COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is a global pandemic that has shut down much of society, including many schools. The stress associated with this virus may understandably increase worry and anxiety in our students, staff, families, and communities. At the National Center for School Mental Health, we want to support you as you protect your health and the health of those around you. To that end, we have accumulated resources and tips for you to use and share with others in your networks. We will continue to update these resources as we learn more.
- “The World Health Organization Twitter”: This is a link to the official Twitter page of the World Health Organization (WHO).
- “World Health Organization COVID-19 Page”: This is a link to WHO’s web page for the latest updates of international COVID-19 information.
- “Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Twitter”: This is a link to the official Twitter page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- “CDC Regular updates from the US”: This is a link to the CDC’s website for general information about COVID-19, including what you need to know about it, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you think you are sick.
- “CDC Mitigation”: The CDC explains ways that we can intervene to combat COVID-19 on the individual-level, community-level, and public health-level.
- “CDC list of coronavirus symptoms”: The CDC explains the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick.
- “Share Facts About COVID-19”: The CDC shares five facts about COVID-19 to help mitigate rumors.
- "COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel": The US Department of Education compiled a collection of documents to support schools and school staff.
- ”Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools”: The CDC provides administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools with advice on how to handle COVID-19.
- “Coronavirus: Multilingual Resources for Schools”: This resource helps English language learners (ELLs) or immigrant families learn more about COVID-19 by providing information in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.
- “State Laws on How Schools Should Address Pandemics”: This resource explains how each state in the United States should respond to a pandemic, according to their laws.
- “Preparing for Infectious Disease Epidemics: Brief Tips for School Mental Health Professionals”: This resource offers advice and tips for how school mental health professionals should address and handle an infectious-disease outbreak.
- “Responding to COVID-19: Brief Action Steps for School Crisis Response Teams”: This resource offers action steps for how school crisis response teams should address an infectious-disease outbreak.
- “Preparing for a Pandemic Illness: Guidelines for School Administrators and School Crisis Response Teams”: This resource offers advice and tips for how school administrators and school crisis response teams should prepare for an infectious-disease outbreak.
- “Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Teachers and Other Educators”: This resource offers teachers and other educators advice on how to counter the stigma and racism that may come from COVID-19.
- “Coronavirus and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks Response”: The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) has created fact sheets about COVID-19 as resources for providers, families, leaders, and others.
- "Guidance for Schools Before and During and Outbreak": The CDC provides this resource for information on what to do in a school setting before and during an infectious disease outbreak.
- “Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19”: The CDC shares ways to manage stress and anxiety during the outbreak of COVID-19.
- “Tips for Self-Care and Managing Stress”: This resource offers tips to manage stress and worries concerning the outbreak of COVID-19.
- “Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak”: This SAMHSA resource explains how everyone can be taking care of their behavioral health during the outbreak of COVID-19, including tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.
- “Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks”: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides ways in which everyone can cope with stress during infectious disease outbreaks.
- "Disaster Distress Helpline": SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. 1-800-985-5990.
- “Talking to Children About COVID-19: A Parent Resource”: The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides this resource for parents for ways in which they can talk to their children about COVID-19.
- “Countering COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers”: The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides this resource for parents and caregivers for ways in which they can teach others how to counter the stigma and racism that may come from COVID-19.
- “Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019”: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides this guide for parents and caregivers on how to help families cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.
- “Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus”: The Child Mind Institute provides this resource on how to go about discussing COVID-19 with children.
- “Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus”: National Public Radio (NPR) provides this comic about COVID-19 to help children better understand this infectious disease outbreak.
- “Talking to Children About Coronavirus”: The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry provides this resource for suggestions about how parents and teachers can talk to children about COVID-19.
- “Coronavirus Kids Flyer”: This resource is a colorful flyer for children that explains ways that we can combat COVID-19.
- “How to Talk To Your Kids About Coronavirus”: PBS Kids provides information on how to talk to children about COVID-19 by sharing one mother’s experience on her discussion of COVID-19 with her children.
- "Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic": Child Trends provides reccommendations for supporting children during this time, who may be at higher risk for the emotional impact of the pandemic.
- "Resources for Home: Plan, prepare, and respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019": The CDC created a library of tips and resources to prepare your home and the people in it to stay safe and healthy.
- "Ask A Scientist Comic Strips": These CDC comic strips explain health concepts to children. Check out How Do People Become Infect With Germs?, and How Does My Body Fight Disease?
- "Why Can't I Go to School?": "To keep staff and students safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19, many schools around the world have closed their doors. For children, this abrupt disruption to routine can feel confusing and scary. This social story answers the question, "Why Can't I Go To School?" in simple a reassuring terms." (Conscious Discipline). Available in a variety of languages.
