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.

Check back weekly, on Mondays for new resources! Be sure to visit our website, FacebookInstagram, and Twitter accounts or you can subscribe to receive emails directly to your inbox.

Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and the Children's Mental Health Matter's Campaign is taking this month to focus on raising awareness on bullying. Learn what bullying is, how you can take steps to support your child or student who is being bullied, how bullying affects a child, as well as resources for support.


What is bullying?

Bullying is a common experience for children, adolescents, and even adults. One in five teens reports being bullied. Teasing, ignoring, or intentionally hurting another person are all types of bullying. Harassment and sexual harassment are also considered forms of bullying. Bullies can be seen as large and aggressive, but also small and cunning. Victims of bullying may have poor self-confidence and typically react to threats by avoiding the bully. Both bullies and their victims make up a fringe group within schools. Both bullies and victims may feel insecure. Typically, boys bully by using physical intimidation and girls bully through social intimidation - excluding others from peer interactions.


Types of bullying

Verbal bullying - Saying or writing cruel things about another person.

Includes:

  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying - Sometimes referred to as relational bullying. Involves hurting someone's reputation or relationships.

Includes:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling others not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumors
  • Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying - Involves hurting a person's body or possessions.

Includes:

  • Hitting/kicking/pinching, etc
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing, etc.
  • Take or breaking someone's things
  • Make mean or rude hand gestures

Cyberbullying - Bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology such as cell phones, tablets, computers, social media, text messages, chat apps, etc.

Includes:

  • Cruel text messages or email
  • Rumors sent via email or posted on social media websites
  • Embarrassing photos, videos, fake profiles, etc.

What Can We Do About It?

  • Know your child’s routines and pay attention to any changes to that routine. Does your child arrive home later than usual, take alternate routes to school (in order to avoid confrontation with a bully), or appear more overwhelmed or sad?
  • Maintain close contact with teachers to see if your child avoids certain classes or school settings. This may also help you to understand bullying.
  • Empower your child by showing how much you value them. Spend time talking with them about personal self worth and the importance of sticking up for themselves.
  • Help your child understand the difference between aggression and passive communication by showing different examples of each. Ask your school psychologist or social worker to explain the different forms of communication: aggressive (typical of bullying), passive (typical of bullying victims) and assertive (most effective means of communication).
  • Discuss with your child the impact of being a bully and how bullying is hurtful and harmful. Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
  • If you suspect your child is being bullied at school, talk with your child’s teacher or principal. Children should not be afraid to go to school or play in their neighborhood.
  • If your child sees another child being bullied, help your child report the bully to a teacher or another adult. Saying nothing could make it worse for everyone. Become familiar with the bullying prevention curriculum at your child’s school. For example, in Maryland, state law requires that all public schools include a bullying prevention component within their curriculum. See Maryland State Department of Education website for more information: http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DSFSS/SSSP/Bullying/index.aspx

Resources

Family Resource Kit - Bullying Fact Sheet

Educator Resource Kit - Bullying Fact Sheet

Parent Resources - Stomp Out Bullying

Educator Resources - Stomp Out Bullying

Are You A Bully? - Stomp Out Bullying

LGBTQ+ Bullying - Stomp Out Bullying

Other Resources on Various Bullying Topics

The Children’s Mental Health Matters Campaign stands with the Black community and is outraged by current and past tragedies in our state and across the country. We know many families and groups may be struggling to know how to have important conversations with their children about racism and inequality in our country. This situation has caused added anxiety and the Campaign would like to provide resources to address both the anxiety and the important discussions you may be having. Please know that the Campaign strives to be sensitive and responsive.

We encourage you to share any helpful community resources you have found by contacting tthomas@mhamd.org


Parents & Families

How To Be An Ally In The Fight Against Racial Injustice And For Better Mental Health For All | Mental Health America

Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five | Zero to Three

Anti-Racism for Kids: An Age-by-Age Guide to Fighting Hate | Parents.com

Talking Race With Young Children | NPR

How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race | NPR Life Kit

How to Talk to Kids About Race | The Atlantic

Helping Your Child Cope with Media Coverage of Community Racial Trauma: Tips for Parents | Disaster and Community Crisis Center, University of Missouri

Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism | PBS Kids for Parents

Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News | Child Mind Institute

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after Mass Violence | National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting | National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Community Violence: Reactions and Actions in Dangerous Times | National Child Traumatic Stress Network

"Sesame Street" for Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism | CNN & Sesame Street Town Hall Event

Anti-Racist Resources | The Greater Good

The following resources, offered by the The Steve Fund - Achieving Equity for Mental Health in Youth of Color, may help young people cope during this difficult period. Young people can also Text STEVE to 741741 to reach a culturally trained crisis text line counselor.

