Youth may be feeling heightened anxiety about COVID-19 and being out of school. Routines have changed and they may feel unsettled. When speaking to a student or child about what’s happening, a few suggestions:
1. How are they are feeling?
2. How are they are sleeping?
3. Are they getting enough to eat?
4. Are they feeling anger?
5. Do they feel safe?
Reassure them that feeling scared, anxious, or angry is okay and normal. Give them suggestions for things they can do to feel more in control, like practicing breathing exercises, going for a bike ride, reading a book, playing with a pet.
If you are worried the student is experiencing suicidal thoughts, ask if there is someone else in the home. Make sure there is someone with the child. If the child is alone, keep them on the phone while you contact a parent or guardian. Local crisis teams can be reached at: 1-800-631-1314. This is a free service and they will be able to provide advice on appropriate next steps.
If the child isn’t getting enough to eat, or you are worried about the family’s food security, contact the Arizona Food Bank Network. Their website has the ability to enter a zip code and find the closest food bank or pantry. www.azfoodbanks.org 1-800-445-1914
Also, many schools are providing free breakfast and lunch for students while schools are closed. More information on participating locations can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/u9orpud
• Teen LifeLine: 602-248-8336
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
• Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741 https://www.crisistextline.org/
• Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ youth: 1-866-488-7386 https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
• Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 https://www.translifeline.org/hotline
• WeRNative (for Native Americans) Chat: https://wernative.worldsecuresystems.com/ask-auntie/chat.htm https://www.wernative.org/