How to Support the Mental Health Needs of Students in the Wake of COVID-19

For many schools and communities across the country, response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to scale up significantly. Following the CDC’s guidelines to ensure frequent and thorough cleaning in schools and encouraging proper hand washing and other hygiene practices are among the most effective measures that schools can take to limit the spread of the disease and many schools and communities are now also preparing for potential school closures.

In addition to the major changes to daily routines that may begin to occur due to changes in school schedules, the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and its effects can lead to significant stress, fear and anxiety in the community. It is important for schools to be prepared to support the mental health needs of students and staff, and to help counter the effects of these stressors.

In addition to the most recent CDC Guidelines for Schools, below is a selection of resources that may help to guide the efforts of school mental health professionals, teachers and leaders as they continue to support the safety and wellbeing of their students and school communities.


New Resources

Preparing for Infectious Disease Epidemics: Brief Tips for School Mental Health Professionals

During local or community-wide infectious disease outbreaks, school mental health professionals play a significant role in helping students and staff to cope with the mental health challenges of this type of stressor. Find tips to help promote predictability and perceived controllability of the situation.

How to Deploy School Nurses During Coronavirus (If You Have Them)

School nurses have a critical role to play as schools deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Find strategies for how school nurses can most effectively support the public health needs of the school community. Learn more.

Preparing for a Pandemic Illness: Guidelines for School Administrators and School Crisis Response Teams

From the National Association of School Psychologists, these guidelines have been compiled from pandemic influenza guidelines, but which are applicable to any potential infectious disease event, including COVID-19.

How Teachers are Talking to Students About the Coronavirus

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout many communities across the country, it is easy for facts to become distorted, which can unnecessarily instill fear and panic among students. Teachers should be prepared to have conversations and share facts about the current situation.

10 Strategies for Online Learning During a Coronavirus Outbreak

Many schools are preparing for a potential shift to online learning to help limit the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Find ideas to help create or further develop a plan for successful online learning to help maintain instructional continuity and daily routines.


Grant Alerts

SEL in Action Awards | Education First and NoVo Foundation

Supporting the implementation of SEL initiatives in schools, either at the educator level (teachers, counselors, administrators, etc.) or at the district level. Learn more.

Deadline: April 10, 2020

Project AWARE State Education Agency Grants | SAMHSA

Expands capacity of State Educational Agencies to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth, train school personnel and connect youth to services. Learn more.

Deadline: April 20, 2020

*The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools does not administer these funding opportunities. Please refer to each organization for further direction and details.


Job Opportunities

School Psychologist | DC Public Schools (Washington, DC)

Provide full range of psychological services to children grades pre-K through 12, including screening and assessment, designing remedial programs, counseling, etc. Learn more.

Social Worker—Elementary Age Children | St. Nicks Alliance (Brooklyn, NY)

Support children who are struggling behaviorally and academically; manage caseload of children to provide counseling and small group interventions. Learn more.

Physical Education Teacher | Innovative Arts Academy Charter School (Lehigh Valley, PA)

Help students learn sports and fitness essentials through creative and innovative teaching methods. Learn more.

Student Wellness and Success Coordinator | Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County (Valley View, OH)

Promote a positive school climate, support instructional staff and students through services related to student social/behavioral/emotional needs. Learn more.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

March 26, 2020 9:30–2:30 PM ET, Washington, DC

Secondary Transition for Parents By Parents

Hosted by SchoolTalk DC

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