Going to school during a pandemic can be challenging for families and schools. The following resources are designed to address mental health and resiliency in school settings.
Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Resources
SAMHSA funds the MHTTC Network, which is a collaborative network that supports resource development and dissemination, training and technical assistance, and workforce development for the mental health field.
- Back to School After COVID-19: Supporting Student and Staff Mental Health Toolkit is designed to help guide conversations to include a trauma-informed, equitable, and compassionate lens to providing mental health supports to every member of the school community.
- Behavioral Health Impacts During & After COVID-19: What to Expect and Ways to Prepare for the Return to In-Person Learning presents information on (1) what has happened in the last year, (2) what to expect as students return to school, and (3) ways to prepare at the staff, building, and district levels. It is designed to help guide schools and district teams to consider an array of strategies and considerations to keep in mind as schools bring students back into the school building in a way that prioritizes everyone’s mental health and wellness.
- Strengthening School Communities for a Safe, Supportive Return: Part 2 is a presentation that covers strategies and best practices for school systems to promote student AND staff resilience, wellbeing, and success following COVID-related school closures, as well as promote cross-state networking and shared learning about best practices, successes, and challenges of supporting student and staff resilience and wellbeing during learning modality transitions.
- The Managing Anxiety & Return to School webinar series is part of The Back-to-School Series – Supports for Staff, Students & Families During COVID-19 which is a series of webinars on concrete strategies to strengthen connections, promote mental wellness and resilience, and support everyone in the return to schools during a global pandemic.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Resources
Administered by SAMSHA and coordinated by the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), the NCTSN was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events.
- Helping Children with Traumatic Separation or Traumatic Grief Related to Covid-19 offers information on how to talk with children about traumatic separation or traumatic grief as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. This tip sheet is for caregivers or other adults supporting children with traumatic separation or traumatic grief related to COVID-19.
- The Power of Parenting During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Addressing Fears ad Feelings from Prior Losses provides caregivers guidance about how to address fears and feelings of prior losses that are coming up during COVID-19. This fact sheet offers information on loss and trauma reminders, coping with separation, and the mind-body connection.
- The Power of Parenting During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Mourning the Death of a Loved One provides caregivers guidance on mourning a death of a loved one due to COVID-19. This fact sheet offers information on saying goodbye when you couldn’t be there, understanding developmental differences in behaviors associated with grief, and seeking alternative support if needed.
- Supporting Children During Coronavirus (Covid-19) offers ways to support children and talk to them about COVID-19. This fact sheet describes how to start a conversation with children about COVID-19, correct inaccurate information, encourage children to ask questions and how to answer them, help children self-regulate, and outlines common reactions, how to stay connected, practice self-care, and what to do if you need extra help.
- Trauma-Informed School Strategies During Covid-19 provides trauma-informed school strategies in response to COVID-19. This fact sheet offers information on the physical and emotional well-being of staff, creating a trauma-informed learning environment, identifying and assessing traumatic stress, addressing and treating traumatic stress, trauma education and awareness, partnerships with students and families, cultural responsiveness, emergency management and crisis response, and school discipline policies and practices.
Suicide Prevention Resources
- Suicide Prevention Resources for Teens. This information sheet, created by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), contains a list of websites with suicide prevention resources for teens—for those who may be at risk for suicide and those who have friends who may be at risk. These websites all have fact sheets, and some have videos, stories written by teens, and text and online chat options.
- Preventing Suicide: The Role of High School Teachers. This resource for high school teachers, created by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), includes information on recognizing and responding to suicide warning signs, suicide prevention resources, and other information to help prevent suicide among students.
Other Federal Resources
- Supporting Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Maximizing In-Person Learning and Implementing Effective Practices for Students in Quarantine and Isolation | Department of Education – As the new school year begins, we must provide every student—from every community and background—the opportunity to safely learn in-person full-time.
- Helping young children and parents transition back to school | CDC – Learn what parents and teachers can do to help children make a successful transition to in-person learning and care.
- Children and Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage? | The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – Raising a child can be challenging. Even under the best circumstances, their behaviors and emotions can change frequently and rapidly.
- Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools | CDC – This updated version of COVID-19 guidance for school administrators outlines strategies for K-12 schools to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and maintain safe operations.
- Return to School Roadmap | Department of Education – America’s public schools have been steadily reopening for in-person learning, and students are returning to classrooms.
This article originally appeared here on the SAMHSA website.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.