We understand that this moment in our lives is unprecedented. We are all continuing to adjust to a new lifestyle of staying indoors, working from home, and anxiety about what is happening with COVID-19. Even though one consistent aspect of our lives (school attendance) is physically unavailable at the moment, we want to assure you that we’re still here to support you.
We have a Nursing and Mental Health Team that consists of two (2) Nurses (Sheila Southern and Crystal Ngo), two (2) School Social Workers (Barbara Ackermann and Vicky Wen), three (3) School Psychologists (Teri Ede, Lauren Litke, and Juliet Rodriguez), and one (1) Office Assistant (Karina Gonzalez).
The following is our availability based on the questions you may have regarding physical or mental health:
- Sheila Southern & Crystal Ngo: via email at email@example.com
- Barbara Ackermann: Wednesdays, 9-11 a.m. for office hours; direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (click here to schedule a meeting with Dr. Ackermann)
- Vicky Wen: via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Teri Ede: via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lauren Litke: via email at email@example.com
- Juliet Rodriguez (TK-8): via email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karina Gonzalez: via email at email@example.com
Please be patient with us (between 1-2 business days) when you reach out via email.
We also do not want you to feel like there is little support outside of the availability stated above. These are additional, mental-health resources for you to utilize:
- 24/7 National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- 24/7 Text Crisis Line: 741741
- Teen Line: 1-800-TLC-TEEN (1-800-852-8336), in LA 310-855-HOPE (4673), in The Valley (818-432-2266); Sat-Sun, 6:00 PM-10:00 PM; a confidential telephone helpline for teenage callers.
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
LA County residents have unique access to mental and public health resources:
- Call Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s (LACDMH) 24/7 Access Line at (800) 854-7771 to learn more about site closures or to get mental health support. Additional mental health resources are also available on the LACDMH’s COVID-19 page.
- Los Angeles County Department of Education (LACOE) Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for schools
- Los Angeles Department of Public Health Acute Communicable Disease (LACDPH) during business hours (M-F): 877-777- 5799.
- To report suspected outbreaks or other reportable diseases or conditions, contact the LACDPH Communicable Disease Reporting System: (888) 397-3993
Should you experience a psychiatric or medical emergency, please do not email us for help. Seek immediate assistance by calling 911.
We are all in this together.
The Health Office
How to Cope with Quarantine
As humans, we like consistency. It increases our confidence since it gives us the time to prepare -- both mentally and emotionally -- for the decisions that will lead us to our best future. In moments of uncertainty, anxiety arises. It is the response to a vague and future threat. Anxiety is natural as well as expected during this unprecedented and unpredictable time. You may also notice that tempers are a little shorter than usual, and restlessness increases. Shifts and fluctuations in mood are also likely in this situation.
So -- how can you help yourself and your teenager, who is now stuck indoors without the freedom that is so important for his/her developmental growth?
Listen to what your feelings are telling you. Are you annoyed? Bored? Happy? Relieved? By recognizing your feelings first, the direction of the conversation becomes clear. Model calmness and compassion for your children and remind yourself to remain calm and compassionate in any conversation. This serves for communication to stay open and collaborative.
Listen to what your child is saying to you. Are they venting? Asking for solutions? Trying to get your attention? It is important to recognize the purpose of your teenager’s conversation because they do not always need or want what you think they need or want. If you do not know what they are looking for, ask! Asking for clarification illustrates that you are actively listening, and everyone greatly appreciates that effort.
One way to keep anxiety and confusion at bay is to develop a sense of consistency and predictability. Work with your family to create a schedule of how you would like your typical work/school day to look. Maintaining normalcy is the most common suggestion experts are giving. Schedule in breaks (e.g. playing video games), family time (e.g. board game night), self-care activities (e.g. video chats), meals, and work/homework time. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for family sit-down meals or for staying in one’s room for a period of time to finish an assignment or project. Even though humans are social creatures, we also need some time alone to recharge our batteries. Most importantly, trust your teenager to be responsible for his/her actions.
There is no cookie-cutter answer for how we are to cope with the stay-at-home order. Your family is unique. Adjust your life to the way that it fits you and your family’s needs, and you will come out stronger in the end.
And take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. We are all in this together.
If you are looking for more resources and information, here are a couple of articles and links that may interest you:
- A document of suggested activities. Click here.
- Central for Disease Control (CDC) tips to keep children healthy while out of school. Click here for the website.
- Central for Disease Control (CDC) suggestion on how to explain COVID-19 to our children. Click here for a YouTube video.
- National Association of School Nurses’ and the National Association of School Psychologists’ suggestions on how to explain COVID-19 to our children. Click here for an article.