COVID-19 and Mental Health and Well-Being
Information for educators to help them support
parents and caregivers
This can be a stressful and challenging time, particularly for those at home with children. When children and adolescents have questions during these uncertain times, it is important to answer questions in an honest, factual and developmentally appropriate manner. Validate their feelings and help to create a sense of safety and security for them based on current information in Montreal. Avoid giving them access to social media newsfeeds and television news (even in the background), in addition to keeping conversations to a minimum when children are in earshot. Even when they aren’t directly in front of us, children/teens are still listening. These are the messages we should be sending to parents and teachers should they reach out to us during this time.
We know that social distancing is one of the preventative measures to be taken during this time. However, with this it can create periods of isolation and loneliness, especially amongst those most vulnerable. It will be particularly important during this to reach out and connect with family, friends and colleagues using technology (FaceTime, zoom, google chat) and old school phone. Additionally, taking advantage of being outside in nature and going for walks can help to reduce feelings of boredom and isolation. These messages can also be shared with our families, staff and friends.
For more information on how parents and caregivers can manage with children at home please see the Student Services Resources on the LBPSB webpage.
Guidelines for Parents
Promote a sense of safety and security
Focus on what you are doing to keep them safe
Talk to your children about the Coronavirus
Ask them to tell you what they know and if they have any questions
Correct any misinformation in tune with their developmental level
Maintain routines and structure
Explain that they are not on vacation
Ensure a regular, but flexible schedule for meals, activities, schoolwork, bedtime, etc.
When both parents are working from home it may be helpful to take turns being with children
When only one parent is working at home attempt to maintain a schedule when you are most available for the children
Provide and Monitor activities
For younger children, encourage board games, arts & crafts, toys, favourite movies, stories, etc.
For older children and adolescents determine interesting and healthy activities that they can enjoy
For all ages, children should be encouraged to go outside and engage in physical actives and exercise as much as possible
Avoid unlimited video games, social media and isolation with their devices
Consider online educational activities such as www.learnquebec.ca; www.scholastic.ca; www.virtualmuseum.ca
For more detailed educational materials see LBPSB webpage
Monitor exposure to news programs, social media and internet
Limit access to information that may be disturbing to children
Model healthy lifestyle, good hygiene, and exercise
Talking to Children about COVID 19
How to support your child's well-being
Comment favoriser le bien-être général de votre enfant
Reasons why we connect with parents and students
Pourquoi entrer en contact avec les parents et les élèves ?
Dr. Cecile Rousseau on talking to your children
Creating a nurturing home environment
National Association of School Psychologists
Do Not Keep Children in the Dark about COVID 19
La Presse article on keeping children informed
Dealing with Normal Stress and Anxiety
Coronavirus anxiety is a normal response
Managing Stress in a Healthy Way
La Presse article on dealing with children at home
La Presse, maintaining healthy practices
Supporting children and young people with worries
Maintaining Structure and Routine
La Presse, maintaining a schedule
Physical health and wellness