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Help Families Prepare for the New School Year with Access to Videos Offered by the Office of Mental Health

New York State Office of Mental Health will offer families with school-aged children a series of ‘Back to School 2021’ videos to assist and support parents, caregivers, and students as they prepare for the new school year. Access the video by clicking on this link

Many students are returning to in-person learning after 18 months of virtual or hybrid learning. Catholic Charities is pleased to offer the ‘Back to School 2021’ videos as another resource for families who have already gone through so much during the pandemic. Supporting our neighbors during this transition is crucial and will help New Yorkers gain a sense of normalcy after experiencing so much trauma. 

The videos are targeted to parents and caregivers as well students with topics that include: 

  • the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and adolescents, 
  • ways to support yourself and others, 
  • how to get help when you need it, 
  • age-specific information on promoting mental wellness in children- from birth to young adulthood, and 
  • an overview of the Crisis Text Line, a national, text-based crisis counselor service. 

The Office of Mental Health surveyed hundreds of New York children and families to learn what might be causing anxiety and concern ahead of this school year. The videos will help kids and parents deal with the stress and other issues caused by the pandemic over the last 18 months, and also offer additional resources that have been compiled by the Office of Mental Health, including: 

  • Resiliency tips for New Yorkers, 
  • Conversation starters to check in on someone’s mental health, 
  • Brochures on supporting children’s Emotional Development by age group, and 
  • NY Project Hope resources for teens, parents, and young children. 

Additionally, the Office of Mental Health’s NY Project Hope Emotional Support Helpline (1-844-863-9314) continues to help support students and caregivers as they prepare to return to school. The Helpline is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Trained crisis counselors can listen to your concerns and offer suggestions for coping. It also provides linkages for callers who need additional support. 

A proud partner agency of NY Project Hope, New York State’s COVID-19 Crisis Counseling Program, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is now providing both boroughs with free, confidential, and anonymous emotional support. The Catholic Charities Behavioral Health Centers now offer many services through telehealth and expanded services to essential workers and construction workers, offering immediate counseling and crisis support for those workers struggling with mental illnesses due to the pandemic. New Yorkers can call the help line at (929) 268-3321 or the Catholic Charities Call Center at (718) 722-6001, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to receive tools for coping with the challenges and emotions of COVID-19.  

In an effort to continuously support New Yorkers during the pandemic, Catholic Charities provides emergency assistance, supportive services, and coping strategies to prioritize the wellbeing of individuals and families affected by COVID-19 through vaccination clinics, community health events, and emergency pop-up food distributions. 

To provide access to COVID-19 vaccines to hard-to-reach communities for all New Yorkers, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has expanded its on-site vaccinations for individuals 12 and older at Live It Up Community Health Events throughout both boroughs. The community health events are in collaboration with local parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn to offer interactive health & wellness stations, provide on-site COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, information and resource tables on COVID-19 safety, vaccine information, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, screenings, and FREE health and wellness themed giveaways, including PPE. 

Catholic Charities has also collaborated with local parishes to continue hosting Emergency Pop-Up Food Pantries for New Yorkers still dealing with food insecurity due to loss of employment and wages as a result of the pandemic. Individuals and families receive one box of food per household with pre-packed bags of fresh produce, dairy, meat, and non-perishable food items. The Emergency Pop-Up Food Pantries are organized and funded by Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens as a direct response to our neighbors dealing with the effects of the ongoing health crisis. To help, donate to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens at www.ccbq.org

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