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, Eliot Middle School, Field, Focus Point Academy, Norma Coombs, Sierra Madres ES andMS, Washington STEM and STEAM)
Young and Healthy: (626) 795-5166
Note: this information is also available on the PUSD Health Programs Webpage