Mental Health Supports for Families

Posted by Tracy Jentz on 3/30/2020 9:00:00 AM

Families,


This certainly has been, and will likely continue to be, a stressful time for many in our community. Without the routine that schools help to provide, many students and families are experiencing stressors these changes have brought about.


There have been many communications recently...regarding your student’s belongings at school, their access to technology, and of course the plan to begin learning remotely. We also recognize the need to support our students’ mental health and overall well-being!


As remote learning progresses, teachers will be communicating with families and they will find ways to support students from a distance. In addition, we want to remind you that our team of mental health professionals are here to help
support you and your students too!


The school social workers are already hard at work connecting families to resources in the community and helping to remove barriers to ensure that students will have the tools needed to continue their education!


Our school counselors have been creating a structure to provide virtual school counseling through online platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet. They are also preparing social-emotional lessons that will be made available to help students cope with the changes they are experiencing.


In addition, our mental health specialists, such as our Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor, are available to help families who are in need of support. To find contact information for all of these individuals and learn more about supports that are in place during school closures, we ask that you click on the Unified Mental Health Team link on our Mental Health Hub,
which can be found at www.gfschools.org/mentalhealthhub.

Here you will also find a wealth of information and resources such as:

  • Mental health resources specific to COVID-19
  • An online mental health screening tool
  • Links to mobile apps & videos to increase coping skills
  • Student guides to mental health
  • Info regarding telehealth services available for students
  • Helplines and crisis text lines

On our Mental Health Hub, you will also find information about a suicide prevention program known as Sources of Strength. We encourage you to learn more about this strengths-based program and we also suggest you download some of the at-home activities we’ve made available, such as QUINGO (Quarantine Bingo). I also feel it is appropriate to share insight from Sources of Strength founder, Mark LoMurray, who recently stated,


“May we use our Strengths to remain physically isolated, but relationally connected. May we be creative finding and exploring new healthy activities that energize, calm, and balance our lives. Even in the midst of our difficulty, challenges, and burdens, may we be open to growth. May we share our own resources to those in financial, emotional, physical, or spiritual need. May we ask for help when we need it.”


We are here to help! Please reach out to our mental health team for support. Again, contact information and resources can be found at www.gfschools.org/mentalhealthhub.

Sincerely,
Geoff Gaukler
Mental Health Coordinator