While our schools are closed, it’s important that we remain focused on supporting our health and well-being. During this time of uncertainty and physical distancing, it’s important for us all to take time for self-care, and supporting our physical and mental health.
We recognize that these are stressful times for our students and families. We are inviting you to review the resources we have put together below.
If you are worried about your child’s or your own well-being or mental health, please reach out to one of the resources listed at I need help now from the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council.
Caregivers’ Guides To Accessing Support For Students With Anxiety | WRDSB
The Caregivers’ Guide will help parents and caregivers to recognize signs their child may be struggling with anxiety, while also providing resources to help them succeed. This includes a variety of home-based strategies, as well as apps and online support for families of a student with anxiety.
Talking to Children About COVID-19 | WRDSB
Children and youth have many questions as they learn about the virus too, and look to the adults around them for answers. We have compiled these resources to help start and guide these conversations with children and teens.
Here24/7 is your front door to the addictions, mental health, and crisis services provided by 11 agencies across Waterloo-Wellington. All you need to do is reach out. They’ll work together with you to understand what you need and work to get you connected. Here24/7 does the intake, assessment, and referrals for most local government-funded addictions and mental health services. If you need a service outside what Here 24/7 can offer, they’ll do their best to link you directly.
Maintaining Mental Wellness During COVID-19 | WRSPC
Maintaining Mental Wellness During COVID-19 from the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) is a list of locally developed information and tip sheets, as well as a list of local, provincial, and national support services that can be accessed virtually during this time. While we all play our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our population physically healthy, the measures we are taking such as physical distancing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation may lead to new or heightened mental health concerns such as loneliness, anxiety, or depression.
Carizon for the Community | Carizon
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Carizon has launched Carizon for the Community, a new self-help website that includes resources developed, collected and curated in the spirit of supporting a family’s mental health. Lots of videos, resources and activities to help adults, caregivers and kids struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.
Jack.org is a newly created national youth website for young Canadians addressing the impact of COVID-19. The site brings together resources and self-help information through an innovative partnership between jack.org, SMH-ON and the Kids Help-Phone. Visit the site at www.jack.org/covid.
School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO)
SMHO works together with Ontario school districts to support student mental health. SMHO has a youth group called THRIVE, which includes the participation of one of our very own WRDSB students. THRIVE has created several resources in the past year to attend to student mental health issues. They have collected tips and resources for students, parents and educators on COVID-19 | SMHO.
The SMHO website also has a section dedicated to general student mental health needs and outlines your role as a student in creating positive mental health in your school community, and outlines how to take action and use resources to help with this as well as taking care of your own mental health. There is a resource on how to reach out for help as well as Help a Friend who may be struggling with mental health issues.
Anxiety: How You Can Support Your Child
In this video, you’ll hear from WRDSB Secondary School Social Worker Barb Shannon on ways you can support your child as they deal with their anxiety.
Parenting Now | KW Counselling Services
Parenting Now is a website, supported by KW Counselling Services, for parents and those who care about children. Check out this resource to connect with other parents, learn new skills and ideas, and find support through local services and resources.
Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH)
Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH) offers peer support for parents and caregivers of children experiencing mental health challenges through one on one phone calls and emails, as well as peer-to-peer virtual support groups.
Mindyourmind exists in the space where mental health, wellness, engagement and technology meet. We work with community partners and young people aged 14 to 29 to co-create interactive tools and innovative resources to build capacity and resilience.
Region of Waterloo Public Health
The Region of Waterloo provides many services that may be helpful to youth and students, such as reduced bus fare and health-related matters.
- Elementary + Secondary Students | GRT
- Youth Health | Region of Waterloo
- School Health | Region of Waterloo
The Little Black Book
The Little Black Book was developed by and last updated in 2014 by the City of Kitchener Youth Services. It’s not meant to tell you what to do, just to let you know about some options in this community. The list on the first page will give you an idea of the kind of info you can find in The Little Black Book. Check it out and use it! Almost all of the services are free. Just call the number given. If you don’t want to call yourself, ask a friend or an adult to call for you.
Beautiful Minds Student Handbook
Beautiful Minds is based on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health program “Talking About Mental Illness” (TAMI) – an awareness program proven to be effective in bringing about positive change in people’s knowledge about mental health, and in reducing the stigma that surrounds mental health issues.
The Be Safe app helps you make decisions in a crisis such as safety plans, and options for getting help in Waterloo Region.
isearchmycommunity.ca is a one-stop-shop for information on a wide range of community services including basic needs, crisis, legal, education, health, immigration, recreation, individual/family support, youth, seniors, childcare, and much more! The information is available to the public and professionals at no cost.
Exercises for Emotion Regulation
Exercises for Emotion Regulation is an excellent resource for learning to monitor and regulate emotions and breathing, with structured exercises to practice.
Grief, Dying, and Death During a Pandemic | Wellbeing Waterloo Region
Grief, Dying, and Death During a Pandemic was written in April 2020 at the request of the region-wide COVID-19 pandemic response group coordinating psychosocial and spiritual supports in Waterloo Region. The authors include practitioners and scholars in the areas of social work, palliative care, counselling, bereavement, spiritual care, death education, and funeral service.