Child Mental Health During COVID-19

Taking care of your child’s mental health during COVID-19

If your child is having an emergency, dial 911. If your child needs crisis support, call 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247).

Listen and respond 
  • Listen to your child’s feelings, questions, and concerns
  • Respond to your child’s cues
  • Make sure your children know you are ready to talk; set aside time just for them
  • Help your child identify and name their feelings
Be patient and understanding 
  • Be patient and calm, this helps your child to be calm
  • Notice that your child’s feelings may express as changes in their behaviour
  • Expect that your child may become more easily frustrated or do things they did at younger ages
  • Be understanding of your child’s behaviour 
Validate and support 
  • Let your child know that what they are feeling is okay
  • Say your child’s feelings back to them from their point of view
  • Reassure your child with love and touch
  • Help your child feel safe 
Answer questions, keep it simple 
  • Answer your child’s questions about COVID-19 truthfully
  • Keep your answers simple and age-appropriate, with clear information on reducing risk
  • Get information from reliable sources
  • Limit your child’s exposure to news and adult conversations

Links to help talk to kids about COVID-19 

Keep a flexible routine 
  • Routines help your child know what to expect and help them feel more secure
  • Have regular bed times and make sure your child gets enough sleep
  • Provide a variety of healthy food choices every day
  • Build fun into the day, balance school work with free play, outside exercise, and relaxation
Stay connected 
  • It is important for your child to stay connected with family and friends
  • Set up video calls for your child to see their loved ones
  • Help your child to call or message family and friends
  • Understand that it can be hard for your child to not see friends and family in person

Child mental health and return to school

Child mental health and well-being in the context of COVID-19 is a priority with return to school. Our local school boards are committed to supporting parents and children with preparing to return, as well as focusing on mental health and well being once in the classroom (in-person or virtual). Information and resources from local and provincial sources are available to help families with return to school transition.

Get more support when needed – Child mental health services

If your child is having an emergency, dial 911. If your child needs crisis support, call 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247).

  • Black Youth Helpline – 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day; National helpline for Canadian youth and families
    Call: 1-833-294-8650
  • Front Door – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, local, free crisis and mental health counselling and support for children and youth (up to 18 yrs)
    Call: 519-749-2932
  • Good2Talk – 24/7, free, Provincial post secondary (17-25 years) – mental health support
    Call: 1-866-925-5454
    Text: GOOD2TALKON to 686868
  • Here 24/7 – One stop access and referral to crisis, mental health, and addiction services provided by 11 agencies across Waterloo Region
    Call: 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247)
  • Kids Help Phone / Wellness Together – 24/7, free, National children’s (17-25 years) – mental health support
    Call: 1-888-668-6810 (Youth)
    Text: WELLNESS to 686868 (Youth)
  • OK2BME – 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, local, free, confidential counselling and support services for kids and teens wondering about their sexuality and gender identity
    Call: 519-884-0000 x222 
    Online request for counselling: Intake form 

More child and parent mental health COVID-19 resources

Supporting child mental health during COVID-19 resources 
Parenting during COVID-19 resources 













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