We appreciate that children and teens, as well as parents and caregivers may have questions and are dealing with many unknowns about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). 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 the following resources to help start and guide these conversations with children and teens.
For resources to help families and caregivers, please refer to our Resources for Parents and Caregivers page.
This comic for children was created by NPR to help children understand the COVID-19. To make this comic, NPR used interviews with Tara Powell at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, Joy Osofsky at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and Krystal Lewis at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
By the National Association of School Psychologists
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.
Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
By the Child Mind Institute
News of COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.
How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
By Psychology Today
Even if children and teens don’t appear to be following COVID-19 news carefully, it is likely that they are absorbing the information and stress from adults. They are hearing about it from friends and making their own inferences about what it all means. Rather than leave this education up to siblings, the media, or friends, you play an important role in helping children and teens better understand what’s happening and help them manage their own related worries or anxiety.
Supporting Student Mental Health During a Pandemic
By School Mental Health Ontario
During a pandemic, anxious reactions are common. As caring adults in a student’s life, we can help young people by being a steady calming influence, providing developmentally-appropriate and factual information about the local situation, and helping students to feel some level of control. (Ce document est disponible en français)
Personal Resiliency Tips for Helpers Who Support Students
By School Mental Health Ontario
It’s essential to take care of yourself, not just for your well-being, but also for those you care about and support. Your self-care will help improve your energy, focus, ability to cope with challenges and overall life experience. And you’re modelling wellness strategies for the children and youth you serve. (Ce document est disponible en français)
Adult and All Ages Mental Health Resources
By Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC)
Are you or a loved one dealing with anxieties, fears, or worries about COVID-19? This page contains a list of resources available to support adults and individuals of all ages in the Waterloo region. Refer to this page for specifically Youth Resources.
The effort to address COVID-19 is both extremely important for us all and poses a range of challenges to individuals and families as they respond to the demands of the situation. The situation is stressful for everyone and it is normal to be anxious and worried. This resource is designed to provide information and suggestions about how best to cope in this difficult time.