It’s no secret here to most of you that I have children with mental health diagnoses. One of my biggest concerns at the start of this pandemic was my older girl’s anxiety disorder and my younger girl’s aggression, which is a result of her FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.)
Both teens do therapy on a regular basis and the youngest was in crisis for most of 2019. She might have turned a corner on that just recently due to therapy she’s finally been able to access. But jeopardizing any progress also was a concern for me.
Keep These Mental Health Resources for Reference Now
Staying on top of mental health issues and concerns here is vital to our well being as a family. This is a non negotiable. So, when all the appointments were terminated (logically of course because of social distancing), I worried their mental health gains would be lost.
My older daughter right now, is using all of her mental health resources and tools, while taking her medicine and doing things that make her happy at home right now during the Coronavirus outbreak. She is coping pretty well and looking for the positives to help get through, which is not to say she’s not been mad or had outbursts. She has had a lot of concerns and irritable moments and she also had a head cold that entire first week. But, we are all doing our best.
My younger girl is just that much younger, and she also has FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum, so she needs a lot of guidance and support and sometimes even all of that doesn’t work under the best of circumstances. The current pandemic with the very real threat of COVID-19 and the dramatic change to her daily routine means anxiety is higher than usual.
Many of my readers also have anxiety, or have kids with special needs and mental health concerns, so with that in mind here is a list of mental health resources I have found for you to access right now if anxiety is flaring and you are struggling or needing support for kids with mental health issues.
In fact, this pandemic is frightening for many people. I don’t have anxiety, but I was feeling very anxious that first week and disappointed too, of course. Many many travel plans and other things were cancelled. But, health takes priority.
Here’s a List of Mental Health Resources if You Need Help Now
Canada Mental Health Association- London-Middlesex: https://cmhamiddlesex.ca/ Canadian Mental Health Association- Information on mental health and COVID-19: http://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19
Reach Out – a confidential 24/7 information, support and crisis service for people living with mental health or addictions concerns in Elgin, Oxford, Middlesex and London. Please call: 519-433-2023 or 1-866-933-2023 or visit: https://reachout247.ca/
The Mental Health Commission of Canada: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English
Mental health doesn’t discriminate according to age, race or gender.
Mind Your Mind – An organization that offers interactive tools and resources for youth to promote positive mental health. My daughter also uses this resource frequently.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention– Managing anxiety and stress: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division. Some more information relating to anxiety specific to Covid-19 right now.
World Health Organization– Coping with stress during the outbreak: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/coping-with-stress.pdf?sfvrsn=9845bc3a_2
Professor Bethany Teachman– How to manage anxiety: https://news.virginia.edu/content/expert-offers-practical-advice-manage-your-coronavirus-anxiety
Mental Health Resources Specifically for Kids
Access this Free COVID-19 Workbook on how to manage thoughts & emotions! This is the link – > Restoration Therapy Services. Love how easy the emotions are broken down here and also how she discusses the purpose of each emotion.
Kids Help Phone – https://kidshelpphone.ca
Text Connect to 686868
FYI did you know that this amazing resource is useful for parents too? Last year, we had an episode where someone reported feeling suicidal to one of my teens. I reached out to Kids Help Phone to ask if I could report the incident for the child and their family and they said yes. Safety is the key priority, regardless of who needs the help or who needs to reach out.
For social connection in London ON during the social distancing period, check out this Facebook group: The Social Distancing Movement.
Right now, probably more than ever before, many of us can use support and mental health resources. Use these as needed and take care of yourself too. For us, mental health and physical health are so intertwined that it’s hard to see where one begins and the other ends.