Family School Liaison

Managing Worry Around COVID-19

In recent weeks, information about coronavirus (COVID-19) has been at the forefront of people's minds. For many people, children especially, this situation is creating an increase in anxiety and stress.

Here are some things you can do to support your child during this time of uncertainty:

• Be aware of what you are saying in front of your child. Provide age appropriate information to your child that is based in fact, not hysteria. Do not overshare or burden them with information and worries. 

• Our children are learning from us how to deal with stress and uncertainty so teach them to be resilient. 

• Keep perspective. Do not spend too much time watching the news or other media. Create opportunities to focus on fun and positive things. 

• Identify actionable things they can do individually to keep safe and healthy. This will help manage their anxiety because it gives an element of control. 

• Create a "worry time" . Worries tend to build in your child's head and can take over their thinking. We can teach our children to postpone their worrying until "worry time". When a worry pops into their head outside of worry time, they can lock it in an imaginary box and save it for later (or alternatively they can write it down). Create a designated time to talk about your child's worry. Listen to your child's worries and validate how they feel. Then, help provide a balanced view or challenge the worry. 

• "Change the channel"--instead of telling your child NOT to worry about this virus, give them something new to think about instead. When the worry thought invades their thinking 24/7, they must learn how to "change the channel" to something new. 

• Identify coping skills that help manage anxiety. Practice some deep breathing, mindfulness, or other relaxing activities. Don't forget the importance of quality family time!

 

Family School Liaison Counsellor 

Kelly Schmaltz 403-771-4350

Hi! My name is Kelly Schmaltz and I am a Family School Liaison Counselor at Calgary Christian School. I am a Master Practitioner in Clinical Counselling, MPCC with my Masters of Christian Counselling. I am honored to be serving this community by assisting children, youth, and families cope with challenges in their lives.

The Family School Liaison Counsellors in Palliser Regional School Division is responsible for more than one school. As a result, I also serve at Heritage Christian Academy School. I am available at Calgary Christian on Tuesday.  If you have any questions or you would like to access FSLC services, please contact me, Kelly Schmaltz, at 403-771-4350 or kelly.schmaltz@pallisersd.ab.ca.


FSLC Role

FSLC's provide counselling support to students and families and when appropriate, we also direct families to outside services. In many cases, we provide support and information through consultation and may make referrals to agencies such as; Mental Health, psychological services, medical clinics, and social services. In addition to counselling, we offer classroom presentations on various topics aimed at supporting student’s mental, emotional, social and behavioral wellness so that they may achieve their optimal potential in all areas. 

Some of the areas in which we support students and their families include:

  • Family Relationships: separation/divorce, blended families, sibling conflict, grief & loss

  • Social Relationships: peer pressure, social skills, bullying, friendship

  • Emotional concerns: anxiety, stress, anger management, depression, self-esteem, substance abuse, emotional/physical/sexual abuse, suicidal thoughts

  • Spiritual concerns: moral choices, questions about God or the Bible, feelings of guilt or shame, struggling with forgiveness


How Services are Accessed...

Counselling is accessed on a referral basis. Teachers, principals, and parents may refer students about whom they have concerns, and parents must give their permission for services to commence, at which point an intake appointment will be scheduled.  At times, a student may seek out counselling personally, in which case, we are able to meet with a child once before a referral by a parent or teacher is given and an intake appointment and parental consent is provided. 

 

Student & Parent Resources

GENERAL INFORMATION
Kids Health: www.kidshealth.org 
Teen Health: http://kidshealth.org/teen/
Help Phone: www.kidshelpphone.ca 

ANXIETY
Anxiety BC: www.anxietybc.com

What to do when you worry too much: https://dentonllc.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/what-to-do-when-you-worry-too-much-a-kids-guide-to-overcoming-anxiety.pdf

Anxiety Prescription: http://fcrc-test.otherorange.com/health-information/library/information-prescriptions/anxiety/      

Apps For Anxiety: http://www.adam.mb.ca/blog/apps-for-anxiety

EMOTIONAL REGULATION
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercises - YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaTDNYjk-Gw

Automatic Thoughts - YouTube Wellcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2zRA5zCA6M

FREE EDUCATION SESSIONS/WORKSHOPS
Family & Community Resource Centre: http://fcrc.albertahealthservices.ca/ces.php

FRIENDSHIP
Strengthening peer relationships: http://www.snipsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Inclusion-Tool-Kit-Part-6_Lets-Play_-Activities-That-Strengthen-Peer-Relationships.pdf

MENTAL HEALTH ARTICLES
Stigma and Discrimination: http://ontario.cmha.ca/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/stigma-and-discrimination/ 

Study: Impact of unaddressed mental health issues on students is severe: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/09/19/study-impact-of-unaddressed-mental-health-issues-on-students-is-severe/

PARENTING
Dr. Ross Green's Collaborative Problem Solving Approach: http://www.livesinthebalance.org/

Focus on the Family: www.focusonthefamily.ca

Special Time: A time for connecting with your child: http://www.kathyeugster.com/articles/article001.htm

How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk: http://www.mountvernon.k12.ia.us/uploads/2/6/5/2/26525259/how-to-talk-so-kids-will-listen.pdf

5 tips for a positive relationship with your teen: http://www.familyshare.com/parenting/5-tips-for-a-positive-relationship-with-your-teen