Parent Partnership in Education Newsletter  

  As we release this e-news edition, f amilies across the world continue doing their part to protect themselves and others by  staying home  as much as possible during the  COVID-19  pandemic. But adjusting to the new normal of  working and learning  can be a challenge and trigger to our mental stability.  Therefore we have dedicated this Quarterly Newsletter to provide families with  resources and supports to help you during these uncertain times.In Honor of Mental Health Month this e-news edition also features   How Mindfulness Can Help During COVID-19 by Child and Mind Institute and  "Teens & COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities During the Outbreak" by American Academy of Pediatrics.

Parent Support Network continues to partner with parents, educators, community agencies, and advocates.  We thank the students, parents, teachers and school personnel for  adapting to distance learning quickly and helping each other move through this. and we also want to Honor those that are on the front line working in the healthcare field saving lives.  We will be providing ongoing parent support groups and distance learning workshops for parents, educators, and professionals who are dedicated to students who are at risk or who have serious emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges in order to be successful academically and mentally.    We also have peer mentors who are parents with lived experience caring for children with behavioral health that are here to support and assist parents with their children's behavioral health and school related needs.

  We will continue to keep you up to date with educational resources related to COVID-19 but most importantly just know That we're here to help each other move through this.Find your calm and Take a breath and keep offering care to yourself and others. 

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

With schools closed and many parents working from home without childcare for the foreseeable future, it's hard not to start spiraling. Responsibilities seem endless, the situation dire, and it seems like time to yourself has become a thing of the past...
Take a deep breath. Literally. Feel a little better?

These are trying times, but incorporating  mindful practices into your daily routine can help calm anxiety and build  healthy coping skills. Here are some tips from our clinicians on making mindfulness work for you and your family.

It doesn't have to be complicated
Being mindful is what it sounds like. Taking time to focus on the present, being intentional and thoughtful about where you are and how you are feeling. Trying to center your thoughts and be in the moment. Sounds simple, but it takes work, especially now when concerns about what the future holds feel so pressing. Mindful activities can help. "Mindfulness isn't complicated," says Jill Emanuele, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. 

Here are some simple activities she recommends:
  • Squeeze Muscles: Starting at your toes, pick one muscle and squeeze it tight. Count to five. Release, and notice how your body changes. Repeat exercise moving up your body.
  • Belly Breathing:Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
  • Mindful Meal: Pay attention to the smell, taste and look of your food. No multitasking.
  • Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
  • Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures and colors.
  • Coloring:Color something. Focus on the colors and designs.
  • Listening to Music: Focus on the whole song, or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.

Teens & COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities During the Outbreak
American Academy of Pediatrics

Social distancing to slow the spread of  COVID-19  can be especially hard for teens, who may feel cut off from their friends. Many also face big letdowns as graduations, proms, sports seasons, college visits and other long-planned events are cancelled or postponed.Here are a few ways you can help your teen through this difficult time.  

Work together to create a new normal. Help your teen create a healthy and productive routine:
  • Stick to a schedule that works with online learning. Set a time to wake up, exercise, shower, get dressed, have breakfast, or whatever they need to start the "school day." If it helps, allow your teen to sleep in a little later than normal. Like they would be in class, phones should be off while doing schoolwork. Keep the TV off during school hours, too, and limit time watching the news. Plan mini breaks and a 1-hour lunch break.
  • Make dinner a transition time between the "school day" and the evening. Dinner is a great time to gather the whole family together to talk and share a meal. Try fun conversation starters, such as, "My favorite part of today was..." or "Today I am grateful for...". This may be the time your family may choose to observe a quiet moment together. Help them keep their usual  sleep time routine so they are ready for learning each day.
  • Allow "down time." It's normal for teens to crave more privacy from their family. Give them space for some quiet time, creative time, music time, or to virtually hang out with friends. This can help ease any feelings of being isolated from their friends or difficulties with routine-change.
Watch for signs your teen may need more support:
  • Teens who feel sad, depressed, hopeless, nervous or angry, during the COVID-19 pandemic may need more support. Ask your pediatrician if your teen's social and emotional health can be screened in an e-visit. During the visit, the doctor will ask whether your teen has been bothered by problems such as feeling down, depressed or hopeless in the past two weeks. The doctor also might ask if your teen has lost interest or in pleasure in doing things. 
  • Be aware of the signs of mental health problems in teens such as frequent irritability, changes in weight or sleep habits, repeated thoughts about an unpleasant event and conflicts with friends and family.

Link Below for Full Article:

Upcoming  Distance Learning Workshops and Support Group Schedule

Call us to register or if you need technical support and prepare for training.

Register with gototraining code or Link below:

  Register with Link Below:

PSN Parent Peer Mentors 

P SN Parent Peer Mentors are family leaders with lived experience raising children, youth, and young adults who are at risk or who have serious emotional and behavioral health challenges; work in partnership with the schools and community partners to promote family engagement and student success; and are knowledgeable of school support services and the special education process. PSN Parent Peer Mentors provide peer support, share up to date information and assist parents to participate in their child's educational team meetings and overall school success. PSN Parent Peer Mentors provide assistance with accessing special education, developing proactive behavioral strategies, dealing with discipline, attendance and truancy issues, and coordinating behavioral health services with education. 

During the COVID-19 
PSN Parent Peer mentors are  available by phone 

PSN has a diverse team with Bilingual Spanish & English Parent Peer Mentors and we work with interpreters and assist with cultural responsiveness.   Partners can access parent peer mentor services by sharing our brochures and information with families or going to our website and work with the family to sign consent and release and send over to our program and we will follow up with the family.

For more information and releases go to:

Naiommy Baret, Bilingual Behavioral Health Education Specialist
Melody Sorea, Bilingual Behavioral Health Education Specialist
 Parent Support Network of Rhode Island
535 Centerville Road, Suite 202
Warwick, Rhode Island