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Grande Prairie Public School Division
Every Student Succeeds
Positive Mental Health Supports

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Information for Parents

Maintaining positive mental health in your home is important. Children can react to what they see and hear from the adults around them. Here are some things you can do to support your children, youth and families in supporting your physical and emotional well being.

Check-in regularly to see recent updates.


How to Talk to Children About COVID-19

The following information has been provided by Alberta Health Services

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
 Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.
 Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person's race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
 Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
  • Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumours and inaccurate information.

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.

Get children into a handwashing habit.

  • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities. 

Facts about COVID-19 for Discussions with Children

Try to keep information simple and remind them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.

What is COVID-19? 

  • COVID-19 is the short name for "coronavirus disease 2019." It is a new virus. Doctors and scientists are still learning about it.
  • Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors think that most people will be ok, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick.
  • Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.

What can I do so that I don't get COVID-19?
You can practice healthy habits to help protect against the spread of COVID-19:

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the trash right away.
  • Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose, and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Follow these five stepsβ€” wet, lather (make bubbles), scrub (rub together), rinse and dry. You can sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice.
  • If you don't have soap and water, have an adult help you use a special hand cleaner. Keep things clean. Older children can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most, like desks, doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls.
  • If you feel sick, stay home. Just like you don't want to get other people's germs in your body, other people don't want to get your germs either.

What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems. From what doctors have seen so far, most children don't seem to get very sick. While a lot of adults get sick, most adults get better.
  • If you do get sick, it doesn't mean you have COVID-19. People can get sick from all kinds of germs. What's important to remember is that if you do get sick, the adults at home will help get you any help that you need.

Resources

Summer Opportunities

Summer Program for Ages 4-6

Parents
GPPSD-How to Talk to Children About COVID 19
CASS-Talking to Kids about COVID 19
AHS - Coping for Children and Families
WHO - Helping Children Cope with Stress
Book - My Hero is You How Kids can fight COVID-19

Maintaining Your Positive Mental Health
AHS - COVID 19 and Your Mental Health
WHO - Coping with Stress


Important Community Resources

As always, if an emergengy, please cal 911 or go to the emergency department.

ICAT Mental Health Crisis Intake: In person Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., third floor Aberdeen Center, Grande Prairie, AB. Phone 587-259-5513 or 780-833-4323

Youth Day Program: call or text for interim support 780-897-3240

Local Distress Line: 211

QEII Hospital in Grande Prairie: 780-538-5102

Kids Help Phone: 1-888-668-6868 or Text CONNECT to 686868

Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-877-303-2642

Anxiety Website: www.anxietycanada.com

Grande Prairie Youth Help Site: www.gpyouth.ca

Quick Links

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