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Mental health supports for returning to school

This year, because of the presence and impact of COVID-19, many children and parents will have some stress, worry and anxious feelings as schools reopen. This is a normal adaptive response to a stressful situation. The majority of children, with the support of their families, communities and school staff, will manage these feelings and will adapt to changes as schools reopen.

Check out these resources to help students, parents, and educators support their mental health as schools reopen.

Students

Kids Help Phone is here for students of all ages during COVID-19, offering a list of trustworthy resources for mental health supports, youth wellness toolkits​ (grades 4-6 and 7-12), and spotting fake news about COVID-19. 

An image of a parent speaking with a childMaintaining social connection is important for student mental health, but if you are looking for mental health resources available in your community, check out the Be Safe App

For post-secondary students, the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health​ has collated a list of resources to support student mental health and online education tips.

Par​ents

With schools reopening, parents may be noticing mental health concerns in their child and looking for support in navigating their children’s emotions they may be facing with going back to school.

By engaging in some ‘Real Talk’ with your kids (grades 4-6, grades 7-12) about COVID-19, parents can help children know what to expect, be flexible when things are uncertain, and feel confident about the return to school. If you are looking for more support, check out these tips on supporting mental health and wellness during the return to school from School Mental Health Ontario, Children’s Mental Health Ontario, and CHEO.

For more resources and information for parents, check out this Back-to-School Mental Health Kit to empower your family to equip themselves with the tools necessary to support children’s mental health.

Remember to take some time for yourself with some helpful resources, as the return to school can be just as stressful on parents!

Educators

Both administrators and senior staff have a role to play in leading a mentally healthy system through the COVID-19 pandemic. Educators can further support student mental health during the return to school by creating caring connections right from day one. ​

For more resources and information to support educators, check out School Mental Health Ontario or the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s pages developed for educators.