COVID-19 Mental Health & Wellness Support and Resources

Last updated on 8/4/21 at 3:15 p.m. 
mental health support page
A Message From Superintendent Dr. Vannasdall
Monitoring Your Mental Health During Physical Distancing
Please know you are not alone. We are here for you, and we are with you. Arcadia Unified has a remarkable team of caring counselors, psychologists, teachers, and administrators who are here to support you. Please utilize this webpage to connect with our staff, and other resources as you need them. You can find each school's Counselor's Corner and website below. 

You are important and so are your thoughts and feelings. You are living during a time when everything suddenly changed and continues to change rapidly. While there has been more normalcy recently, daily life is completely different. You're reflecting on a time where people were made to stay at home. Schools were closed and have now reopened. Sports, travel, and events were paused for over a year and are now beginning to come back. You have thoughts and feelings about all of this.  

A few times a day it is important to stop and reflect. Ask yourself, "How am I feeling right now?" Are you feeling happy, confused, sad, joyful, angry, distrustful, surprised, etc.? You might be feeling many things at once or you might be feeling differently at different times: happy in the morning, frustrated in the afternoon, and exhausted in the evening. This is normal.

Monitor your feelings over days. You may want to keep a journal and write entries about your thoughts and feelings on different topics or just keep a list of your feelings when you stop and reflect. If you notice a pattern of anger, frustration, sadness, and overall negativity you need to talk to somebody about your feelings. Friends and family are a great source of comfort and can make you feel better. If that works and you aren't feeling sad, frustrated, or angry anymore - great keep doing that. However, if those feelings keep coming up and you are having to go to friends and family to help you feel more positive, you need to speak with an adult and most likely a professional.
Please take a moment to watch these helpful videos, created by Arcadia High School Psychologist, Tim Crosby, who is an Educationally Related Intensive Counseling Services (ERICS) School Psychologist and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, to help your students cope with the continued stressors presented by the pandemic:
Coping with COVID-19 for Children
Helping Students with Separation Anxiety
Are you currently feeling hopeless and/or sad?
There are people that you can talk to right now. You are IMPORTANT!  Be brave. If you feel you can't talk to your parents or a trusted adult call one of these numbers or visit one of the websites listed below.
help hotlines
1-800-273-8255 - National Suicide Hotline
Text HOME to 741741 - Crisis Text Line
213-252-2100 (Multilingual) - Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Centers
800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336) - Teen Line
Download APP - TEEN TALK
6:00 to 10:00PM Pacific time.
L.A. County Help Line
In addition, here's a table of contact resources curated by the LA County Department of Mental Health:
Staying Mentally Healthy
During this time of self-isolation and physical distancing, there are lots of things you can do to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. There are mindfulness activities, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, listening to certain types of music/sounds, watching calming videos. The list goes on and on!  The great news is there is so much to choose from and do. Try them all. See which ones work best for you. Go on.... you got this!
TAKE A DEEP BREATH - A fantastic list of meditations, sleep stories, music, videos, and more.  There are conversation prompts that parents can use. It even has a section "Calm Kids" which has audio recordings to teach kids of all ages meditations and sleep stories.  For example ages 3-4 to blowing candles and ages 7-13 that happy place.
BREATHING EXERCISES - Great for parents to help teach deep breathing to themselves and their children.  Middle School and High School students can also learn these techniques on their own.
THE BENEFITS OF JOURNALING - Join the movement. First, journaling is just a way to record your thoughts and feelings. Second, deciding to journal is a great way to improve your wellbeing. Journaling isn't just beneficial to your mind; it also helps your physical health too.
FREE YOGA VIDEOS - Here is a selection of our extremely popular free 30-minute or less, online yoga classes from YogaDownload. These free full yoga classes are inclusive styles suitable for everyone.  This is a link to get you started.  There are a lot of free yoga sites available.
MINDFUL ART FOR TEENS - Whether you’re going through a rough patch, or you just need to make it through COVID-19, this book is designed to help you relieve stress and anxiety through art, coloring and suggested activities.
THE HAPPINESS LAB - For adults and older students.  A podcast with Dr. Laurie Santos from Yale asks Stanford's Professor Jamil Zaki to explain his research into how we can maintain meaningful links to our loved ones, friends, and colleagues even if we can't be in the same room with them.
AUSD VIRTUAL CALMING ROOM - To help students explore strategies, tools, and resources to help bring a sense of calm in challenging times. Students have the ability to navigate this website to help facilitate their ability to regulate their emotions, increase their resiliency, and have some fun! The featured sections consist of sounds and music, guided meditation, mindful movement, live animal cameras, and coloring and creativity.
mental health strategies 
Mental Health Resources 
CARESOLACE FOR AUSD - There are many resources available to support you and your family.  Arcadia Unified has a partnership with CareSolace that helps connect families with mental health services.  This is a free service to everyone in our AUSD family.  Adults should use the link provided below to access the service.  You will be asked questions online about your situation and insurance.  You will be provided with a list of potential services that meet your needs.  If you utilize their email you will be connected with a CARESOLACE caregiver to assist you in getting to help you or your child's needs.  
WELLBEING TOOLKIT AND RESOURCES - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has put together not only journaling but a host of activities in their COVID-19 Wellbeing Toolkit and Resources Website.  
CALMING ANXIETY IN CHILDREN - For parents to help their children with anxiety.  Kid tested strategies used by child therapists for calming anxiety, including ideas to calm down, books to read, and videos that can help.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION - A plethora of resources via the CDE, "Help for Students in Crisis,  Resources for addressing mental health and wellness while school sites are closed." 
MENTAL HEALTH MONDAYS - Arcadia Unified's public outreach campaign to support our students, staff, parents, and community during Mental Health Awareness month in May. 
Arcadia Unified Celebrates Mental Health Awareness 2021
We are so grateful to have at least one full-time counselor at each of our schools. In addition, we have created dedicated collaboration time for all of our counselors to be able to work together between school sites and grade levels to ensure vertical continuity and support of our students through their entire TK-12 journey with us. In celebration of this Mental Health Awareness Month 2021, we made a video that highlights and showcases some of the incredible mental health and wellness programs and spaces across our district.