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Tips to Help Children and Youth Take Care of Their Mental Health During COVID-19

COVID-19 is impacting everyone in different ways. Children and youth may not be going to school or daycare, can’t see their friends on a regular basis, and might not be able to even play outside.

Kids sometimes do not know how to communicate changes in feeling and emotion, making it vital that parents and caregivers pay close attention to their behavior and words for any indication that they may be struggling.

There are also things you can do while at home with your child to help them cope. Use these self-care and support strategies from the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curriculum and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help the children and youth in your life take care of their mental health.

  1. Talk to your child about the COVID-19 pandemic. Reassure them that they are safe, and things will go back to normal in the future.
  2. Try to maintain a routine. Create a schedule with learning activities, regular meals and fun games to keep kids engaged while at home.
  3. Monitor media consumption. Kids are always listening, so limit the amount of exposure you give them to news coverage about COVID-19.
  4. Encourage your child to try something new that interests them. This might be building with Legos, putting together a new puzzle or creating artwork.
  5. Maintain family and other social ties. Stay connected with family and friends through phone and video calls regularly.
  6. Be a role model. If you are calm and confident about the situation, your child is likely to be too. Try these self-care strategies to take care of yourself while physical distancing.

For more information on ways to support your children, please visit these resources:

  1. On Our Sleeves™, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Stress & Coping
  3. The Child Mind Institute

If your child consistently appears more angry or sad than usual, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or seeking online therapy. With the right information and resources, we can #BeTheDifference for the children and youth in our lives during COVID-19.

Learn more about how you can #BeTheDifference During COVID-19.

This information was provided by the MHFA curriculum and the CDC.