Community Healing Network: Healing in the Face of Racial Trauma

Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week | Vice

 

Educators & Providers

Black Minds Matter - Interrupting school practices that disregard the mental health of black youth | Teaching Tolerance

Don’t Say Nothing - Silence speaks volumes. Our students are listening | Teaching Tolerance

Responding to Trauma in Your Classroom | Teaching Tolerance

Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom | National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Teacher Guidelines for Helping Students after Mass Violence | National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Young, Gifted, At Risk and Resilient - A Video Toolkit to Support the Well-Being of Students of Color | National Center for Institutional Diversity

Collection K-12 classroom online learning through the lens of diversity, bias and social justice | Anti-Defamation League

 

Online Book Readings

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory | Youtube Video

Sesame Street: We're Different, We're the Same - Read Along Series | Youtube Video

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson | Youtube Video

You Matter by Christian Robinson | Youtube Video

 

Book Lists

Anti-Racism Book Lists | Prince George's County Memorial Library System (scroll to bottom of page)

Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race | Books for Littles

Excellent “Diverse” Books for Children | EmbraceRace

Talking to Kids about Racism & Justice | Oakland Library

Explain Racism & Protest to Your Kids | The New York Times

25 Picture Books about Protest, Pride, & Promise | Black Children's Books & Authors

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.


Crisis Services

Facts for Families: Crisis Services (Also available in Spanish)

Facts for Families: First Steps in Seeking Help (Also available in Spanish)

Facts for Families: When to Seek Help

COVID-19 Victim Resources | Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services

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.

 

Mental Health

Facts for Families: Psychosis

Facts for Families: Self-Injurious Behavior (Also available in Spanish)

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

Facts for Families: Suicide

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.

Implications of COVID-19 for LGBTQ Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention | The Trevor Project

Suicide Prevention During the Pandemic: Staying Safe While Social Distancing | UNC Trauma Talk

 

Substance Use

Facts for Families: Substance Use (Also available in Spanish)

Alcohol, Drug, Mental Health Treatment & Programs Directory | SAMHSA

Mental Illness and Substance Use in Young Adults | SAMHSA

 

Abuse

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.

Signs of Child Abuse | Baltimore Child Abuse Center

Baltimore Child Abuse Center Virtual Training - May 2020

Reporting Child Abuse During COVID-19 | Child Abuse Network

The Coronavirus Could Cause a Child Abuse Epidemic | The New York Times

 

Digital Safety

"Think Before You Send" video | Baltimore Child Abuse Center

Internet Safety Tips and Activities | NetSmartzKids

Staying Safe Online: Teens | Baltimore Child Abuse Center

Staying Safe Online: Caregivers | Baltimore Child Abuse Center

Cyberbullying | Understood

Media & Technology - Screentime during COVID-19, Cyberbullying + more | Child Mind Institute

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:

      1. Talking about and labeling emotions
      2. Making time for relationships
      3. Practicing gratitude
      4. Spending time outside and prioritizing exercise
      5. Following a healthy diet and trying to sleep well
      6. Taking a break from media
      7. Practicing relaxation and coping skills

We hope this week’s resources will help you and your families to build resilience during this stressful time.