- "Resources During COVID-19 for Youth, Families & Schools": Please Pass the Love, through its Storms Don't Last Forever #SDLF campaign, has created free weekly age-appropriate online programs your youth, families, school staff, mental health providers, and anyone who works with children! In addition, Please Pass the Love compiled resources for school systems, educators, telehealth, and more.
School closures, along with policies and guidance on physical/social distancing, have required a shift in school mental health practices globally. Technology offers many tools and strategies to support these changing conditions and to promote the well-being of our students. The NCSMH is working to support the evolving landscape of school mental health in the context of COVID-19, including how to leverage technology. Below are resources to assist you and your team in preparing for leveraging technology to support school mental health with your students, families, and colleagues.
- "Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency": The Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has eased HIPAA telehealth enforcement for the COVID-19 emergency. See more information below under “Telehealth Platforms”
- "FAQ on Telehealth and HIPAA during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency": The HHS Office for Civil Rights compiled Frequency Asked Questions on the provision of telehealth as it related to HIPAA compliance during the COVID-19 situation.
- “FERPA and the Coronavirus”: The Department of Education issued a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the coronavirus.
- “Supplemental Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary, and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities”: The US Department of Education Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services offers guidance, technical assistance, and information to ensure that all students, including students with disabilities, continue receiving excellent education this time.
- "COVID-19 Related State Actions": View actions to remove telehealth barriers broken down by state, compiled by the Center for Connected Health Policy.
The resources below can be used to support a multi-tiered system of supports through technology; the resources are organized by tiers.
Mental Health Promotion (Tier 1)
Health and Wellness
- EVERFI’S online health and wellness resources are designed to teach students to make healthy choices in a safe environment.
Social Emotional Learning
- “RethinkEd Social and Emotional Learning and Mental Health”: This is an evidence-based program delivered on a digital platform and designed for easy implementation.
- EVERFI’s free, online social emotional learning resources are designed to equip educators with tools to nurture skills like compassion, leadership, conflict resolution, self-awareness, and resilience. Register here.
Early Intervention and Treatment (Tiers 2 & 3)
General Telehealth Guidance
- “Virtual Service Delivery in Response to COVID-19 Disruptions”: NASP provides guidance on virtual service delivery during the COVID-19 and compiles other relevant resources to support your work.
- “Considerations for Delivery of School Psychological Telehealth Services”: This NASP PDF guide provides ten pages of telehealth guidance for school psychologists, including benefits and concerns, certification and licensure, legal and ethical implications, and recommendations.
- “Telepsychology”: The American Psychological Association offers telepsychology tips and resources related to practicing telepsychology.
- “Office and Technology Checklist for Telepsychological Services”: This checklist from the APA is a quick way to assess to preparedness for providing telepsychological services.
- “Planning for Virtual/Distance School Counseling During an Emergency Shutdown”: Plans to continue school counseling with technology should address equity and access issues. Consider this resource from the American School Counselors Association.
- "Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Best Practices": The Suicide Risk Assessment Standards focus on four core principles: Suicidal Desire, Suicidal Capability, Suicidal Intent, and Buffers along with the subcomponents for each. This link includes a PDF summary.
- “Telepsychology Best Practices 101 Series”: The APA is currently offering this training series free of charge. This series contains 2-hr webinars that introduce the learner to the ins and outs of tele-psychology.
- “Key Developments in Medicare Telehealth Options During COVID-19”: The National Association of Social Workers is conducting a webinar, scheduled for March 23rd 1-2pm EST, that will provide an update on guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on enhanced telehealth (including teletherapy) options for Medicare beneficiaries during the current COVID-19 public health emergency. The webinar will provide: a detailed overview of CMS’ guidance, implications for licensed clinical social work practice, implications for commercial insurer telehealth reimbursement, suggested resources on telehealth and teletherapy. Register here.
- “A Practical Guide to Providing Telepsychology with Minimal Risk”: This 3-hour seminar from the National Register of Health Service Providers provides expert guidance on practice, regulation, and risk management of telehealth.
- "Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19": SAMHSA compiled this document with MHTTC resources, including the recorded webinar "Substance Use Disorder Services in the Days of a Pandemic: You Need A Bigger Boat!", and the upcoming webinars "Changing the Conversation about Mental Health to Support Students During a Pandemic" and "Changing the Conversation About Mental Health - How do we Come Back to the New Normal?"
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. As such, covered health care providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple Facetime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts Video, or Skype. This notification is effective immediately. In the announcement, OCR provides a list of some vendors that represent that they provide HIPAA-compliant video communication platforms and that they will enter into a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA).
- Microsoft Office 365: Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams
- Google G Suite Hangouts Meet
Other options to consider:
Public-facing video communication applications should not be used in the provision of telehealth by covered healthcare providers. This includes Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitch, TikTok, and other similar applications.
Internet & Cellular Data
Some home internet and cellular service providers are improving their data plans, temporarily providing free internet, or temporarily waiving fees so more people can access quality internet without disruption at this time. Learn what your provider(s) are doing: