Resources for Managing Mental Health and Stress Levels in Your Special Needs Family During Covid-19
December 16, 2020

Mental Health and Stress Management Resources During Covid-19 Pandemic

We are in the midst of the winter holiday season as we enter the tenth month of the coronavirus pandemic. Coping with mental health and stress management are among the issues that we need to deal with during the Covid-19 pandemic. For many, especially the special needs families and students across the country, schools, programs, and services came to a screeching halt and have not resumed. In many areas, students with special needs have been cooped up at home every day, and those living in group homes have not gone out nor seen their loved ones in almost a year. 

People of all ages and all abilities are struggling mightily. The special needs community is deeply affected, as special needs families often deal with heightened levels of stress on a regular basis – pandemic or not. The restrictions and stay-at-home orders drag on, leaving many isolated and lonely. Mental health and stress management resources are sorely needed as we face different and lonesome holidays during the darkest days of the year, as the sun sets around 4:30 in the afternoon.

mental health and stress management

While it’s not uncommon to feel worried, lonely, or sad about the potential bleakness of the holiday season, knowing you’re not alone doesn’t make us feel better. It’s important during this time to monitor your physical, mental health and stress management, as well as the health of your special needs children. 

Children with special needs may experience more intense distress, worry, or anger, as they have less control over day-to-day events happening all around them. Often, children with special needs are keenly tuned in to the emotional state of people around them. This makes them a bit more sensitive and vulnerable to the negative effects of stress.

mental health and stress management - special needs Covid-19

Below you will find, in no particular order, a great list of resources for mental health and stress management, as well as that of your children. Each listing has a general heading or title to tell you what it’s for. Search for your area of need, or check out all of these resources. There’s no better time than the present for taking care of your family’s mental health.

Top 10 ideas to support a child with autism during covid

Supporting children with autism with routines and schedules during covid

Don’t take mental health for granted

Helping kids with autism understand covid

Focusing on well-being

Helping children and teens cope with traumatic events

mental health and stress management - special needs Covid-19

Coping with life changes due to covid

Signs of stress

Don’t be hesitant or scared to get help for mental health and stress management

Supporting children and teens during this holiday season

Helping families cope with covid

Ready to use tools for parents

mental health and stress management - special needs Covid-19

Shareable resources for coping with covid

Literacy, social supports, guides, toolkits for children with autism

Be willing to admit you need help – there’s no shame

Addressing the death of a loved one (Covid specific)

Resources for emotional support (plus hotlines

A comic for kids to help explain covid

special needs families

A video for explaining how the holidays are affected by covid

La Familia Counseling Center

Community connection

There’s a lot you can do to feel better

Reducing child’s stress through mindfulness

Free guided meditations

stress of Covid-19

MINDSHIFT app

Identifying self-defeating thoughts and replacing them

Helping children cope with emergencies

Kids with special needs need extra help managing stress

COVID Symptoms UPDATED

Dealing with stigma & covid

Surgeon General’s playbook for stress management

Dr. Joshua Gordon: Looking after your mental health during covid

special needs families

Local resources:

Mental health access team Sacramento

Dept. of Health Sacramento County: Managing Mental Health

Sacramento County Public Health dashboard

Testing sites in Sacramento

Quarantine and isolation information Sacramento

Additional Help:

Crisis line: Text 741741

Suicide prevention lifeline:  800-273-8255 

Disaster & distress helpline: 800-985-5990

Public Health Hotline: 916-875-2400 (Sacramento)

Text TalkWithUs to 66746

special needs families

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About Keri Horon

Keri is a special needs parent and a veteran high school English and journalism teacher turned writer. She enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, cooking, traveling, wine tasting, and practicing yoga. Both she and her son love to create art. She has a passion for educating people on all things autism. Visit her blog at www.kerimehome.com.

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