Please let us know if you have any trouble accessing any of these recommended resources.
Erie County Cares - Back to School and Mental Health: A Parent Resource GuideElementary School-Age Students
Secondary School-Age Students
- Carol Gray has created social stories regarding the coronavirus. Her background is working with students with Autism. Her social stories are short, to the point and positive. This link brings you directly to the direct access page and all these resources are currently listed as ones you can copy and use. Please note that access may change without notice:
- Childtrends has put together a guide to address different aspects of how the coronavirus is impacting the mental health of both children and adults. This site provides numerous resources:
Parents/Adults in Household
- The following is an article written by UNICEF directly addressing teenagers and stress entitled "How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19): 6 strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal":
- Free app (trial) that will help students practice mindful breathing, relaxation and work on better sleep habits:
- Supporting Mindfulness for Teens - a tool to help with stress relief:
- 7 science-based strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety (for adults):
- Ideas for talking to your teen about stress and managing our mental health through self-care (for parents/educators):
- Panorama Ed. has created a website with a great deal of coronavirus resources for communities, schools and parents to help address concerns during this crisis. Many of their links offer great resources for young adults and adults, alike. The links on their page document efforts to manage self-care, anxiety, diversity/equity of responses and suggestions for families.
- The IRIS Center has created a new module specifically for parents titled Parents: Supporting Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This module offers practical tools and easy-to-implement strategies to help clarify what is and is not a parent's role during school closure and provides information for parents on how to support their child’s learning and social emotional wellbeing:
The following information, provided by the New York State Education Department, includes a variety of resources to support families and educators in talking to children about the COVID-19 pandemic and helping them to manage anxiety.
Resources for Mental Health and Talking to Young People About COVID-19
Mental Health Advocates of WNY
Resource Guide During COVID-19 Public Health Crisis:
We also know that being home unexpectedly for an extended period of time can cause stress for many of us. Here are some helpful tips from the Mental Health Advocates of WNY:
- Get enough (and better) sleep. Most people need 7-8 hours. Every night. Unplug from technology an hour (or more) before bedtime. Don't sleep with your phone nearby. Try to go to bed and get up at a regular time.
- Eat healthy foods. Replace caffeine, alcohol, and fast food with fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins. Food affects mood. Small changes can make a big difference.
- Exercise regularly. To boost your energy, help you remain calmer and more focused, lower the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and get better sleep, exercise is powerful medicine (even a simple walk).
- Be mindful. The past is gone. The future is not yet here. Enjoy the gift of this moment, which is why we call it the present. Dwell on what is right, not what's wrong. Be thankful for all the good in your life.
- Do things you love. Listen to music, garden, paint, or hang out with your cat or dog. Do things that put a skip in your step and a smile on your face.
- Cultivate spirituality. Faith has a positive impact on mood and mental health. It generates optimism, enriches relationships, creates support systems, and improves the quality of life.
- Limit technology. This is a biggie. Watch less TV, limit social media, and spend fewer hours on the phone. You'll feel better. A lot better.
- Invest in relationships. Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Stay close to your friends, especially those who are particularly anxious right now.
- Get help if you need it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of humanity. We are meant for community. We need each other.
- Be kind to yourself. Flight attendants tell you that in case of an emergency, "put on your own oxygen mask first." You can't help others if you're gasping for air. Make your mental health a priority. Be good to you!
If anyone is in need of immediate help for emotional concerns, please contact Spectrum Health & Human Services
24 hour emergency helpline: (716) 882 - HELP
or their Youth Crisis Line: (716) 882 - 4357
NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline:
Here is also a link from the American School Counselors Association that provides many resources for talking to kids about the Coronavirus, plus info from the CDC, US Dept of Education, and more
ASCA Coronavirus Resources
Here is a good article about discussing the coronavirus with kids from the Child Mind Institute.
Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
Supporting Teen Mental Health & Wellness
Created in collaboration with the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation, Cameron’s Collection provides guidance on sensitive issues for students, parents, teachers, and counselors. These titles are available remotely 24/7, allowing students to access what they need anytime and on their own devices. Helping students cope with everyday stressors and stay in the present moment through mindfulness are the core foundations of this collection.