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COVID-19 Response and resources

The Children's Mental Health Campaign supports efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) are working closely to provide updated information about COVID-19:

CMHC stands with MPHA's Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity and more than 140 endorsing organizations with the following initial recommendations:

The Task Force recognizes that these recommendations are not comprehensive and do not address all populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As the Task Force continues its work, we will issue further recommendations and will lift up the leadership of other coalitions leading the way on related issues.

Support systems and connectedness are critical during times of crisis and uncertainty. We want to ground ourselves in re-framing social distancing as physical distancing with social warmth.

Below are a list of resources to aid in conversations with children about COVID-19 and support the behavioral health needs of children and youth.

Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand. Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation.
Even if you’ve kept your toddler away from news about COVID-19 in the media or overhearing adult conversations, they are bound to have questions.
MassAIMH is a network of providers and professionals serving young children and families and dedicated to promoting healthy social and emotional development in the earliest stages and relationships of life.
All health care services, including physical/medical and behavioral health services, are essential services and will continue to be delivered to MassHealth members. MassHealth has given providers added flexibility so that they can continue supporting families in this challenging time.

Spotlight on:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TNP has curated a list of resources for young adults as well as caregivers, teachers, and staff to offer a range of supports for managing the stress and anxiety experienced by many young people during this time.

Isolation and the lack of structure many students are now facing can be extremely stressful, scary and unsettling. To combat this, TNP is now producing online programming intended to create connectivity and reinforce the sense of routine and self-care among young people. In the coming weeks TNP will also be rolling out both live-streamed virtual content, as well as downloadable programs and resources for schools and communities across the Commonwealth.

For a full list of CMHC's resources and recommendations, visit the CMHC website.

Self-care is critical.

As a community working together, we need to actively practice self-care to foster our collective resilience as we continue to advocate for children and families.

Self-care is not selfish or indulgent—it’s how we keep ourselves well to ensure we are physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of being there for children.

Some of our community's self-care practices and recommendations are below. Self-care looks different for each person, so make sure to take time to check-in with yourself.

Need to take a break from news (and everything else)? Watch this video of jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Make sure to turn on the volume:

Gyms and fitness organizations now offering free content online:

Down Dog Yoga offers free yoga, HIIT, and Barre classes, free through May 1st and free to healthcare workers, students, and school staff through July 1st.

Fitness Blender offers free exercise classes that you can do at home, free to the public.

Planet Fitness offers daily live workouts at 7 ET on Facebook Live, free to the public.

The YMCA offers free on-demand videos for all ages and regardless of Y membership.

We're reaching out to our supports, engaging with our friends and family, and connecting with the larger community.

Watch shows and movies with other Netflix users. The chrome extension allows you to watch your show or movie in sync with other watchers and offers a chat box so you can continue to talk through the important parts of the movie:

Play the board game Codenames with this online platform:

Learn recipes and new ways to approach food and cooking. Entire line of online cooking classes available for free through April 30, 2020:

For more self-care recommendations, visit our website, and scroll to the bottom of the page:

UPdates and Reminders

May is Children's Mental Health Month

May is Children's Mental Health Awareness month, kicking off with Children's Mental Health Week, May 3rd through 9th. Complete this survey letting us know how you are celebrating, and we may feature you in our May newsletter!

2020 Census

When completing the census, include everyone living in your home as of April 1, 2020.

Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center on why the Census matters and what programs are directly affected by census population counts:

Some families do not feel that filling out the Census form is a priority, or may not speak English, or may be uncomfortable talking to Census staff. Children in immigrant households, in low-income households, and in non-standard housing arrangements are at particular risk of being missed by the Census, which can lead to inaccurate counts that underestimate a community’s population and a community’s needs.
Your headlines.
Sen. Cindy Friedman, an Arlington Democrat and co-chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, said the Telehealth order expands crucial services to the public amid a public health crisis. There are some unanswered questions and long-standing issues related to mental health parity, but those existed before the pandemic. “We’re just expanding people’s ability to access, but we’re not changing any of the other issues that still exist, which is who decides medical necessity and the rate structure for mental health versus physical and surgical health,” she said.
Our goal is not to replicate a typical school-day schedule or intended curriculum online or at home. The goal is to help students continue to feel connected (to the teacher, to each other, to the school), known, and nurtured even though a significant part of their routine has been disrupted.
While we can’t immediately change this public health crisis – though we can do our part by staying home if we’re able! – we do have the power to change how we think about our individual situations, and help our children and teens to do the same.
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