We know there’s a lot of information swirling around about the coronavirus (COVID-19). It can be scary for adults and children alike. How do we talk with our kids about the coronavirus? How can we help them process what’s going on? How do we keep them occupied in this time of uncertainty? Our team of mental health and early child care professionals has compiled the ultimate list of resources for Richmond families as we wade through COVID-19.
Please note, ChildSavers specializes in children’s mental health and early development. For medical advice, please consult your physician. We’re here to provide a trauma-informed response to the Coronavirus and guide you through discussions around the pandemic with your children.
Center for Disease Control (CDC): The Best Resource For Medical Resources and Info
The CDC is the most reliable resource for information about the coronavirus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a federal agency, seen as the leading national public health institute. It works to help protect American citizens from health-related threats.
If you think you might have been exposed to COVID-19, call your healthcare provider right away.
To help prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC currently recommends the following:
Know how it spreads
COVID-19 is spread between people who are in close contact with one another – within about 6 feet. This happens through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid close contact with others
- Stay home if you’re sick (whether you think it is related to Coronavirus or not)
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wear a face mask if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect your home or workspace throughout the day with wipes and disinfectant sprays
Mental Health: Coronavirus Resources for Families
In-Person Child and Family Therapy at ChildSavers
ChildSavers is open for child and family therapy in Richmond, VA. Our staff is committed to maintaining our critical mental health services as long as it is safe to do so and will continue to offer therapy sessions from our Church Hill location.
We believe it is more important than ever for our doors to be open to the children, youth, and families we serve. We will keep our clients updated with developments on teletherapy and ChildSavers’ ongoing procedures surrounding the virus.
Virtual Therapy for Children and Families in RVA
If you do not feel comfortable meeting with your ChildSavers clinicians, mental health services will be available via telehealth effective April 1, 2020. ChildSavers clinicians are able to continue to work with you over the phone or in-person on a limited basis. Dr. Simon is able to continue taking appointments in-person appointments on a limited basis.
To schedule a teletherapy session for your child, call 804-644-9590.
Immediate Response Therapy for Children in Richmond
If your child is experiencing immediate trauma, call (804) 305-2420. Our Immediate Response therapists may respond in person on a limited basis but will remain available to support you via phone 24/7.
ChildSavers’ Tips for Coping with COVID-19
We recognize there are many layers to the challenges happening around us right now. Stress and uncertainty can be difficult to cope with. These tips can help minimize the impact of this stress on you, your child, and your family’s mental health.
1) Separate what is in your control from what is not.
2) Do what helps you feel a sense of safety.
3) Hold a family meeting to discuss hygiene routines and body safety.
4) Model hygiene practices.
5) Limit exposure to news sources or social media in order to lessen heightened emotions.
6) Maintain a regular family routine in order to ease stress and promote a sense of normalcy.
7) Get outside in nature – even if you are avoiding crowds.
- Vitamin D, fresh air, movement, and quality time together are all helpful for both your physical and mental health.
8) Identify ways in which the family can keep moving even if stuck indoors.
- Some ideas include workout videos on YouTube, family dance parties, games like “Simon Says”, or yoga.
9) Challenge yourself or your child to stay in the present.
- When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in the moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
10) Stay connected socially, while distancing physically and reach out if you need more support.
How To Talk with Kids About The Coronavirus
ChildSavers School-Based Supervisor, Bob Nickles, LCSW, shares 3 additional tips about talking with our kids about big life events, like pandemics.
Here are a few helpful, free resources we’re finding helpful when talking with children about COVID-19:
- Scholastic – includes visuals and is separated in tips for different age groups.
- PBS – talking points and action steps that children of all ages can understand.
- CDC – how to help children cope with emergencies like pandemics.
- Covid-19 Workbook for Kids – help start a conversation around how kids are reacting to and handling these changes.
- Quarantine Family Tool Kit– covers topics like routines, mindfulness, and daily activities.
- World Health Organization – 6 ways to craft a healthy home (mentally, emotionally, and physically)during COVID-19.
- UNICEF – Tips for parenting during the Covid-19 outbreak.
- National Association of School Psychologists – How to talk with children about COVID-19.
Additional mental health resources:
- Helping families cope with the coronavirus
- Taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty
- If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Feeling stressed?
- Try de-stressing exercises to practice with kids during social distancing.
- WHO – Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak.
