COVID-19: Victoria school district’s mental health ‘snapshots’ offer coping tools for youth

Printed in Goldstream News Gazette – April 24, 2020

Online resources focus on relationships, anxiety, depression and more

The isolation, uncertainty and sudden life changes that came with the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting the mental health of many, including young people across the region.

In response, Greater Victoria School District (SD61) is releasing weekly COVID-19 “snapshots” on topics such as building resiliency, navigating fear and worry, positive communication and anxiety and depression.

“The District snapshots are a great resource for our families, and they may be especially valuable as we endure a pandemic,” says Board Chair Jordan Watters in a statement. “We do not want our students in a place of fear, and this is one way we can help them feel supported while they are unable to be with their school community in person.”

School classes were suspended across the District on March 17 while students were on spring break. Since then, school districts have been shifting to online instruction while working to meet the needs of more vulnerable community members.

The online snapshots include brief tidbits, photos, videos and graphics providing youth with tips for fostering connection, generating open conversations and building a healthy community. They are released on a monthly basis across elementary, middle and secondary schools levels.

“We understand the importance of mental health and the impact it has on learning, and we want to help families with potential challenges they may face as they navigate remote learning during this pandemic,” Watters said.

To check out the weekly snapshots, visit Snapshots Covid-19 Series