Mental Health Supports

MHPSD's Culture of Wellness 2021-2022

Crisis Numbers

If you or your child is in crisis, please go to the Emergency Department at the hospital or call 911. You can also access the following resources:
Kids Help PhoneText CONNECT to 686868 or 1.800.668.6868
Health link at 811This line is handling higher than normal call volumes so please be patient or select another option if it is urgent
Distress Centre403.266.HELP (4357)
Alberta Mental Health Helpline1.877.303.2642
Medicine Hat Food Bank403.528.4313 ext. 1 Please leave a message. If the mailbox is full, keep calling back and make sure to leave a clear message with your name and phone number. 

COMMUNITY & PROVINCIAL RESOURCES

ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES RESOURCES

COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN

COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for children to understand, especially if someone in their school or family is sick, or they see or hear troubling messages on the radio, internet or television. It is normal for children to feel worried or nervous and have questions. It is important to pay attention to their feelings and reactions. How the situation is handled by the adults in their life will impact how children will respond. The following section contains 10 Tips for Supporting Your Child as well as numerous resources to support you as a parent during this time.  

10 TIPS FOR SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD 
1. Reassure them that the adults in their life are working hard to keep them safe.
2. Let them know it’s okay to feel scared or nervous.
3. Let them know they can ask questions and answer honestly, making sure the information is appropriate for their developmental level. It’s okay not to have all the answers.
4. Remember that children are often listening when you talk to others about COVID-19. It is important to correct misinformation when you become aware of it.
5. Maintain familiar routines where possible to bring a sense of comfort.
6. Establish new routines and a schedule to break up the day at home.
7. Encourage them to talk about their worries or concerns.
8. Explain the events as well as you can and help students/children put information into perspective. Keep students/children informed about what is happening and what may happen at a level that is suitable for their age.
9. Limit media exposure or ensure information being accessed on-line is reputable. Exposure to too much or misinformed resources/media coverage can give students/children an exaggerated view of the risks association with COVID-19.

10. Give children a sense of control by sharing things they can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as: 

  • Wash with soap and water regularly for 20 seconds (long enough to sing the ABC’s) especially after sneezing or coughing; hand sanitizer is a good alternative when you can’t wash your hands right away
  • Keep their hands away from their face and mouth
  • Cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue
  • Stay home if they aren’t feeling well
  • Do not share food, eating utensils, dishes, water bottles or cups
  • Stay healthy by eating healthy foods, keeping physically active, and getting enough sleep

TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT COVID-19

Talking to Kids About Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Alberta Teachers Association & Harvard
Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource -  National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak - World Health Organization
Coping at home for families - wellness

Below are some stories and activities that you may wish to share with your child. We would suggest previewing the options below to see which ones are developmentally appropriate for your child.

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS - Hope & Resilience  

  • Part 1 - October 7, 2020 with Claire Petersen, Greg Godard and Kevin Cameron
  • Part 2 - November 4, 2020 with Claire Petersen, Greg Godard

Community Connection Mental Health Video Series - Brought to you by the Niwa Family (The Beej Project)