Parents

2020 Children's Mental Health Matters Resiliency Calendar

Mind Resilience | Maryland Department of Health/Behavioral Health Administration

How Mindfulness Can Help During COVID-19 | Child Mind Institute

Things Mindful Families Do Differently | Mindful

A Mindfulness Practice for Stressed-Out Parents | Mindful

When a Child's Emotions Spike, How Can a Parent Find Their Best Self? | KQED

ABC's of Self Care & Coloring Sheets | Positively Present

Resilience: A Strength-Based Approach to Good Mental Health Poster

Maryland Resilience Rating Scale for Families

 

Children

Facts for Families: Well Being & Resiliency

Today I Feel Coloring Sheet (English)

Today I Feel Coloring Sheet (Spanish)

Helping Children Embrace Big Emotions | Mindful

Where Do I Feel Worksheet | Therapist Aid

Weekly Mindfulness Classes for Kids | Mindful Schools

Storybots Emotions Episode | Youtube/Netflix Jr.

Self Care Activities | Sesame Street

How Teenagers Can Protect Their Mental Health During COVID-19 | UNICEF

 

Educators

Facts for Educators: Managing Educator Stress & Wellbeing

Facts for Educators: Resilience - Promoting Positive Mental Health & Wellbeing

How Teachers Can Navigate Difficult Emotions During School Closures | Greater Good in Education

Three-Minute De-Stressor for Teachers | Greater Good in Education

Why Early Childhood Educators Should Turn to Mindfulness and Compassion, Now and Always | EdSurge

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus | Teaching Tolerance

12 Ways Teachers Can Build Resilience So They Can Make Systemic Change | KQED

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:

    1. Denial and isolation
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance

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.

 

Parents

Grieving the Losses of Coronavirus | The New York Times

The Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief | Harvard Business Review

Overcoming FOMO: What Fuels Your Fear of Missing Out? | GoodTherapy

Grieving in Exceptional Times | Hospice Foundation

 

Children

Facts for Families: Grief

Facts for Families: Trauma

Emotion Planning: Grief

Coping Skills Cards

Handling Your Kid’s Disappointment When Everything Is Canceled | The New York Times

Making A Child's Birthday Special In Midst of a Pandemic | Huffpost

Trauma & Grief Resources | Child Mind Institute

Social distancing and teens: What adults can learn from this connected generation

How Children Grieve | Social Work Today

 

Educators

Facts for Educators: Grief

Facts for Educators: Trauma

Four Core Priorities for Trauma-Informed Distance Learning

COVID-19 Resources for Social Workers and Therapists

Teachers You Are Essential | Understood

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:

    1. Move your body
    2. Eat well & drink enough water
    3. Turn off your phone/limit social media/media & news exposure
    4. Get a good night's sleep
    5. 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.

Parents

Coronavirus - Coping with Stress

Coronavirus - Crisis Resources 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Fact Sheet 

Stress Fact Sheet 

Calm Your Coronavirus Fears 

COVID-19 Parenting Keep Calm & Manage Stress | World Health Organization

How to Help Someone With Anxiety | Mental Health First Aid

 

Children

Calm Your Child's Coronavirus Fears

Facts for Families: Anxiety Disorders 

Facts for Families: Anxiety Disorders (Spanish) 

Breathing Wands Activity | CMHM Campaign

Managing Stress & Anxiety Resources | Understood

How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus | PBS Kids

5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus | The New York Times

Supporting Teenagers & Young Adults During the Coronavirus Crisis | Child Mind Institute

After A Crisis: How Young Children Heal | The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

 

Educators

Facts for Educators: Anxiety Disorders 

Facts for Families: Managing Educator Stress & Well Being 

Facts for Educators: Crisis Management

Navigating Coronavirus As An Educator With Anxiety | Understood

5 Tips for Supporting Students Socially & Emotionally During Distance | Understood

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.

 

Parents/Caretakers

Tips for Working at Home with Kids

NPR Life Kit Parenting Podcast: 6 Tips for Homeschooling During Coronavirus

Children’s Mental Health Matter’s Campaign Resources

Supporting Families During COVID-19

Mental Health Association of Maryland Coronavirus Resources

 

Children

How to Talk to Your Child About the Coronavirus

How to Keep Kids Learning When They're Stuck at Home

Free Meals for Students

Mental Health Association of Maryland Children & Families Coronavirus Resources

 

Educators

Managing Educator Stress & Wellbeing Fact Sheet

Teachers, How Can We Care for Our Mental Health Right Now?

Teaching Through Coronavirus: What Educators Need Right Now

Children’s Mental Health Matter’s Campaign Resources