Parenting During a Pandemic Workshops Tackle Student Mental Health Issues

The pandemic certainly has taken its toll on everyone’s mental health in various ways. However, students are particularly vulnerable as they balance a new way of learning, social isolation and more during this crucial time of development.

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools recognizes the need and recently partnered with Concord Counseling Services to host several parent workshops to provide helpful resources to support students’ mental health during this challenging time. Workshop topics focused on maintaining healthy relationships and the need for positive communication, stress management and connectedness among family members.

The workshops were provided to parents of students ranging from K-12. Session topics included:

- Supporting the Social Needs of Your Student

- Conversations with Kids about COVID-19

- Setting up Your Student for Success

- Managing Stress during COVID-19

- Harmony at Home

- Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

- Tweens and Teens Mental Health 101

- Know the Signs

Topics were chosen based upon the cognitive and social development of students at the various grade levels. While some topics were more general, others shared information that was geared towards specific age ranges to better connect with families.

Brittany Morgan, Rachel Maloney and Mary Kate Crimmel social work professionals at Concord Counseling Services, presented the workshops. As prevention clinicians, Morgan, Maloney and Crimmel provide support in addressing the social-emotional needs of students and their families.

“These workshops are so important in providing support for parents because they’re the ones primarily working with students during the remote and blended learning periods,” explained Morgan. “Since the start of the pandemic, parents have assumed a variety of new roles and stressors within their homes. Equipping parents with and informing them about strategies to support their children can prevent and reduce the need for additional mental health services in the future.”

The workshops were well received, and about 80 parents expressed interest in participating in the informative sessions that took place earlier this fall.

“We hope these meetings strengthen families by giving them practical tools they can apply and utilize as they are balancing multiple roles at work and within the home,” said Maloney. “We encourage parents to have conversations with their children often and make daily check-ins part of their normal routine, just like brushing your teeth at night. We hope to expand parents’ knowledge of mental health and the importance of social connectedness, which is crucial for children on a regular basis, especially in times when they are not surrounded by their peers and friends.”

If you missed the workshops and are interested in learning more, prevention services are offered at no cost to families through the ADAMH Board of Franklin County. If parents are looking for additional support for their student, they can reach out to their school counselor to see if Prevention Services might be a good fit.

During winer break, our GJPS Mental Health team in collaboration with Concord Counseling will be offering OPEN OFFICE HOURS. These services are available to all families and students free of charge. Please reach out if you believe your child is struggling or if your family needs mental health assistance.


Monday-Friday8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

(with the exception of Dec. 25 & Jan. 1)

Please contact:

Alex Caughell

(614) 344-6009CaughellA@gjps.org