If you and your family are having difficulty coping with the new normal, you’re not alone. Here are a few resources we recommend for getting the support you need.
Crisis Support During COVID-19
For immediate support in a crisis, live hotlines can be invaluable. Below are a few with volunteers ready to listen and connect you with resources, any time of day or night.
- The New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) is staffing a crisis hotline with volunteers to speak with members of the general public. The line even features a special option for health care workers in need of support. The line serves people from anywhere, not just New York State, and it can assist in a variety of languages. Call 1.844.863.9314 to reach a volunteer who can listen and help connect you with resources. Note that on The NYSOMH COVID 19 page you can find links to other valuable information too, including community outreach materials and guidance for mental health providers.
- If you’d rather not talk on the phone, free 24/7 support is still just a text away. Text “Home” to The Crisis Text Line at 741741 or access the line on Facebook Messenger to connect with a crisis counselor.
- Like NY State, NYC also sponsors a crisis hotline. NYC Well offers 24/7 access to talk (call 1.888.NYC.WELL), text (text “Well” to 65173) or you can request chat support. Counselors or Peer Support Specialists are available around the clock to hear your concerns, provide suicide prevention and crisis counseling, refer you for services or connect you with resources, and follow up to make sure you receive the care you need. This hotline can accommodate over 200 languages and the hearing impaired. See the full range of NYC Well services on their website.
Food Security and Safety During COVID-19
Food insecurity is a top concern in New York City during the best of times. Now, it’s even more critical. Knowing where to find food and how to handle it safely can be challenging, but these resources can help
- If your family is struggling to buy food, this comprehensive list of food pantries and soup kitchens by borough and neighborhood can help. The list was shared by our friend and former Child Mind Institute staffer, Dr. Stan Royzman. Dr. Royzman is now the Director of Assessment and Psychology Training at The New York Foundling, a Healthy Brain Network partner and mutual referrer.
- The NYC department of education also is doing its part to make sure every New Yorker has access to meals during this time. They have established 400+ grab-and-go meal hubs across the city where any New Yorker can pick up as many as three free meals at one time. No registration, ID or documentation is required. Vegetarian, Halal and Kosher options are available. Sites are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am –1:30 pm with morning slots reserved for children and families and afternoon slots available for adults. Visit the NYCDOE meal hub page for more info and to find locations near you.
- And then there’s the question of how to handle grocery shopping and what to do with your food when you get it home. Read the USFDA COVID-19 guidelines for grocery shopping or watch PSA Grocery Shopping Tips in COVID-19 with Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, MD, a family physician in Grand Rapids Michigan, to learn steps to take when grocery shopping or handling take-out. In this 13-minute YouTube video, VanWingen teaches viewers modified Sterile Technique, a procedure used by surgeons to ensure they don’t give infections to their patients. Following these best practices will reduce your risk of bringing the coronavirus into your home or the homes of your loved ones.
Learning Disorders and Distance Learning During COVID-19
With parents, students, and teachers alike adapting to online instruction, distance learning presents a challenge for most families right now. If you’re parenting a child with a learning disorder, you may be especially in need of support. Here are a few places to turn for guidance and strategies to make distance learning work for you and your family.
- This Start-up Guide for Schooling at Home due to COVID-19 from the Neurodiversity Empowerment Network is loaded with tips to help you plan for success and bounce back from the inevitable bumps along the way.
- The Child Mind Institute has pulled together a long list of outside resources for distance learning, including academic resources, games videos, activities (many of them physical) and tools for dyslexia. Most categories are organized by subject area, and some are further organized by age group. Download the Child Mind Institute distance learning list now.
- If you’re now responsible for educating a complex learner, you can get practical resources from EducatingAllLearners.org. The resources and tools on their website guide you through the “how” to success with actionable strategies. You’ll find expert guidance, technology and tools, and examples from the field.
- Equally important if you have a complex learner at home is to know where your state stands with respect to services during this time. Read New York State’s official memo about services to get links to important information, including a Q&A section with the state’s most up-to-date guidance for the provision of services to students with disabilities during statewide school closures
This list is by no means comprehensive. It touches on some of the biggest areas of concerns we are hearing about from parents during this time, and we’ll continue to update it as the situation develops. If you would like access to our full list, please email us to request access. And don’t forget about Child Mind Institute daily tips and resources for families, too.