General Mental Health Resources

The impact of a school closure on students often goes beyond academics. We need to be aware of and prepared to cope with the potential impact these closures will have on the mental health and wellbeing of students, staff, and faculty. Therefore, the Mattituck- Cutchogue District mental health staff would like to make families aware of the following supports and programs, as well as community-based mental health resources. The following list of resources can be used to support students and families during this challenging time.

General Resources for Parents

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic 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 on ways to reassure kids on the epidemic.(Child Mind Institute)

How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
So what should you tell kids about the coronavirus, and how? Hear best tips from experts - a pediatrician, two psychologists, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a safety best tips.

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019
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: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
This fact sheet provides parents, caregivers, and teachers with strategies for helping children manage their stress during an infectious disease outbreak. It describes potential reactions among youth and the support adults can provide to help them

How to Build Resilience in Children: Strategies to Strengthen Your Kids
Help your child build resilience in the face of obstacles including bullying, moving, divorce, and anxiety with these tips from an expert

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking the necessary actions that reduce the risk of illness. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

The Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief

If we can name it, perhaps we can manage it. We turned to David Kessler for ideas on how to do that. Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief.

2020 Mental Health Resource List
Taking care of mind, body and spirit has become even more crucial than usual in 2020. Multiple stressors born in times of crisis can reveal how important it is to prioritize one’s own well-being. Here is a comprehensive list of resources and tools — culled from colleges and other organizations — for anyone hoping to improve their mental health.


Social & Emotional Development

Research shows that those with higher social-emotional skills have better attention skills and fewer learning problems, and are generally more successful in academic and workplace settings. Like any math or English skills, these skills can be taught and grow over time.

Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help.

Resources for Elementary Students


How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
A favorite Mister Rogers’ quote ran through my mind: “Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.”

What Kids Want To Know About Coronavirus: An Original Comic : Goats and Soda
It's based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
Even if children and teens don't appear to be following the virus news carefully, it is likely that they are absorbing the information and stress from adults. They are hearing about it from friends and making their own inferences about what it all means. Rather than leave this education up to siblings, the media, or 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.

Healthy Habits for Life
Sesame Street characters help to build resilience for younger children through multiple activities, songs, and videos. This provides specific lessons and videos that can be used to foster resilience skills and emotional intelligence for younger children.

Resources for Older Students

23 Resilience Building Tools and Exercises
PositivePsychology.com provides 23 resilience training activities that can be used with teens and adults to foster resilience skills. This also provides powerpoints and resources to teach teens and adults the skills they need to be resilient and bounce back from setbacks. Additionally, it offers a “mental toughness" test and training used by the Army to build mental toughness.

Mental Health Resources For Adolescents and Young Adults
The Mental Health Resources for Adolescents and Young Adults are online resources aimed specifically at adolescents and young adults.

5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus
Adults can help by making sure adolescents don’t overestimate the dangers and underestimate their fears.

How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
Even if children and teens don't appear to be following the virus news carefully, it is likely that they are absorbing the information and stress from adults. They are hearing about it from friends and making their own inferences about what it all means. Rather than leave this education up to siblings, the media, or 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.

Managing Stress in Teens and Adolescents: A Guide for Parents
Teen stress is an important health issue. The early teen years are marked by rapid changes — physical, cognitive, and emotional. Young people also face changing relationships with peers, new demands at school, family tensions, and safety issues in their communities. The ways in which teens cope with these stressors can have significant short-and long-term consequences on their physical and emotional health.

Children with Special Needs

How to Create the Ultimate Playroom for a Child with Autism
As if parenting in general isn’t challenging enough, parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) must make every decision with extra care. When it comes to building a playroom, that means each design choice can enhance the many strengths of a child on the spectrum.

Coronavirus Social Social
FREE Coronavirus Social Narrative to help alleviate fears and anxiety many children may be experiencing at this time.

COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities
Informational text that is easy to read with pictures and information related to COVID 19.

Centering Ourselves- Mindfulness Resources

Anxiety is one of the biggest day-to-day challenges that my Autistic daughter faces. It’s one of those dark sides of Autism that many Autistic people struggle with. From coping with change to sensory needs to difficulty understanding emotions and black and white thinking, anxiety likes to creep in and roar…loudly.

15 Mindfulness and Relaxation Apps for Kids with Anxiety
This list of 15 Apps for Kids with Anxiety does wonders for helping to navigate the negative thinking, difficult social situations, and anxiety.

Mindfulness & Meditation for Kids
Kids of all ages can reap the benefits of meditation and mindfulness using technology. Meditating even only a few minutes a day has proven to reduce stress, boost immunity, aid memory and concentration, decrease depression and anxiety, and even make you more compassionate. Don't know where to start? Check out some of our favorite meditation apps for kids. These tools will guide kids through the process and help them relax and ground themselves. And for more great apps for restless kids, try our list of Apps to Help Kids Stay Focused.

Mindfulness & Meditation
Check in with how you are feeling and choose one of our missions to help create your very own force field of calm. Ages 5-10

Developing Your Self-Care Plan
There is no “one-size-fits-all” self-care plan, but there is a common thread to all self-care plans: making a commitment to attend to all the domains of your life, including your physical and psychological health, emotional and spiritual needs, and relationships.

Level up movement with GoNoodle's latest app: GoNoodle Games!
Kids have to get up off the couch to play – they use their actions to control a suite of fun movement mini-games designed to wake up their bodies, engage their minds, and let them have tons of fun – with no controller, data connection, or extra hardware required! All you need is a smart device and the free GoNoodle Games app!

Cosmic Kids Yoga
Cosmic Kids Yoga Videos - guided relaxation, teaching deep breathing techniques, simple yoga techniques

Family Fun Activities:

Families should play board games, or card games, and have children lose and assist in learning how to cope. In addition, winning gracefully is another important lesson. Social skills that can be practiced while playing a board game: turn taking, good sportsmanship, following directions and waiting.

Free Bingo Cards!

Fun Trivia: the World’s Largest Trivia and Quiz Website

Chatter Pack
A list of free, online, boredom busting resources
 
Books to help with anxiety
 
What to do when you Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids). This book guides children and parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of anxiety. Lively metaphors and humorous illustrations make the concepts and strategies easy to understand, while clear how-to steps and prompts to draw and write help children to master new skills related to reducing anxiety. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering kids to overcome their overgrown worries.
Ages 6 – 12

What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake: A Kid’s Guide to Accepting Imperfection (What-to-Do Guides for Kids). This book guides children and their parents through the emotions underlying a fear of making mistakes using strategies and techniques based on cognitive behavioral principles. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to cope with mistakes. Ages 6 – 12

Books to help with anger and negative thinking 

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger (What-to-Do Guides for Kids). This workbook guides children and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques used to treat problems with anger. Engaging examples, lively illustrations, and step-by-step instructions teach children a set of "anger dousing" methods aimed at cooling angry thoughts and controlling angry actions, resulting in calmer, more effective kids. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to work toward change. Ages 6 – 12

What to Do When You Grumble Too Much (What-to-Do Guides for Kids) This book guides children and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques used to treat negative thinking. Lively metaphors and illustrations help kids see life's hurdles in a new way, while drawing and writing activities help them master skills to get over those hurdles. And step-by-step instructions point the way toward becoming happier, more positive kids. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to work toward change. Ages 6 – 12