As parents, educators and students gear up for another round of remote learning, it’s a great time to revisit helpful mental health tips and strategies as we all adjust to the challenges of this provincial Stay-At-Home order. Here are some of the tips and resources that might help!
Connect as a family
During the Stay-At-Home order, it’s a good idea to maintain as much continuity and normalcy as possible with family activities. Simple things like eating together as a family, sharing “highlights and low-lights” around the dinner table or going on family walks are practical ways to have meaningful conversations and connect with the members of your immediate family. In some families, not everyone is able to be at the dinner table together, so find creative ways to connect using group texts, or good old-fashioned sticky notes on the fridge door.
Practice thought-changing strategies
It’s easy to lean toward the negative when things are difficult, but it’s important to show your child how to challenge negative unfounded thoughts and choosing to focus on positive thoughts. Parents are not immune to the temptation to focus exclusively on the negative but be encouraged that you can help your child refocus their attention to more positive thoughts. By doing so, you might also lift your own spirits! A simple Google search will show you there are unending benefits of positive thinking on your health and well-being.
Pray for and with your child
As a Catholic learning community, it’s important to remember how powerful and peaceful prayer can be for our mental health and well-being. Praying for and with your child is a great way to put our worries and fears into the hands of God. Our Ottawa Catholic School Parents’ Association has a lovely collection of general prayers to help you on their website.
Crisis support, counselling and referral services for children & youth
- 24/7 crisis line and crisis chat for Ottawa children and youth (Youth Services)
- 24/7 counselling and referral services for children and youth (Kids Help Phone)
- Free phone & video counselling (Counselling connect)
Mental health resources for families
- Ottawa Public Health mental health resources and information (Parenting in Ottawa)
- AboutKidsHealth mental health resource hub (SickKids)
- Anxiety resources for coping with COVID-19 (Anxiety Canada)
- Student mental health action kit (School Mental Health Ontario)