Nine months into the pandemic and it's taking a toll on young people. Distance learning and isolation are not only impacting them academically, but also socially and emotionally.
Parents across the country are voicing the same concerns, as are educators.
LA Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner joined the leaders of public schools in New York and Chicago in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post. It calls on the federal government to create a Marshall Plan for reopening schools, with enough funding to meet the needs created by the pandemic.
Among the needs is additional funding to support the social and emotional wellness of children at schools, the superintendents said.
The majority of LAUSD students come from low-income communities hit hardest by the pandemic, with higher rates of job loss, as well as higher case counts and death rates. It all adds stress for students.
While the impacts can't be measured as easily as test scores, Beutner and others say the mental health of students must be addressed to prevent long term consequences.
We put together a list of resources from various local and federal agencies to help.
Tips for Coping With Stress During the Pandemic
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips:
- If you are concerned about COVID-19, contact a health professional.
- Take care of your emotional health will help you think clearly.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news.
- Take care of your body, such as taking deep breaths, stretching, or meditating.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Connect with others or faith-based groups. Connect online or by phone or mail.
LAUSD Mental Health Resources
- Click the link here to access non-emergency tele-health information. You can also call 213-241-3840.
- Wellness Center and referral forms can be found here.
- Crisis counseling and intervention services can be found here.
- School mental health clinic emails can be found here.
- Wellness Center locations and information can be found here.
County Mental Health Resources
- For LA County's Mental Health Hotline, call (800) 854-7771.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255.
- Disaster Distress Helpline: (800) 985-5990.
- Trevor Project Lifeline: (800) 788-7386.
- Substance Abuse Service Helpline: (844) 804-7500.
- 211 LA County: Dial 2-1-1 within LA County for health and social services.
- Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal (LA-HOP).
- L.A. Found: (833) 569-7651 or LAFound@wdacs.lacounty.gov for help to locate individuals who wander due to dementia, Alzheimer's, autism or other cognitive impairing conditions.
- Crisis Text Line: Text LA to 741741.
- Orange County Health Care Agency Resources.
- Riverside County Mental Health COVID-19 Resources.
- San Bernardino County Behavioral Health Department.
- Ventura County Behavioral Health.
National Institute of Mental Health Resources
- This infographic helps you determine whether you need help with your mental health, if you don't know where to start and offers self-help activities.
- Coping with COVID-19.
- How to support your child.
- Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish).
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 TTY Instructions
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255.
- SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889.
- Treatment Services Locator Website
- Interactive Map of Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers
California Surgeon General Nadine Harris Burke also released a report focused on toxic stress and health. Read Roadmap to Resilience.