Even though school is closed to help limit the spread of COVID-19, Fayetteville-Manlius School District staff members are available to help students protect their mental health.
“Students are experiencing many life changes at once due to the pandemic,” F-M Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “We recognize that current news headlines, social distancing measures and a lack of routine can trigger different emotions. We are here to help students cope with these changes.”
F-M school counselors, social workers, psychologists and home-school liaisons are available to speak personally with students, parents and guardians by phone, email and video chat. To set up an individual appointment with a school mental health professional at any of the district’s six school buildings, please email F-M Director of Counseling Services Heidi Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community resources available for families
In addition to school mental health personnel, there are several community resources available to help families through this period of uncertainty.
Individuals who are experiencing increasing stress and anxiety can contact New York State Office of Mental Health’s free Emotional Support Line at 1-844-863-9314. The confidential support line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.
For help locating basic resources, such as food, shelter and healthcare, Central New York residents can dial 211 from a cell phone or landline. This free-to-call, three-digit telephone number connects callers to a variety of services within the community.
Centers for Disease Control provides news, information and resources related to the global pandemic on its website. The CDC offers the following tips for parents and guardians who are helping children navigate through these unsettling times:
- Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
- Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
- Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
- Try to keep up with regular routines. Create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
The district will continue to update the community via the district website with any new information and frequently asked questions.
Any time-sensitive, critical information will be shared via the district’s SchoolMessenger notification system, which sends email, text message and phone call notifications, depending upon how parents subscribed to the system.