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.
Our 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.
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.
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
- Four tips for managing your kids screen time
- The best ways to use screens mindfully and set limits in your household.
- Co-viewing with your kids
- Here are some things to think about while consuming media as a family.
- Social media and screen time during a pandemic
- With our day-to-day lives being thrown off kilter, it can be tricky for families to manage social media use and screen time. Here’s how one parent is attempting to strike a good balance.
Explaining news and media coverage to your kids
- Dealing with fear in media
- Helping kids cope with media coverage of war and traumatic events
- How to verify online news
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.”