Due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus situation, Compass is
being proactive by cancelling all group programs (SNAP, FRIENDS, Triple-P)
effective immediately, until further notice to assist with slowing down the
transmission of the virus.
In addition, Compass will no longer be allowing face to face
meetings with clients and walk-ins. Clients looking for mindSPACE services will
be told to call the toll free number 1-800-815-7126 in order to speak to a
We apologize for the inconvenience.
News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. “You take on the news and you’re the person who filters the news to your kid,” explains Janine Domingues, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information that is likely more reassuring than whatever they’re hearing from their friends or on the news.
- Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.
- Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions. Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.
- Deal with your own anxiety. “When you’re feeling most anxious or panicked, that isn’t the time to talk to your kids about what’s happening with the coronavirus,” warns Dr. Domingues. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
- Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to have milder symptoms.
- Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking. Jamie Howard, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, notes, “Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.” We know that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. The CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands as the primary means of staying healthy. So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside, before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts at the CDC say they aren’t necessary for most people. If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.
- Stick to routine. “We don’t like uncertainty, so staying rooted in routines and predictability is going to be helpful right now,” advises Dr. Domingues. This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down. Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a spring break or summer vacation. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
- Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more. “Let them know that the lines of communication are going to be open,” says Dr. Domingues. “You can say, ‘Even though we don’t have the answers to everything right now, know that once we know more, mom or dad will let you know, too.’”
To read more, please visit: https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/
March 3, 2020
Statement from Ontario’s Child and
Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium Following the Release of the Ontario
Ministry of Health’s Roadmap to Wellness
The 31 members of Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency
Consortium (LAC) acknowledge the Ontario Ministry of Health’s effort to begin
the process of redesigning Ontario’s mental health and addictions system with
the release today of Roadmap to Wellness:
A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System.
Following a careful review of the strategy, LAC
members are concerned that Roadmap to
Wellness contains little to nothing new for children’s mental health nor
does the strategy propose the level of additional funding investment needed to
meaningfully enhance the delivery of improved services for children and youth
living with mental illnesses and addictions. Further, LAC members believe that
implementing the measures proposed in Roadmap
to Wellness will not result in creating equitable and immediate access to
mental health and addiction services.
Lead Agencies have urged the Ontario government for
new funding to support a comprehensive strategy for Ontarian children and youth
and their families in need of mental health and addiction services and
supports. Given the imminent tabling of the 2020 Ontario budget, the LAC calls
upon the Ontario government to uphold its election commitment to invest in new,
annualized funding for mental health and addiction services, particularly in
the areas of reduced wait times and the expansion of overall supports and
services for children and youth, including the care and treatment made
available to Indigenous and Franco-Ontarians children and youth.
The Lead Agency Consortium is committed to the goal of continually improving child and youth mental health and addiction services in Ontario so that children and youth and their families receive the right services for their unique needs at the right time and in the right place. Lead Agencies have both the capacity and the expertise to act quickly and effectively so that new funding investments will deliver a system of high quality, timely, evidence-based, cost-effective child and youth mental health and addiction services that are locally-responsive and client centered.
To read the press release from the Ministry of Health, click here: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-unveils-plan-to-build-mental-health-and-addictions-system.html