COVID 19 – Moving Forward with a Caring Approach

“As professionals from multiple disciplines across the country, and beyond, are sharing our expertise, we are also learning that the current COVID-19 crisis has some uniqueness specific to our generation especially around more disperse transmission due to modern travel and exponentially higher anxiety due to media and social media coverage.”

“There has been an abundance of resources for parents, professionals, children and youth surface on various Internet and social media platforms. As such, we wanted to create a growing resource list (see attached) that professionals can feel comfortable providing to parents, staff and others…”

“The brain does not react logically when a person is scared. Fear activates the survival instinct (fight, flight, freeze) which occupies a different arena in the brain than does the more sophisticated executive function – where abilities like logic, discernment, and methodical planning exist. What’s more, when an individual feels or perceives that their survival is threatened, the survival response (fight-flight-freeze) will outpace logic every time.”

March 23, 2020  Read the full article:  Trauma-Informed Leadership for Helping Professionals: How to Sustain the Heroes Among Us

“We are seeing in our communications with government, emergency response and other organizational leaders that some helping professionals, essential to our support and recovery, are starting to waver and some have already distanced from the workplace not because of social distancing but because of a lack of emotional safety and understanding within their professional organizations. As well, support staff who have been in the background in the past, are now on the frontlines of emergency services without the benefit of our years of practical experience.”