We know that good mental health is essential to the success of students and their families alike. As stated by the National Association of School Psychologists, “Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness but also encompasses social, emotional, and behavioral health and the ability to cope with life’s challenges.” During this difficult time, mental health is important now more than ever.
In light of COVID-19, our SLT (Student Leadership Team) is sharing some mental health resources for students and their families. This list may be updated in the future.
Below are some various resources, a live twitter feed from @MentalHealthNYC, information from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and a pdf with clickable links to various free mental health apps.
UFT BRAVE hotline:: In light of that new reality, we have decided to expand the union’s BRAVE hotline to provide general mental health support for New York City public school students and their families. If you call 212-709-3222 on any weekday between 2:30 and 9:30 p.m., you’ll reach a licensed mental health provider.
EduMate NYC Free Tutoring: College students are providing free tutoring assistance to NYC public school students. Find out more here.
Parent Translation and Tech Assistance: Parent Volunteers NYC is a group of parents who have organized to provide language and technology assistance to fellow parents. Find out more here.
From the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:
An infectious illness outbreak such as COVID-19 can be stressful for you, your loved ones, and your friends. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, and afraid. You may also experience other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping.
To reduce your stress and help manage the situation, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends that you:
Try to remain positive.
Remind yourself of your strengths.
Connect with friends and loved ones:
Go outside and get exercise, if you are not sick. Remember to practice good hygiene and physical distancing. Walking, running, and bicycling are healthy activities that do not require close contact with others or shared equipment.
Identify what you are feeling and use healthy coping skills:
- Is It Anxiety, a Panic Attack, or COVID-19?
- Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Coping With Thoughts of Suicide During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Recognize feelings of loss are normal and there are ways to cope:
- Grief and Loss During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Managing Grief Over the Death of a Loved One During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Grief and Loss in the Workplace During COVID-19
- Tips for helping others grieve after death, job loss, or loss of health due to illness, from the New York State Office of Mental Health
Visit NYC Well’s website, which offers a number of well-being and emotional support applications that can help you cope. If your symptoms of stress become overwhelming, reach out for support and help. You can contact NYC Well, a confidential helpline for mental health and substance misuse services. Trained counselors can provide you with support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 200 languages. CALL: 1-888-NYC-Well (692-9355), TEXT: “Well” to 65173, or CHAT ONLINE at nyc.gov/nycwell. Services include:
- Crisis counseling
- Peer support
- Short-term counseling
- Mobile crisis teams
- Connection to ongoing mental health and substance misuse services
Call the New York State’s COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline at 844-863-9314 to talk to specially trained volunteer professionals. They are available to listen, support, and offer referrals from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.