Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home During and Beyond COVID-19
Supporting parents or guardians in promoting the wellbeing of children and family members during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Note: These recommendations might not fit all homes, so adapt them to meet your needs.
Start by Taking Care of You
- We are starting another week of disruption to routines and life, as we knew it.
- It is natural for the disruption and uncertainty to cause anxiety and stress.
- Many are managing multiple roles including, parenting, caregiving, working, and more.
- Know that you are not alone and taking care of your wellbeing is crucial.
Maintaining Your Health and Wellness
- Keep a regular schedule: Daily routines are key, so set a schedule. Try to achieve a set goal each day while staying flexible.
- Check-in with friends and family: This is a great time to reconnect with those you have not spoken with for a while.
- Stay informed from reliable sources: Follow the latest recommendations from the CDC and other reliable sources on how to protect yourself and your family.
- Get creative and share with friends, families, and co-workers: Pick up a hobby and share creative ideas and tips on what is working for you in selfcare. Encourage them to do the same.
- Set boundaries on work schedule: The lines between home and work can be easily blurred, so set limits and do your best to stick to them.
- Get fresh air and exercise: Get fresh air and sunshine by walking around the block or sitting outside while maintaining a safe distance from others. There are plenty of free online trainers to exercise at home.
- Unplug from social media: Avoid continuous exposure to news, social media, and streaming media that may impact your mental and physical health. Stay informed and entertained but limit its consumption.
- Recognize that our mental health is vulnerable: This is a vulnerable time for all of us. Reach out to your support system if you are moving away from your typical behavior, feelings, or emotions. Also, listen to people around you if they notice changes in you.
Using Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School to Help Your Children
Young people are in a critical period for social and emotional development. They too are experiencing the disruption of normal classroom routines, peer social interaction at school, and other life challenges, which may impact their emotional and mental health.
As parents or guardians, you are well positioned to recognize abrupt changes in behaviors, social interactions, and emotions. You can also be alert to other supports your children might need.
Working together with children offers the chance to promote the importance of taking care of their mental health as well as your own.
Ensuring the Health and Wellbeing of Children
You can identify emerging behavioral health conditions and offer support by using Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home.
- Notice: Look for changes in a child’s behavior. This may include disruptive or withdrawn behavior, putting oneself or others in harm’s way, and extreme disengagement or isolation.
- Talk: To facilitate a conversation, use open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summarizing to show that you care and are interested in their wellbeing.
- Act: Take appropriately action to connect a child with support services. Check with their school and your community on the availability of support services.
Adapting Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home Beyond COVID-19
Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home is being adapted to help families continue supporting their children during and beyond the pandemic. This allows you to NOTICE when a child is moving away from their typical behavior and showing disruptive or withdrawn behaviors. Check in on children to see if they might be struggling.
Here are some suggestions on how to exercise Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home to help your children:
Notice: Follow your judgment on how to appropriately use these engagement tools and adjust them if needed.
- Check-In Daily
- Encourage an open and honest conversation.
- Avoid Yes/No questions.
- Have a conversation about how your children are doing during family time.
- Utilize School Support Services
- Reach out to school staff if you are concerned about your child or when you have a question.
- Inform the school how COVID-19 has impacted your family.
- Build partnerships with the schools.
- Notice Changes in Behaviors
- Those changes might indicate that a child is struggling physically and emotionally.
- Check-in with your children regularly.
- Help them understand that this is a difficult time for everyone.
- Share your struggle when appropriate.
Talk: Trust your gut and talk about your concerns when you notice changes.
- Set Up Time to Chat
- Check-in regularly and follow through.
- Use open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections and summarizing.
- Strengthen relationships by listening and focusing on what a child is saying.
- Noitice their body language and other hints.
- Talk to School Support Team
- They are there to support students and families.
- Follow-up with your child and the school support team.
- Trust your gut, and talk to the school support team.
Act: Taking an action may depend on your community resources. Be sure to follow appropriate procedures.
- A Person in Danger or in Crisis
- Call 9-1-1. Keep the conversation going, if possible. Ensure that the child is still "safe". Be sure to take care of yourself after addressing a crisis.
- When Support is Not Needed
- Leave the door open and remind a child that you are there for them. Continue to check in with them daily to see how things are going and to show that you care.
- When Support is Needed
- Connect available support services with your child. If you can, set up a joint meeting with the support services team, the child, and yourself. Ask them if they want you to stay in the meeting.
- When Children Do Not Share
- Trust your gut and connect with the school or community resources.
Putting Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home Together
As you use Notice. Talk. Act.™ At Home resource to support children, be sure to coordinate with their school if possible.
Download The Notice. Talk. Act.® at School during and Beyond COVID-19 Infographic (.pdf)
This resource emphasizes the need to check in with children to help notice early warning signs, and to connect those in need with the appropriate support services.
Now more then ever, you play a crucial role in early identification. Pandemic disruptions are impacting the mental health and wellbeing of many. You can make a positive difference in the lives of children in need of emotional and mental health support.
Remember to take care of yourself. We are all in this together.