Funded in part by SAMHSA's Project AWARE initiative in collaboration with Connecticut State Department of Education and Connecticut Department of Children and Families
SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH NEWSLETTER:
Resources for COVID and Beyond
Issue #2 - Caregiver Wellness
The second of a four-part series on resources for the school community
About this Newsletter
To help the school community transition during this stressful time, we have created four school mental health resources newsletters. Each newsletter will feature a weekly topic (identified by Connecticut Project AWARE school districts) and associated free resources for schools, caregivers, and students to help maintain social emotional competencies and engage in digital citizenship.

This week’s topic is  Caregiver Wellness and includes tips and strategies for engaging in self-care and digital resources to help caregivers stay virtually connected. Other topics include:

  • Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning (week one) - activities and handouts for educators and caregivers.
  • Digital Citizenship (coming next week) - including ways to help students engage in online learning and tips for helping maintain appropriate online behaviors.
  • Staff Wellness (week four) - including resources to effectively manage anxiety, secondary traumatic stress, and tips for engaging with positive social supports.
Self-Care Resources
Checklist: Taking Care of Yourself
This three-step, self-care guide encourages caregivers to manage their own emotional needs and find meaningful connections and supportive relationships.

*Key feature of this resource: provides a printable checklist of common self-care strategies for caregivers.
Strategies for Engaging in Self-Care
Feeling anxious or sad are common emotions that are especially relevant now. This brief resource provides concrete, actionable steps that caregivers can use if they are struggling and want suggestions for how to cope.

*Key feature of this resource: all strategies are easy-to-follow and feasible for caregivers. 
Resources to Stay Connected
Talk it Out: A New Hotline for Parents and Caregivers
Parents and caregivers of children may be under tremendous stress due to the pandemic. A new hotline has been launched by the State of Connecticut to offer verbal support, as well as a website that includes resources for child care, education, food, income, mental health and more.

*Key feature of this resource: talk directly to a trained professional, Monday –  Friday 8am – 8 pm, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1pm – 8pm.
Digital Supports for Mental Health and Well-Being
Virtual Groups
This handout offers phone and online support options for staying connected as well as different virtual, peer-run support groups for adults, seven days a week.

Mental Health Resources
This handout provides different audio or videoconferencing resources for both younger and older adults, including LGBTQ supports, and also provides various numbers to call when dealing with a crisis.
*Key features of these resources: short handouts that allow caregivers to seek both informal and formal supports on the local and national level. 
Free Mobile App: COVID Coach
This free mobile app is created for everyone and supports self-care and mental health during the COVID pandemic. This app can also be used to learn about coping, self-care, track one’s mood and provides comprehensive graphs to show progress over time.
 
*Key feature of this resource: free national downloadable app that you can access directly from your mobile device.
To keep up with the latest information and resources related to families, educators and providers, check out these links from CHDI and our Project AWARE partners:

CHDI website:  COVID CHDI Portal

 CT State Department of Education website:  COVID SDE Portal

DCF website:  COVID DCF Portal
 
Read last week's newsletter on Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning .
Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter, Digital Citizenship - which includes ways to help students engage in online learning and tips for maintaining
appropriate online behavior


If you would like to opt out of receiving future School Mental Health Newsletters, please email:  thill@uchc.edu
For more info about Project AWARE or this newsletter contact:
Child Health and Development Institute
860.679.1519 | info@chdi.org

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