Well-Being Resources for Families and Children

In the simplest terms, the onset of COVID-19 in our nation, state, and communities has brought about the need for a major shift in our lifestyles and daily routines. When that happens, there can be feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and hopelessness as we wait to see how this plays out in the coming weeks and months.

We have pulled together some resources that may help you and your children address the new feelings and fears related to COVID-19 and these uncertain times. Please use these as you see fit. We’re also working to get school counselor and staff video messages regarding mental health and wellness into upcoming school newsletters. Addressing mental health needs for you and your family is just as important as physical health and safety. We are all in this together.

Information on the District’s Employee Assistance and Student Assistance Program (EAP/SAP)

Employees, students and their immediate families can access free counseling services through the Counseling Center at Youth Homes. They are handling how appointments are handled, such a teleconferencing or other options. Calling the SAP/EAP number will provide the opportunity for people to visit with a therapist via phone regarding their support needs and make a plan for services that best meets individual needs. You can talk to someone 24 hours a day at 515-587-1735.

Mental Health Practices from Polk Co. Health

Take time to decompress several times a day.

  • Adjusting to new work schedules, school closures, and disruptions in our daily routines can leave us feeling frustrated or tense. Taking time to decompress several times a day recharges our brain and relieves stress.
  • Get outside. Take a walk or hang out in your backyard.
  • Unplug – turn off the news, put down the phone, shut off the computer

Stay connected to your family, friends, neighbors.

  • Physical distancing does not mean we need to completely let go of our social connections. Maintaining your social support network is essential in maintaining mental health.
  • Call loved ones regularly
  • Participate in virtual classrooms, meetings, or faith-based online gatherings

Avoid using alcohol or drugs to cope.

Get help if you need it.

  • We all need help from time to time. If you begin to feel depressed, anxious, or feel like you might harm yourself or others, reach out for help. Professionals are ready to support you through this difficult time.
  • Call 2-1-1 to connect to professional resources
  • Contact the Polk County Critical Incident Stress Management Team at 515-954-0409
  • If you do not feel safe at home, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
  • If you are already receiving mental health treatment or support, continue to attend your appointments, which are now available by phone or video-chat
  • If you feel you might harm yourself or others, call 9-1-1 and a mobile crisis team will respond

Online Resources for Social-Emotional Wellness

Casel.org: Social-emotional learning resources designed to support educators, parents, and anyone who works with children during this COVID-19 period. (Designed for grades 6-12)

National Association of School Psychologists: This link takes you directly to a publication on talking points for children about COVID-19. (Designed for grades K-12)

Greater Good in Education-Berkeley: Social-emotional learning activities and practice resources, including theme of mindfulness, empathy, kindness & compassion, gratitude, and self-compassion. (Designed for grades K-12)