A year later, we continue to experience uncertainty with lockdowns and social distancing; we long for social interaction with peers, friends, and families beyond our immediate social circles. This month's newsletter will focus on the importance of maintaining and expanding our social connections by offering a listening ear while following Public Health guidelines.
Students have returned to schools after the second lock-down. Extra precautions have been taken with this return following the guidelines from Public Health, particularly around the use of additional PPE, minimized gatherings outdoors and indoors. Families might have some uncertain feelings and thoughts around sending children back to school. The focus of this month’s newsletter will be on identifying lingering anxieties, developing calming strategies one might use to mitigate them, and the importance of sharing with peers to maintain social connections and mental health.
As a result of a provincially mandated lockdown due to rising COVID -19 cases across the province, we end the Winter Break with a return to virtual learning. Although this will present a challenge for some and disappointment for others, our focus will be on how to keep one another physically healthy and maintain social connections and mental health while distance learning. This month’s edition of our Mental Health newsletter will focus on some suggestions of ways to stay socially connected during this continued time of physical distancing.
This summer may definitely yield activities and socializing with friends and loved ones in a very different way than in other years. With the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, and physical distancing measures still in place, we must find ways to maintain our positive mental health and remain socially connected over the summer months in unique and creative ways.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is May 4-8, 2020
During this time of much uncertainty, change in routine and time away from school, it is natural and expected that students may experience heightened levels of anxiety and worry. This special edition newsletter will focus on how to support student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic by discussing tips, resources and advice from experts in the field.
As we approach March Break, it is important for adults and students to think about how we take care of ourselves – how we can de-stress by incorporating strategies into our lifestyle to avoid burnout and stress induced illness.
Maria Baratta, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., Clinician in New York speaks about Self Care 101. Here are the 10 strategies that she speaks about:
Self care means knowing who you are and your limits.
Self care means getting the sleep you need and knowing how to rest Self care means making sure that you're well fed.
At some point in our lives, we are all likely to experience or be affected by some form of trauma – whether it be experiencing a life event of our own or witnessing another person experience trauma. Regardless of the cause, the trauma creates a lasting impression on our brain.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 29, 2020. It is a day where awareness is brought to talking about mental illness to dispel the stigma surrounding it. This is a day where Canada focuses on promoting mental health and supporting those that are struggling. This year’s theme is “Every Action Counts”.
Bell Let’s Talk gives us some simple guidelines when talking to others about mental health and mental illness:
Treat everyone with respect.
Be warm, caring and non-judgmental.
Challenge stigma when you see it.
Watch your language.
Setting Realistic Expectations during the Winter Break
The winter break is often a very busy time of year with much planning and activities. While it is enjoyable, we may find ourselves rushing form one event to another without taking the time to enjoy each moment. We encourage students and families to consider the following tips from St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland to enjoy a “well-paced” break.
1. Decide which activities and traditions are most meaningful to you. Only participate in those activities that have significance and decline those that cause stress.