Wellness and Mental Health

Updated: May 18, 2020

Here are some resources for promoting Wellness and Mental Health in our Ontario Catholic educational communities. These resources are particulary important in light of the current pandemic.

London District Catholic School Board has a valuable resource page on Mental Health and Wellness in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic which we have adapted here to focus on the Ontario scene. Local resources are also available on their site.

Resources to Support Conversations with Kids and Teens: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus from The Child Mind Institute
Many parents are wondering how to bring up the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.  

Teach your kids about germs! Short youtube video (47 seconds) teaching young children about germs and the power of handwashing!

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
The National Association of School Psychologists
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people in all our communities stay healthy.

Coronavirus: A Book for Children from NosyCrow.com Alex Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Written by Nosy Crow staff, the book has had expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as two head teachers and a child psychologist.

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus from NPR.
This comic for children was created by NPR to help children understand COVID-19, using interviews with Tara Powell at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, Joy Osofsky at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and Krystal Lewis at the National Institute of Mental Health.

How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
Psychology Today
Even if children and teens don’t appear to be following COVID-19 news carefully, it is likely that they are absorbing the information and stress from adults, siblings, social media, and friends. You play an important role in helping children and teens better understand what’s happening and help them manage their own related worries or anxiety. Psychology Today offers tips for conversations with kids and teens at different developmental ages and stages

Just for Students

School Mental Health Ontario Practical information to support you when you are seeking help: showcases different ways to start the conversation with a trusted person and what to expect after reaching out.

Self Care 101 for Students from School Mental Health Ontario is a Tip Sheet with small actions you can do to take care of yourself during these challenging times: Reaching Out for Help

COVID19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub

Jack.org, School Mental Health Ontario and Kids Help Phone have partnered to bring you all the information needed in one easy-to-access hub so that youth can access the education, tools, support and reliable information you need. Take care of yourself, and each other.

Resources and Activities for Families:

Supporting Kids during the COVID-19 Crisis The Child Mind Institute
As schools close and workplaces go remote to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many parents and families are trying to figure out how to manage this new reality – everyone is together all day in the home. Here are tips from the Child Mind Institute’s clinicians to help calm fears, manage stress and keep the peace.  

5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus NY Times
Adults can help by making sure adolescents don’t overestimate the dangers or underestimate their ability to protect themselves. People of all ages are concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, and teenagers, as a group, tend to experience emotions especially intensely. If you are raising, teaching or otherwise caring for an adolescent who is feeling very nervous about it, here are five things you can do.

30 Parents Share Their Favorite At-Home Activities To Help Bored Kids The Huffington Post
From educational games to apps and websites, here are some creative ways to keep children entertained during school closures.  

How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus PBS
Research shows that just being in the presence of a compassionate, safe adult can help kids calm down. As families, we can be “that person” for each other. Here are some ideas about how to put this in action!  

Wellness Wednesday Activities for Families LDCSB   Each Wellness Wednesday post provides: Information on mental health and well-being; a Wellness Activity to try; Reflection Questions for deeper learning; Connection to our Faith; and Links for Further Learning. No matter who you are, how old or young, Wellness Wednesdays are for you! Each post promises to give you real life, in the moment, easy to use tips and strategies. Great to use at home around the table!  

12 Easy & Fun Mental Health Practices to Try at Home  School Mental Health Ontario   While there are many groups offering arts, crafts and other activities online that you may wish to take advantage of, School Mental Health Ontario offers some ideas that could have special benefits for promoting mental health and social-emotional learning at this time. These ideas are based on practices that educators use in the classroom and can be used at home in fun ways.

Self-care for Caregivers: Personal Resiliency Tips for Helpers Who Support Students School Mental Health Ontario   It’s essential to take care of yourself, not just for your well-being, but also for those you care about and support. Your self-care will help improve your energy, focus, ability to cope with challenges and overall life experience. And you’re modelling wellness strategies for the children and youth you serve. (Ce document est disponible en français)

World Health Organization has a Mental Health sub-site. It features topics such as Mental Health at work and its annual World Mental Health Day held every October 10.

Other School Board Resources

CARFLEO has several resources related to Mental Health and Wellness:

Christian Meditation

The Way of Beauty

This post extols the virtues of deeper exposure to nature in promoting Mental Health and Wellness

Wellness and Mental Health are woven through our Elementary and Secondary Family Life programs.

Mental Health: Hope, Dignity and Our Compassionate Response – A Grade 9-10 Resource from the CCC.

Alyse Ruriani

District Administration: How educators can prioritize self-care now

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