Mental Health Mondays Help Children Cope During COVID-19Children's Health
Experts Provide Online Advice, Resources, and Activities for Families
Stay-at-home orders have made the family home the centerpiece of our lives.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 90 percent of Americans are staying home as much as possible and practicing social distancing to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Our “new normal” appears to be paying off, public health officials report. The spread of the disease is slowing as we move toward “flattening the curve.”
But our efforts are also stressing us out, especially our children. They’ve had to adapt quickly to online learning, different routines and being cut off from normal activities that are vital for their growth and development.
“This is an especially vulnerable time for all of us, particularly for children who no longer have structure in their lives, who may be confused about social distancing, and experiencing anxiety over losing someone they love or getting sick themselves,” says Paul Simeone, vice president and medical director of behavioral health at Lee Health.
Kids’ Minds Matter, anticipating the challenges of COVID-19 on our children, families, and communities, debuted the “Mental Health Mondays” series earlier this month.
Streamed live on Facebook, these weekly segments are less than an hour long and feature psychologists, therapists, physicians, child advocates as well as art, mind and body professionals who share expert advice, resources, as well as at-home activities for parents and kids.
Simeone kicked off the series April 6 with a talk about how to help children cope during the pandemic.
“With our partners in the community, we are finding new and innovative ways of coming together, reaching families that are stressed and working hard to meet the pediatric mental healthcare needs in our region,” he says.
The program streams live every Monday from the Kids’ Minds Matter Facebook page, giving viewers the opportunity to ask questions in real-time. Mental health advocates, community partners and viewers are encouraged to create “watch parties” to share the live stream with friends and family.
Coming up on Mental Health Mondays
2 p.m., April 20: Live Yoga with Laura Grabinski: “Creating Unity and Mindfulness Through Family Yoga.”
Parents and their kids are invited to take part in this live stream to learn about the mental health benefits of yoga. Techniques performed will include:
- Magic Breath: Easy breath techniques that help to calm the mind and body for kids and adults
- Gratitude Flow
- Stillness and Rest: Are you healthy enough to sit completely still for 3 minutes?
Grabinski, a 500-hour certified yoga teacher, teaches hatha yoga, kids’ yoga, golf yoga, and aqua yoga.
Unable to join us? Stream on demand! Episodes of Mental Health Mondays are available to watch on the Kids’ Minds Matter Facebook page after the live stream has ended. Watch here.
Kids’ Minds Matter raises awareness about the need for pediatric mental and behavioral health care services and the funds required to make these services available in the region through Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and Lee Health.
For more information about Kids’ Minds Matter and how to advocate for children’s mental health services call 239-343-6950 or visit KidsMindsMatter.com