Recent changes to California’s school mask mandate may prompt a range of feelings and emotions for students, parents and educators.
While some are experiencing a sense of relief, others may be feeling stress or worry. Here are some tips on how to support students, courtesy of OCDE and the county’s Regional Mental Health Coordinator Team.
Provide students with updated and accurate information regarding changes to reduce misinformation shared between students.
Remind students of mental health support staff on campus.
Reach out to your mental health team members if you notice students with prolonged or extreme emotions associated with the change.
Provide students opportunities to ask questions
Students may have worrisome thoughts about specific situations, and they may feel uncomfortable asking questions in front of peers. Provide opportunities for students to ask questions in private.
If any student is experiencing depression or anxiety, there are a number of free resources that are there to help. Here are a few:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255 is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline that’s available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. It provides Spanish-speaking counselors, as well as options for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
OC WarmLine. Available 24/7, the OC WarmLine is a free and confidential telephone service providing emotional support and resources to Orange County residents. Call 714-991-6412.
The Trevor Project. Founded in 1998, this is a nonprofit organization that focuses on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Call 866-488-7386, visit www.thetrevorproject.org or text “START” to 678-678.
Teen Line. Professionally trained teen counselors provide support, resources and hope in an anonymous, nonjudgmental space. Call 310-855-4673 (6 to 10 p.m. daily) or text “TEEN” to 839-863 (6-9 p.m. daily).