Support systems and connectedness are critical during times of crisis and uncertainty. We want to ground ourselves in reframing social distancing to physical distancing with social warmth. Below are a list of resources for families, communities, and providers to use as they continue to support the mental health needs of children and youth.
There are many ways to navigate this time, and you and your family know your needs more than anyone else. We ask that you approach these resources in a way that makes sense to you. Let this list act as nothing more than a set of suggestions if you find yourself wanting them. Our request is that you take care of yourself and your family in whatever way feels best for you free of judgement or expectation.
DESE School Attendance in MA with FAQs, updated August 31st
MassAIMH "Going Back to School"social story to help prepare young children for return to school. Download it to customize it for the children in your life. MassAIMH has also gathered resources/tipsheets from their partners in the National Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. These are located at the bottom of their page.
Mayo Clinic video to prepare children for a Covid-19 nasal swab test, to help ease some of their potential fear and anxiety. This video is appropriate for children four and older.
National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations Resources and practices for reopening, including a framework for parents to use when relaying to teachers how to best support their child. ENGLISH | SPANISH
PPAL Parent & Caregiver Support Groups meet regularly and offer an opportunity for parents to come together to discuss parenting challenges and triumphs, and learn from one another. All groups are meeting virtually for safety concerns.
Federation for Children with Special Needs has created an entire resource page dedicated to providing health and educational guidance, and information to help families prepare for return to school in September. Resources include a school reopening FAQ, a list of guidelines provided by different government agencies (EEC, DESE, etc), as well as guidance on IEPs, waivers, and other laws governing special education.
Exceptional Lives back to school checklist for families of children with special needs, including managing anxiety, mask wearing, and supporting learning at home.
LUNCH & LEARN: NAVIGATING SPECIAL EDUCATION DURING COVID-19: On May 19th, 2020, the Children's Mental Health Campaign, in partnership with MHAP for Kids, hosted its first Zoom Lunch & Learn, a training on how to navigate special education services during the COVID-19 pandemic, led by Marisol Garcia, Director/Managing Attorney for the MHAP for Kids Program at Health Law Advocates. Watch the webinar HERE. Click here to access the toolkit and FAQ about this topic.
LUNCH & LEARN: NAVIGATING SPECIAL EDUCATION AS WE RETURN TO SCHOOL: On September 17th, 2020, the Children's Mental Health Campaign, in partnership with MHAP for Kids, hosted its second Zoom Lunch & Learn, a training on how to navigate special education services as children transition back to school, led by Marisol Garcia, Director/Managing Attorney for the MHAP for Kids Program at Health Law Advocates. The training articulates the current Department of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidance to school districts, as well as how to advocate for special education services during these changing times.
Talking to children about COVID-19:
Zero to Three Toolkit with resources on children's frequently asked questions and fun activities to do with young children during social isolation.
Sesame Street resources for families with young children, including videos, FAQs, printable coloring pages
Child Mind Institute Facebook live question and answer sessions about parenting during the pandemic
Free education resources for children at home.
Harvard Graduate School of Education video on helping children cope with anxiety surrounding coronavirus.
Head Start supporting children experiencing trauma
PBS Kids talking to children about COVID-19
COVIBOOK in 19 languages for explaining the virus and how to prevent it.
Mental health and substance-use policy & advocacy considerations:
MHAP for Kids White Paper on advocating for youth access to mental health services during a pandemicAugust 10th:
Boston Children's Hospital webinar on children's mental health considerations during COVID-19, including a discussion of tele-psychiatry, special considerations for children and teens out of school, and the current policy landscape. For a full list of BCH resources, click here.
Office of the Child Advocate Report on recommendations for supporting children and families who have experienced trauma and stress during the pandemic. This report includes recommendations for the expansion of MHAP for Kids.
Access to behavioral health services:
Boston Children's Hospital panel discussion regarding Child and Family Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic, moderated by Jonas Bromberg, PsyD. This facilitated panel discussion focused on changes in daily life, the types of behavioral health challenges that are emerging for children and family as a result of COVID, and how primary care teams can support patients and families.
Boston Emergency Services crisis evaluation and treatment services. If you or someone in your family is in crisis, please call 1-800-981-4357 for guidance.
Network of Care Massachusetts service directory includes all programs and agencies that deliver child and adolescent behavioral health services across the Commonwealth. Network of Care Massachusetts also has a COVID-19 Behavioral Health Information Hub with a Child/Adolescent Mental Health specific resource page.
The NAN Project resource guide for young adults for navigating COVID-19
The NAN Project resource guide for caregivers, teachers, and staff
PPAL Telehealth 101 tip sheet
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids guide for families navigating COVID-19 and substance-use, including peer support groups and resources on supporting older children through the pandemic.
Zero to Three resource on the importance of self-care with young children at home.
Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds on the importance of self-care for children, teens, and young adults
The Mighty recommendations for managing anxiety and OCD
MassHealth FAQ for families with children receiving home and community-based behavioral health services during COVID-19
Western Mass Recovery Learning Community peer support zoom meetings
Boston Medical Center remote addiction recovery resources.
MIRA resources for refugee and immigrant families, in multiple languages
For communities and providers:
Frontline Worker Resources including testing sites, free meals and accomodations, emergency child care, and self-care, created by the Office of the Attorney General.
Shared resource document on issues related to food, childcare, employment, financial aid, health, housing, and mutual aid. This is an actively-evolving resource, so check back regularly as it is continually updated.