COVID-19 has presented unprecedented issues and concerns for our community, our country and the world. As we focus on keeping ourselves healthy and containing the spread of COVID-19, we must also keep ourselves mentally well.
If this is a mental health emergency, safety is the immediate concern and help is needed now – call 911 or go to your hospital emergency department.
The uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus, significant alterations to daily routines and structures, and changes to social interactions with important people in our lives can result in accumulated stress.
There are things that we can all do to benefit mental health:
Exercise and eat healthy
Maintain good sleep habits
Practice gratitude and mindfulness
Connect with family and friends virtually or over the phone
YRDSB Psychological Services and Social Work Services
YRDSB Psychological Services and Social Work professionals are continuing to offer mental health support to our students. They will be reaching out to check in on students on their current caseload through telephone contact. Psychology and Social Work professionals will be reaching out to students on their current caseload first. In the coming days, Psychology and Social Work professionals will be working with schools regarding how to support students who may be experiencing emerging mental health needs. For more information please contact your school principal.
Mental Health Resources
The following resources may be helpful:
Equity and anti-Stigma Considerations
Equity-informed responses to COVID-19 from National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health
Equity Informed Resources from National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health
Social stigma associated with COVID-19 (PDF) from World Health Organization, UNICEF & IFRC
Online Mental Health Resources
You may also find these resources helpful:
How to Support Student Mental Health during COVID-19 from School Mental Health Ontario
COVID-19 and mental health information from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Children’s book about COVID-19 (available in several different languages)
Tips to manage mental health during COVID-19 from the Canadian Mental Health Association
Tips from the Crisis Prevention Institute for Parents/Caregivers to manage challenging behaviors at home:
There are also many community resources available to support students and families with issues surrounding mental health and addictions, including resources for students and parents/guardians.
There are also a number of free mental health apps that you may find helpful:
Virtual Hope Box promotes coping, positive thinking, relaxation and distraction (all ages)
My3-Support Network lets you stay connected to your network when in times of crisis (all ages).
Breathe2relax is a stress management tool to help learn diaphragmatic breathing (all ages)
Mindshift CBT - Anxiety Canada - Mindfulness, mood tracking, manage anxiety, thought journal, coping cards, etc (teens and adults)