- Parents with Confidence – 75 Calm Down Strategies for Kids.
- NPR – Coping with During the Coronavirus with Sesame Street
Please note that pharmacies have committed to remaining open during this time.
Vaccination Registration for Children and Families in Richmond, VA
The COVID-19 vaccine is given in two doses within a 2+ week period.
Before signing your children up for your first COVID-19 vaccination in Richmond, VA, you must pre-register with the Virginia Department of Health. After answering a series of questions, you will be placed/categorized based on your answers.
Schooling and Education in Richmond, VA During Coronavirus
- RPS has created a “Learning at Home” page.
- Ms. Cook (Principal at George Mason Elementary School) has shared the following 2 resources she is encouraging teachers to use and share with students during this period:
1) Vocabulary Spelling City: Use code VCSFree90 for access!
2) Learning A-Z: Select “free trial”.
- Scholastic has created a dedicated space called “Scholastic Learn at Home”. This free resource provides all students with 20* days’ worth of exciting learning journeys. Questions and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Henrico County Virtual Learning
- If you’re an RPS student or parent with technical issues with your new school computer, please email: email@example.com
- RPS families who may have questions about technology, meals, instruction, graduation, anything at all can call 804-780-6195.
Food Distribution in Richmond, VA During Coronavirus
Richmond Public Schools
Richmond Public Schools will be setting up numerous food distribution sites at RPS schools across the city. Distribution sites are open from 9:30 am-12:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Parents come without a student and students come without a parent if safe to do so. Additional details, including site locations, are available on their website and Hands on RVA .
In addition, some RPS food distribution sites are doubling as a space to pick up physical packets of schoolwork for students.
The Market on 25th Street
Peter Paul is supporting food distribution at 1708 N. 22nd Street Richmond, VA 23223. The next distribution date is Wednesday, April 1.
No Kid Hungry VA
Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877877 to get connected to free meals from No Kid Hungry VA while schools are closed.
Call the Feed More Hotline for emergency food support: (804) 521-2500.
Bills and Housing in Richmond, VA During COVID-19
Virginia Housing is now administering relief for renters experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP). You can now apply through Virginia Housing on behalf of tenants to receive funds to pay delinquent rental payments dating as far back as April 1, 2020 and forward. The Landlord component of RMRP is open to the confirmed Owners of Virginia rental properties (including apartments, single-family residences and manufactured housing), with bona fide leases to qualifying tenants, and that agree to RMRP requirements. You are not required to have financing through Virginia Housing or DHCD to apply.
Non-emergency evictions were suspended by the Supreme Court of Virginia on March 17th for 21 days.
Xfinity Wifi Hotspots will now be FREE across the country, to anyone who needs them (including non-Xfinity subscribers). Visit https://wifi.xfinity.com/ for a map of Xfinity hotspots. Once at the hotspot, click “xfinitywifi” as the network name to access.
Comcast is offering an “internet essentials” package for FREE to families who qualify.
- To sign up, applicants can visit internetessentials.com.
- The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
- There are other internet providers offering similar things. Please contact your provider directly to see if they offer a similar program.
Dominion Energy has committed to not shut off power for non-payment during this time. They have also requested, “If you are facing financial difficulties, please contact us. You may be eligible for short-term payment extensions and long-term payment assistance. We also provide tips on how to lower your bill.”
Richmond Public Utilities has committed to suspending water disconnection during this time.
GRTC has suspended fare collection effective Thursday, March 19th.
Housing Families First
Housing Families First offers a Housing Crisis Line if you are homeless or within 3 days of becoming homeless. Call (804) 972-0813 for assistance.
Salvation Army (Central, VA)
Receive emergency financial assistance or emergency shelter from The Salvation Army.
Eastern Henrico FISH
In need of food, clothing, or financial assistance during COVID-19? Contact Eastern Henrico FISH at (804) 222 – 2140.
Type in your address to locate resources in your area with 211 Virginia.
Fun Social Distancing Activities for Families During Coronavirus
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has started “Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!”, a series of FREE videos to encourage drawing, doodling, and creative writing. New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1 pm.
12 famous art museums from around the world are offering virtual tours!
The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting “Home Safaris” through Facebook Live every weekday at 3 pm.
30 indoor activities for kids from The Cut.
100+ educational shows for kids on Netflix.
This page is a work in progress! Please check back for frequent updates and new resources being added by ChildSavers staff.