Therapeutic Support and Connection During a Health CrisisApril 9, 2020
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 health crisis has and continues to be a challenging time for all of us. We’re being tasked with doing things differently. Shop differently. Parent differently. Work differently. And so on. Sometimes the bandwidth for managing all of this change can feel unsteady.
For Green Chimneys School students, many of whom face social, emotional, and behavioral challenges, change of any proportion can be overwhelming and sometimes even debilitating. At Green Chimneys, our children are receiving the therapeutic support they need to develop essential skills. With our help, students are increasing self-awareness, enhancing social emotional learning, developing coping tools and ultimately becoming the navigators of their own emotional regulation.
As both a special education school and residential treatment center for children with special needs, ensuring connection and therapeutic support is maintained during a time of great change has been a top priority. Teachers and teacher’s assistants, residential life staff, social workers and clinical specialists, recreational therapists, animal caretakers and more are staying connected with students and families. Using online tools to develop lessons, cell phones to check-in and in some cases even relying on good old-fashioned mail, we’re keeping the lines of communication open and the ties that bind us strong.
We can never fully express our pride in the entire Green Chimneys staff. Their commitment to our children and animals and to each other is truly outstanding. Essential staff is helping students residing at Green Chimneys to maintain social distancing, keep up with school work and make time to enjoy recreational activities. The essential staff is meeting the needs of student residents: the kitchen and health center are running, dorms are clean, etc. A team of animal caretakers ensures our 300+ animals receive the care and enrichment necessary. Much of our non-essential staff is telecommuting, enabling therapy sessions and emotional support, morning school announcements, a sense of connection and more.
Taking Care of Yourself and Those You Love
It’s important to acknowledge too that the health crisis and the current climate can affect us as individuals. We’re offering weekly support meetings for staff and as well as providing additional resources to our families. There are also a multitude of online resources available. If you or someone you know is struggling with social isolation, anxiety, or fear, please connect with a healthcare professional. Together, we will get through this.
Mental Health Resources*
For helping children cope
General mental wellness support
- New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline
Free emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314
- New York State Office of Mental Health
Mental wellness tips offered in multiple languages
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Tips for daily life & coping in a health crisis
- National Alliance on Mental Health
An informational COVID-19 guide
Free mindfulness and meditation exercises
* These resources are provided in an effort to share information. Green Chimneys does not endorse or prescribe any specific organization or approach. If you believe you or someone you love is experiencing a medical or behavioral health emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.