In an effort to support children during this unprecedented time of crisis, we are offering weekly resources and activities to help support children’s mental health.
School closures, teleworking, rising unemployment and an uncertain future have left families to cope with stay at home orders under heightened stress and anxiety. As we do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, families may encounter a situation where crisis services are needed to assist with a mental health issue, substance use disorder, abusive situation, or even support navigating digital safety issues.
This week we are highlighting several important safety topics that impact families each day, but even more during this pandemic, including: crisis services, mental health, suicide, substance use, abuse and digital safety.
Please save and share these valuable resources and stay safe.
Maryland's Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours days a week to provide support, guidance and assistance: Call 211, press 1
Emergency number: 9-1-1
National Suicide Prevention Hotlines: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (-8255)
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
Maryland Crisis Online Chat: http://www.help4mdyouth.org/chat/ (available Mon.- Fri., 4pm - 9pm)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
The Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line: Whether students are experiencing cyberbullying or are concerned about one or more students capable of self-harm or violence, The Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line is anonymous and accessible 24/7 by phone at 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233), online at safeschoolsmd.org, and by downloading the free app via the App Store or Google Play.
Maryland Coalition of Families: Provides online support groups for families caring for someone with mental health or substance use disorder, online meet-ups for young adults aged 18-26 who are struggling with their mental health, online Narcan and parenting trainings, as well as online book clubs, exercise groups, self-care workshops and cooking classes. See the list of online support groups here. See the list of events and trainings here.
OK2TALK: A community for support teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems by encouraging them to talk about what they’re experiencing—sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle, and hope. Learn more.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) TTY: 1-800-799-4889 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
COVID-19 Resources - Crisis Response | The National Center for School Mental Health: Offers multiple resources on suicide under the Crisis Response category.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: For any victims and survivors who need support, we are here for you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress, adversity, or even trauma. It is a skill that we develop as we grow. All children, and adults, are capable of working through the difficulties they will face throughout their lifetime. One of the many ways to build resilience is through taking care of ourselves, which can be practiced in many ways, including:
- Talking about and labeling emotions
- Making time for relationships
- Practicing gratitude
- Spending time outside and prioritizing exercise
- Following a healthy diet and trying to sleep well
- Taking a break from media
- Practicing relaxation and coping skills
We hope this week’s resources will help you and your families to build resilience during this stressful time.
During this unprecedented public health crisis, it’s common to feel a lot of stress and anxiety. In addition to the tragic loss of life, health, and income, we’re experiencing the loss of our daily routines.
Many of us are grieving.
Grief can be a strong, and sometimes overwhelming emotion, but it’s a natural reaction to loss. We may find ourselves and our children in the stages of grief and loss, which include:
- Denial and isolation
Those who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them. This week, we are providing resources for your families to help cope with the big feelings that come with the 5 stages of grief. We hope that you find them useful and that you remember to reach out for help if you find yourself, or your child, struggling.
Our lives have been turned upside down. The days seem to run together now that many of us struggle to manage parenting, classwork, jobs, or even job loss. As families begin to feel the stress that comes with a global pandemic and massive shifts in daily routine, how do they know when that stress had become something more concerning? Long-term stress may develop into anxiety at any age. And, too much stress or anxiety can affect our ability to think clearly.
Here are 5 simple ways that adults and children can decrease stress while practicing social distancing:
- Move your body
- Eat well & drink enough water
- Turn off your phone/limit social media/media & news exposure
- Get a good night's sleep
- Have fun together!
We hope this week’s resources and tools will help you and your family to remember self-care, improve your coping skills, and calm your fears.
Being a parent can be stressful in many ways. Add in a global pandemic, school closures, remote working, and nagging uncertainty and stress can increase rapidly. How do we balance working from home while helping our children learn and play? How do we adapt to changing routines while managing our households as this situation unfolds?
For over 20 years, the Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign has worked to raise awareness of the importance of children’s mental health by connecting communities and providing resources that promote resiliency. During this difficult time, we want you to know that you are not alone. Adjusting to new routines is difficult for each of us—young and old. Below you will find links to information that we hope will support you as you navigate the new normal and create a routine that meets the needs of your family.