Addressing Students’ Worry & Anxiety about Coronavirus COVID-19
Children and teens react to anxiety and stress differently than adults. Some may react right away; others may show signs that they are having a difficult time much later.
Overhearing adult conversations about events happening in their communities, watching or reading the news can make them feel scared, confused, or anxious, in much the same way as adults. This is true even if they live far from where the outbreak is taking place and are at little or no risk of getting sick.
As parents/caregivers, the best way you can support their wellness and healing is by staying calm. Children will react to what you say and how you say it. Make yourself available to listen and talk. Let them know that adults at home and school are taking care of their health and safety. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online. Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on the Coronavirus. Too much information on one topic can lead to fear, worry, and anxiety.
Below are some helpful articles on talking to your children about the current viral outbreak.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf
Talking With Children:
Tips For Caregivers, Parents, And Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4886.pdf
Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/
If you or your child are having a difficult time coping with the outbreak and want to seek outside help, contact your medical provider or insurance or speak to a trained counselor to get support regarding your anxiety or stress:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990
PUSD Mental Health Programs
The Pasadena Unified School District partners with the following mental health agencies who can provide support. Please locate your student's school below along with the mental health agency that services your student's school site. Agency numbers are listed for your convenience. Please call PUSD Family Hotline at (626) 396-3680 should you have any questions or need additional information.
D’Veal Family and Youth Services: (626) 296-8900 (Altadena Elementary and John Muir High School)
Five Acres: (626) 993-3100 (Jefferson Elementary, Washington STEM, Washington STEAM)
Foothill Family: (626) 993-3000 (Eliot Middle School, Hamilton Elementary, Willard Elementary, Marshall Secondary School)
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services: (844) 222-2377 (Longfellow, Madison, PHS, Webster)
Hillsides: (323) 254-2274 (Franklin Elementary, Wilson Middle)
Pacific Clinics: (877) 722-2737(Jackson, Roosevelt, Rose City High School)
PUSD Mental Health Services : (626) 396-5920 ( Blair MS and HS, McKinley ES and MS, Don Benito ES, Field, Eliot Middle School, Focus Point Academy, Norma Coombs, Sierra Madres ES andMS, Washington STEM and STEAM)
Young and Healthy: (626) 795-5166
CWAS Mental Health and Social-Emotional Support Services
The mission of CWAS mental health supports is to provide comprehensive, integrated, culturally sensitive services that support the academic achievements of PUSD students by addressing mental, social, and emotional barriers. Mental well-being is critical to children’s academic success so when students’ mental, social, and emotional health are functioning at optimal levels, students are able to have better academic achievement. Mental health is not only the absence of mental illness but it also encompasses social, emotional, and behavioral health and the ability to effectively cope with life’s challenges. When students have a positive perception of self and are able to positively interact with their peers, adults, and their community, their sense of well-being and the impact on their academic achievement increases. The identification of early warning signs and early intervention and prevention strategies are of critical importance to ensure our students build resilience, have a sense of safety, and are thriving in a stable, academic environment.
Click here to view the Mental Health Policy
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Plans, organizes, coordinates, develops, and implements school mental health related services district-wide for all students
- Coordinates with PUSD parents, administrators, teachers, staff, local community and county-wide organizations and universities to promote mental well-being of all students, per district mental health policy
- Coordinates and oversees the Master of Social Work Internship (MSW) program functions
- Provides administrative and direct clinical supervision of Associate Clinical Social Workers and MSW Interns
- Manages and coordinates/assists district trauma informed care efforts
- District Crisis Team lead; provides district-wide mental health crisis planning and support
- Mental Health Consortium coordinator and facilitator
- Strengthens the social-emotional well-being and academic achievement of all students
PUSD Clinical Social Workers
Clinical Social Workers (CSWs) provide:
- Social emotional support to campuses
- District Crisis Team
- Linkage for students and families to community resources and agencies
- Therapeutic and skill-building group sessions. The group therapy sessions center on social skill building, self-esteem, self-regulation, peer relationships, anger management, coping, etc.
- Supervision of Master of Social Work Interns
- Consultation to teachers to support students who display disruptive classroom behaviors or have other concerning symptoms and behaviors
- Student observation and clinical recommendations to teachers, administration, etc.
- Conduct assessments and provide services or refer out as needed
- Collaborate with school psychologists, teachers, principals, counselors, and parents to address the social-emotional needs of their school population
- Clinical expertise and knowledge during IEP meetings as needed/requested
Master's in Social Work Intern Program
Child Welfare, Attendance, and Safety Department works in partnership with Master of Social Work interns from USC, APU, and CSULB. MSW Interns receive supervised training from the CWAS Office involving individual, group, and family therapy, intake assessment, attendance support, intensive case management and crisis intervention. In addition, interns receive training in program development, outreach skills, and various specialized therapeutic skills involving students.
Mental Health Consortium
The School Based Mental Health Consortium is a collaborative meeting of all school based mental health programs servicing the district. Meetings are held every month with the CWAS LCSW as the facilitator. The following agencies are consortium members: PUSD Mental Health Services, D'Veal Family Services, Five Acres, Foothill Family, Hathaway-Sycamores, Hillsides, Pacific Clinics, Young and Healthy, and Project Wraparound. The consortium is dedicated to providing the highest quality of mental health services to PUSD students and their families.
CWAS Mental Health Crisis Response Team
The Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Social Workers from CWAS support school site crisis teams when potentially dangerous, devastating, or traumatic situations arise on school grounds or within the local community. They help the school campus process the precipitating events, identify ways to effectively cope, assess needs for more intensive services for students and/or staff, provide strategies to minimize the negative impacts of trauma, and assist students and/or staff in returning to regular school functions and routines. LCSW and CSWs intervene and provide psychological support to help minimize the possible emotional damage to those affected.