Mental Health and Support Resources

The following information is provided to assist parents, guardians, and caregivers as they seek to support their child’s/student’s mental health.

 

Attending to the Mental Health of Young Children

The ongoing pandemic and distressing events in the world will continue to take a toll on students. They may have experienced the loss of friends as they move from school or child care to staying safe at home. They may have had loved ones who were sick or lost a job. They may have witnessed violence in person, by listening to others, or watching television. These experiences can cause fears and anxiety. Young children are just learning to express their feelings with accuracy. Because of this, they let you know how they are feeling through their behaviors.

 

The Effects of Trauma

The website Effects of Trauma: Managing Challenging Behaviors, by Head Start/ECCLKC, provides additional information about children who were exposed to trauma and ways to support them.

Recognizing Trauma

Students may react to stressful situations in one or more of the following ways:

  • Change in regular sleep patterns including nightmares
  • Change in eating habits
  • Becoming clingy, whiny, angry, or sad
  • Physical complaints without illness
  • Fears (of the dark, being alone, or strangers)

3 Levels of Stress

When children experience stress that is excessive and prolonged it can interfere with their developing brains. The Center on the Developing Child describes three levels of stress:

  1. Positive—when stress helps a child learn to cope with challenges.
  2. Tolerable—when a child has a supportive environment and relationships with adults.
  3. Toxic—when stress is prolonged and there is no adult emotionally available for support.

 

Understanding Stress and Resilience in Children

Children who are more resilient in the face of adversity are better able to cope with negative situations that arise throughout their lives. One critical factor in building a child’s resilience is the presence of adults who support them during hardships.

Relationships with family and community members who provide warmth and support during challenging situations help a child learn strategies for coping. Helping children learn these strategies early can have lifelong impacts.

This video series, also from Head Start, explains how high levels of stress can impact a child’s well-being.

Mental Health Resources

Child Mind Institute

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health

Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy- Therapist Finder

NAMI – National Alliance for Mental Health

ADDitude (ADHD Resources)

International OCD Foundation

ATTACh Parent Online Support (Association for the Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children)

 

Related Articles

From Child Mind Institute- Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety 

What to Say to Kids When the News Is Scary

Helping Children Cope with Frightening News

How to Talk to Children After a Traumatic Event

Helping Children & Adolescents Cope with Traumatic Events

Talking to Children about Racial Bias

Talking to Young Children about Race and Racism: A Discussion Guide (PBS)

How White Parents Can Talk To Their Children About Race

COVID-19 Resources – MACMH

 

Parent / Caregiver Support Groups

Rogers Behavioral Health in Eden Prairie and St. Paul
Parent and Caregiver Support Group for OCD and Anxiety

  • Eden Prairie Group will take place on the second Tuesday of each month, 6:30 to 8 pm.
  • St. Paul Group will take place on the third Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8 pm.

Those interested in attending may email Kathryn.Fitzgerald@rogersbh.org or call 651-485-5859 to RSVP. After you RSVP, you will receive a link to join the virtual Teams meeting.

Psychology Consultation Specialists offers a monthly ADHD Parent Support Group
This is a virtual support group at this time. Please call 763-559-7050 to reserve your spot. $10/per family. Space is limited.